Georgia Southern showed a whole lot of promise on defense while not really doing anything on offense in a 41-7 blowout loss to Auburn on Saturday night.
The Eagles threatened to make the Tigers pay for several first half mistakes, but could ultimately do nothing with it.
GS managed just 78 yards of total offense, led by L.A. Ramsby’s 33 yards on 11 carries. It was not a good debut for new offensive coordinator Bryan Cook, whose playcalling was read like a book by Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele all night.
New quarterback Shai Werts showed some promise, but was bombarded by the Tigers’ pass rush all night. The redshirt freshman ended his night 4-8 for just 8 yards and an interception, with leading receiver Obe Fortune hauling in just one pass for 7 yards.
Now how much of that lack of offensive success is due to the talent gap between the SEC level and a power five school remains to be seen.
The Eagles defense looked stout in the first half, capitalizing on a few turnovers and getting its only points on a Tomarcio Reese 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
But outside of that return, Southern allowed big plays in the ground game to Kerryon Johnson, who rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown on 16 first half carries and tacking on a score on a 60-yard run in the second quarter before being pulled due to injury.
Georgia Southern’s lack of offensive success proved to be costly from the second quarter on, as the Eagles were outscored 31-0 by Auburn in the second, third, and fourth quarters of play.
Next week, Georgia Southern will take on someone a little closer to its talent level, when the Eagles open its home football season against an FCS team in New Hampshire.