Both Georgia Southern and Appalachian State closed out its regular seasons on Saturday afternoon, with the Mountaineers handing the Eagles a 55-27 beating in a result nobody could have possibly foreseen.
Despite the team’s shortcomings on the road this season, the Eagles jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead after the first quarter, making this author believe he would have to eat crow, which I would have done happily, as I did in last season’s Appalachian State game.
But what happened after the first quarter? Well, GS quarterback Davis Brin turned back into a pumpkin, finishing the game with 3 interceptions and no touchdown passes as App State took advantage of nearly every mistake Southern made.
Few things were more emblematic of this game than in the second quarter, when the Eagles allowed a touchdown to Mountaineer receiver Kaedin Robinson to cut the deficit to 14-10. On the subsequent kickoff, Georgia Southern returner Dalen Cobb fumbled the ball, allowing App to recover and waltz into the endzone on a Kanye Roberts touchdown run just six seconds later, 17-14.
From that point, the rout was on.
Everything went right for the Mountaineers on senior night, as quarterback Joey Aguilar threw four touchdowns and one pick to go along with 296 yards passing, as the Eagles switched back and forth between Brin and backup J.C. French, the latter of which left the game with an arm injury.
From the second quarter on, App outscored Georgia Southern by a 52-13 margin and making it clear that Eagles’ head coach Clay Helton’s seat should warm up quite a bit heading into 2024.
In the words of late Arizona Cardinals coach Denny Green, the Eagles are who we thought they were.
Appalachian State will square off with Troy in the Sun Belt title game next week thanks to James Madison’s 56-14 drubbing of Coastal Carolina, while Georgia Southern will get to play in a bowl game in Montgomery, Alabama or whatever.
The one benefit of the bowl game is that it will mark Southern fans’ last time seeing Brin play in blue and white.