If your homecoming party carried right on through the game, don't worry. Georgia Southern kept the mood right with a big win over New Mexico State that went according to the script.
The Eagles (5-1, 3-0 Sun Belt) made short work of the visiting Aggies (0-6, 0-2) in front of a raucous crowd of 23,551 at Paulson Stadium.
Georgia Southern earned its first score off of a partially blocked New Mexico State punt. Two plays later a 35-yard drive was capped off by Wesley Fields as he ran cleanly into the end zone. The Eagles doubled their lead later in the quarter when Matt Breida, A.K.A. #HeGone, A.K.A. I Do Matt Breida Things, did Matt Breida things by scoring his tenth touchdown of the year to put the home team up 14-0.
Kevin Ellison added a career-long 67-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Not to be outdone, Breida caught up with Ellison midway through the run and got in a key block that secured the score.
Everything seemed to go right for Georgia Southern in the first half. When backup quarterback Favian Upshaw threw a pass that was tipped, the ball fell into the waiting arms of Myles Campbell for a first down. The drive ended with LA Ramsby converting an option pitch into a touchdown and becoming the fourth different Eagle to score on the night. New Mexico State's Terrill Hanks was ejected for targeting on the play.
Andrew Allen started at quarterback for NMSU for the injured Tyler Rogers and connected with Royce Caldwell for a 61-yard catch and run on the team's next possession. New Mexico State scored on a touchdown pass to Jordan Bergstrom on the next play.
Georgia Southern got its first passing touchdown of the year on a 60-yarder from Ellison to Fields before halftime. The pass put Ellison into the career 2,000 yard club for both rushing and passing.
It’s been 371 days since the Eagles had a passing touchdown, but what a way to break the streak as Ellison joins the 2K/2K club!— GS Football (@GSAthletics_FB) October 17, 2015
Georgia Southern led 35-7 at the half and the stands cleared rapidly from then on out. The second half featured touchdowns from Fields, Upshaw and Ramsby as the home team cruised down the stretch.
NMSU played somewhat better in the second half as well and added three of its own touchdowns to leave the final at 56-26.
With the homecoming sacrifice out the way, only four days stand between Georgia Southern and the matchup fans have been waiting for since the middle of the Western Michigan game. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern each stand at 5-1 with a massive showdown set for Thursday night.
With no other teams above .500 in the conference the matchup could be the defacto Sun Belt championship game. Boone will be rocking on Thursday night and hopefully a good number of Eagle fans have enough time off of work to make it to the mountains.