Well that was closer than it should have been.
I guess I should start this recap with the positives: Georgia Southern defeated Louisiana-Monroe 23-21, is 3-0 this season, and 2-0 in conference play.
Chris DeLaRosa may have saved this Eagles’ win with a sack on 3rd and 4 to push back the Warhawks’ kicker, who would subsequently have his kick blocked to ice the eventual win for GS.
L.A. Ramsby (86 yards on 14 carries) and Wesley Fields (84 yards on 13 touches and a rushing touchdown) both played well, and helped lead a rushing attack that needed them to step up when it struggled.
The defense played very well in the second and third quarters, allowing no points until ULM quarterback Garrett Smith hit Marcus Green in the end zone with 10:12 left in the final quarter.
That’s the good news.
Now, this Eagles’ team has some real problems that need to be fixed quickly or else the team will struggle all season. The team is either undisciplined or not well-coached, committing 12 penalties for 116 yards.
The passing game is still not very efficient, with Favian Upshaw only completing 4 out of his 14 attempts for just 64 yards.
The man known as #HeGone, Matt Breida, has largely not gone anywhere this season. Breida used to be the guy who would hit paydirt on long runs, and has been shut down by both the Warhawks and South Alabama last week.
Breida averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in the win and struggled to find clear running lanes against a stout ULM front-seven.
Having already mentioned the penalties, the team’s playcalling and execution generally looked sloppy.
The offense settled for field goals when it should have been scoring touchdowns and turned the ball over when it had its best opportunity. Southern had the ball on the ULM 2-yard line in the third quarter and was knocking on the door. One botched snap later, the Eagles came away from the red zone trip with no points, and the defense had to come on and try to stop the Warhawks from driving when it should have been enjoying a 23-14 lead.
I’m not saying the sky is falling and the season is over, but if Georgia Southern wants to have a legitimate shot at beating conference foes Appalachian State and Arkansas State, it needs to play cleaner overall. Missed opportunities on offense and giving the other team multiple chances on defense won’t cut it against top teams.
- FSU transfer Ukeme Eligwe showed why he was a top-talent with an amazing play on an interception in the second quarter.
Here's that interception by Eligwe pic.twitter.com/iRiu6MiAG7— GS Football (@GSAthletics_FB) September 17, 2016
- The blocked kick was a great play to save a game that the Eagles probably shouldn’t have won.
- Ugh, the playcalling. There were times when it was creative, and times when it was tough to watch. In the third quarter, GS had a 4th and 2 from the ULM 21. The Eagles had two receivers next to one defender and still elected to try and draw the defense offsides. Southern jumped on a false start instead and the Eagles settled for a field goal.
- Upshaw and Ellison either need to improve as passers, or the offensive coordinators need to start catering to their strengths instead of sticking them in 3rd and long situations. Tyson Summers needs to decide which of these routes he wants to take, and fast.