The final score was 56-26, and honestly I think that's pretty representative of the game as a whole. Sometimes you hear "the score doesn't show how bad it was" or "it was much closer than that score." This game is exactly what we see in that score. Haisten did his usual brilliant job with the post-game recap, so also as usual, I won't bore you with the play-by-play stuff. Georgia Southern's offense was at times unstoppable. At times it sputtered (especially when they threw the ball). The Aggies were able to move the ball pretty well (mostly through the air), but just couldn't convert those yards into points.
For Georgia Southern, things are set up nicely for Thursday night's game in Boone. That is going to be one of - if not THE - best games in the Sun Belt for 2015. It could potentially decide the eventual Sun Belt Champion. There are some concerns, though. A defense that has been fairly stout against the run this season allowed 133 on the ground, which isn't bad, but considering Larry Rose III is a pretty good running back (up there just behind Breida in yards per game) holding him to 82 is pretty good. Allowing 253 yards through the air isn't optimal, though.
So, let's get to The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and THE FREAKIN' AWESOME.
The Wolfpack 2.0. The running game for Georgia Southern is humming along like a stock car running wide open at Talladega. The usual cast of characters combined for 500+ yards rushing on the ground. Not one back or QB had over 15 carries. Kevin Ellison had the longest touchdown run of his career (more on that particular play to come). Matt Breida padded his yards per carry stats. He averaged 10.3 coming in, and carried the ball 10.5 per carry against the Aggies.
LA Rambsy continues to pound the ball at a stead pace. Wesley Fields looks like he could just about be the feature back for most every team in college football with his moves and speed, but he's sitting 3rd on the depth chart behind two other excellent backs. I do think you'll see carries spread out even more over the course of the season as Fields proves his worth.
First Touchdown Pass Since 11 October 2014. Wesley Fields' 60 yard catch and run was the first touchdown pass for Georgia Southern since last year's Homecoming game against Idaho. The fact that Georgia Southern was 8-2 in the time between shows just how effective the Eagles' running game has been. Everyone knows the Eagles are going to run the ball. They just have to try to stop it.
Ball Hawkin'. The Secondary added another interception to their resume. Glover has more receptions than any one person on the offense, I believe. I'm just sad he didn't finish the Pick Six. I told him to get one during the Eagle Walk. He almost came through.
First Touchdown Pass Since 11 October 2014. No, this isn't a typo. That was good, but it was also bad. Georgia Southern is going to come up against a team with an effective run defense and need to throw the football. We saw what happened against West Virginia when they were able to shut down the rushing attack. The Eagles have got to develop something in the way of a passing game.
Maybe it will be wheel routes by the backs. I don't know. Since BJ Johnson was injured, I really don't know who the go-to threat is for the Eagles at wide receiver. As a team, Georgia Southern was 4/8 in the passing game, but one of those incompletions was a beautiful deep ball. It was the type of deep ball that is needed to keep teams on their toes. It is essential that some form of downfield passing game shows up over the next few games.
Two Players Ejected For Targeting. I would add the personal foul penalty on the Center right before Ellison's huge run, but on replay I have no idea where that penalty was. I certainly never saw anything. I won't offer an opinion on what is or isn't targeting. I've seen it described definitively by two different conference rules officials in two completely separate ways. I understand the need for better protection of players from head injuries, but it is still so unevenly enforced.
What made this so much stranger is that both of them were on hits to the quarterback. Neither of them were what I would refer to as traditional "roughing the passer" calls. From the stands they didn't look like bad hits, either. Still, though, it removes two players from the first half of this Thursday night's App State game. Losing Ironhead Gallon for the first half of that game is a particularly big blow.
THE FREAKIN' AWESOME.
Matt Breida Is Fast. See the video clip below. Kevin Ellison's touchdown run is impressive. I wonder if he was going full speed the whole way, though. Because Matt Breida makes up 10+ yards on him in the time it takes Ellison to run 20.
The Helmets. I'm just going to come right out and say it: I loved those helmets. LOVED THEM. I think they were awesome and I would not complain if we wore them more than just this one time. In fact, I'd like to see them worn this Thursday night with the solid whites.
I know there are plenty of folks who think we should leave the baseball logo with baseball. I understand that. However, that logo is sweet and it looked really good on the white helmet.
Bonus Bonus Section!
Marketing the Helmet. As awesome as those helmets were, I could not be more disappointed in the way they were marketed. Everything was geared towards "the logo made famous by country superstar Cole Swindell." It would have been so easy to add "the baseball logo, made famous by..." Georgia Southern's baseball team has a long and distinguished history. It deserved a bit of recognition in that moment.