Georgia Southern no-showed the entire fourth quarter of its matchup against Army, falling by a 28-27 margin on Saturday.
After going up six-points on the Black Knights with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter, it looked as if the Eagles were on their way to holding off Army if the effort kept up.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t.
The GS defense eventually folded like a cheap suit for the rest of the contest, allowing Army at one point to run a 10-play, 81 yard drive for a touchdown and take 10:50 of the fourth quarter off the clock. From there, two major miscues by the visiting team played right into the Black Knights’ hands.
With 3:25 left to go in regulation and Georgia Southern down by one-point, offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse decided to run two of the worst plays I’ve seen from the team this year. On 3rd-and-2, the Eagles ran a speed option to the short side of the field and were unsurprisingly bundled up getting no yards. On 4th down, the team attempted a run up the middle and got nothing.
But wait, there’s more awfulness! On the subsequent drive, GS got the ball back with 2:20 to go with Justin Tomlin at the helm and Werts nursing with a shoulder injury. He threw a terrible interception two plays later.
Army badly botched its clock management and gave Southern another possession but after a few plays and some what-if garbage time yardage by the Eagles, the Black Knights came away with the one-point win after GS badly mismanaged its final drive and didn’t even manage to get a field goal attempt off before time expired.
The only real plus from this game for Georgia Southern is as follows: Shai Werts looked better throwing the football.
Werts finished his day 6-7 for 80 yards and two scores and no interceptions. While the quarterback played a clean game, it was not enough as GS snatched defeat from the jaws of a possible victory.
Army spotted the Eagles two touchdowns early to start off the contest, and after the 6:45 mark of the first quarter, GS scored just 13 points the rest of the way, and were outscored by a 28-13 margin after Army’s second fumble.
I would hope that this “offensive” performance by Southern would spark some changes with the play calling and the guy who handles it, but Chad Lunsford seems to have married himself to DeBesse for some indiscernible reason.
Finally, If I never have to hear CBS Sports Network’s terribly biased announcers ever again, it will be too soon.