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Recap: Georgia Southern finally features its best football player, defeats South Alabama 24-17

It was the Wesley Kennedy show in Paulson stadium on Thursday night.

South Alabama v Georgia Southern Photo by Chris Thelen/Getty Images

After weeks of what seemed like putting a governor on a Dodge Hellcat, Georgia Southern finally decided to give its best player the ball. And guess what? It worked.

Who could have seen that coming?

Thursday night’s contest between the Eagles and South Alabama was essentially the Wesley Kennedy III show, as the running back went for 101 total yards and 2 scores on the ground, helping Southern pull away for a 24-17 win late with a game-winning touchdown run mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Kennedy’s 13 carries also are only the second time all season he received double-digit carries. A small sample size to be sure, but with the win over the Jags, Georgia Southern is now 2-0 in those contests.

The real highlight for Kennedy in this one was on his second touchdown run with 8 minutes left in regulation and the game tied at 17. You can see it here:

You can’t teach that.

Other than Kennedy, the pass rush came up huge for the Eagles with the secondary looking inconsistent at times. All-in-all, Southern was able to bring down South Alabama quarterback Desmond Trotter five times in the win, with Justin Ellis and Raymond Johnson III each pacing the team with 1.5 sacks apiece.

Trotter played fairly well in the loss for the Jaguars but simply did not get the protection he needed to win the game. The signal caller completed 20 of 27 attempts (74 percent complete) for two touchdowns and zero picks.

South Alabama v Georgia Southern
Desmond Trotter played well for South Alabama in the loss, but the Jaguars struggled with allowing too much pressure on their quarterback.
Photo by Chris Thelen/Getty Images

Outside of that, it was a very grind-it-out experience for these two teams as each of the squads struggled to move the ball with any real consistency for the majority of the contest. The Jags could not to run it against a GS front-seven that was swarming in this one, only allowing the team from Mobile to finish with 64 yards rushing for the entire game.

Shai Werts finished tied for the team lead in yards with 91, while J.D. King added in 74 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles in the victory.

A key play stop for the Southern secondary came late while leading 24-17. Trotter tried to hit Kawaan Baker on a back shoulder fade that would have tied the game late, but Eagles’ defensive back Derrick Canteen was able to swat the ball out of Baker’s hands, helping preserve the win.

With all of that said, Georgia Southern’s offense still has room to improve. The team has only scored 4 touchdowns in their previous eight quarters of play following the win. Maybe they should just continue feeding Wesley Kennedy III the ball, and let it all play itself out the rest of the year.

The Eagles will face off against Troy next Saturday in the second leg of their three-game homestand, while South Alabama will try to rebound against a tough test at #20 Coastal Carolina.