In the first ever meeting between the Georgia Southern Eagles and the Georgia State Panthers we got to see just how different these two teams are.
Southern was able to run all over the Panther defense rushing for 269 yards on 31 carries in the first half. All four of the first half Southern touchdowns were on the ground. Quarterback Kevin Ellison- who only passed for 20 yards in the half- was the leading rusher with 89 yards and a touchdown.
While Georgia State was unable to run the ball effectively in the first half, only 34 yards gained on 13 carries, they were able to take advantage of the Southern pass defense. Nick Arbuckle threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately he made a poor pass late in the 2nd quarter that ended up being an interception that eliminated a scoring opportunity for the Panthers.
After a relatively competitive first half, Georgia Southern would show why they are considered the best team in the Sun Belt. Matt Breida scored three touchdowns in the second half- including a 75-yard touchdown run on the Eagles first play from scrimmage.The Eagles would end up with 10 rushing touchdowns in the game.
Georgia State had several drops in the second half and were just unable to hold serve against the Eagles. Nick Arbuckle found Donovan Harden for four touchdowns on the day, but the Eagles were just too strong for the Panthers.
Georgia Southern cleared the over/under for this game with their score only. (For some reason Vegas set this line at 65- those of you that follow that Sun Belt and gamble should be able to pay off your houses now.) In the 4th Georgia Southern started running through the end zone with a "U" flag to go with their normal "G" and "S"- something they do not normally do for road games.
The final score would be Georgia Southern 69-31 Georgia State. Nick Arbuckle would finish the day with 408 yards passing with 4 touchdown and 1 interception for the Panthers. Matt Breida would finish with 12 carries for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Southern will play Troy next week in a Thursday night game. Georgia State plays next against Appalachian State.