A late game surge on Saturday saw Georgia Southern end its three-game losing skid against Troy, as the Eagles came away with a 20-13 win.
Two touchdown runs by quarterback Shai Werts (50 yards, 1 TD) and running back Gerald Green (team-leading 109 yards, 1 TD) in the final 8 minutes of play were enough for Southern to pull away for the seven-point victory.
For a team that controlled the ball for 42 minutes, this game was much closer than an outside viewer would assume. The Eagles were doing a good job mixing up play calling but struggled to convert in the red zone for much of the contest.
Offensively, the most impressive thing about the Eagles performance was that Wesley Kennedy III (jaw) and J.D. King (knee) were sidelined with injuries and GS still found a way to win the game. The knee injury that King suffered looked rough on the broadcast and may sideline him for a good portion of the season, if not the rest of the year.
Southern’s defense was the unit dominating this game, holding Troy quarterback Jacob Free to just 201 yards passing while picking off two of Free’s attempts. The second and most key interception came late with Troy driving to tie the game up.
After having his pass tipped, Free watched the ball sail right into the hands of waiting GS defensive back Derrick Canteen Jr., which sealed the win for the team from Statesboro.
Outside of a poor decision and even worse throw by Werts that led to a Troy pick-six, the Eagles defense allowed just two field goals the rest of the game as it was doing a great job limiting Free’s open throwing lanes. In the past few meeting between these squads, those passes would have gone for chunk plays, but in this one Southern’s defense truly prevailed against what had been a high-flying Troy attack.
Honestly if Southern had put together performances like this against Louisiana or Coastal Carolina, we could be looking at an undefeated or 1 loss Georgia Southern football team right now. That’s how well they played.
Things don’t get any easier for the Trojans as they host the #15 ranked Chanticleers next week, while Georgia Southern will prepare to face off against a Texas State team that has been better this season than in years past, even if the wins haven’t been there for the Bobcats.