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Georgia Southern blanks The Citadel in season opener, 34-0

The Eagles pitched a shutout after a terrible defensive season in 2022.

TaxAct Camellia Bowl - Georgia Southern v Buffalo Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images

Georgia Southern’s football team opened the 2023 season in dominant fashion, taking down former Southern Conference foe The Citadel by a score of 34-0 on Saturday.

New quarterback Davis Brin was sharp in his debut as the signal caller for the Eagles, finishing the contest 27 of 37 for 244 yards with two scores and an interception as GS blew out the Bulldogs.

Running back Jalen White was the star of the show for Georgia Southern, totaling 125 yards and a score on 19 totes (6.1 yards per carry) as the Eagles jumped on The Citadel early and refused to let up, despite being put into some precarious spots defensively.

Georgia Southern v Nebraska
Jalen White finished Saturday’s contest with 125 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles blew out The Citadel.
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

One note to make is that the Bulldogs ran a strange offense in this one, even though it had been reported that the FCS team was moving to the spread. Quarterback Graeson Underwood attempted just two passes despite being down by three-plus scores for the majority of the contest, as the Bulldogs never got much going in the loss offensively.

Defensively, a porous unit for GS in 2022 was not tested very much in this one when The Citadel refused to switch up its offensive play calling or become more aggressive as the game became more out of reach, signaling that the team may have not been fully prepared for its move to the spread offense in this one.

Eagles’ receiver Derwin Burgess did much of the damage for Southern, picking up where he left off from 2022 in the shutout win, totaling 76 yards and a score on 6 catches, in a game that was never particularly close.

Citadel running back Cooper Wallace was the only real bright spot for the team, tallying 113 yards on 16 carries, but the team failed to find the end zone on any of its offensive possessions, as it was simply dominated on both sides of the ball by a superior Georgia Southern team.

Despite the lopsided final score, it felt as if the Eagles took their foot off of the gas after going up 24-0 at halftime, and was content to run the clock out in the second half of the contest.

Georgia Southern will face off against a UAB team that dominated the Eagles on the ground last year next Saturday, while The Citadel will look to regroup next week in South Carolina against Campbell.