New Georgia Southern Eagles head coach Chad Lunsford is already making a statement with some of the new hires to run both sides of the ball. Bryan Cook is out as OC after enjoying a nice cup of coffee in Statesboro. In his place will be former New Mexico OC Bob DeBesse. On defense, former Appalachian State assistant Scot Sloan replaces Lorenzo Costantini.
Let’s learn a little more about each:
Cook’s approach was a smorgasbord of schemes notable only for their lack of cohesiveness. When the team was in its “gun option” look (a generous term for the unit) the offense was an absolute disaster.
So what did Lunsford do? He went out and got someone who knows a thing or two about running the football.
Enter Bob DeBesse:
DeBesse was most recently the offensive coordinator for New Mexico for six seasons and worked for a year under former Eagles’ head coach Willie Fritz at Sam Houston State from 2010-11.
Under DeBesse’s tutelage, the Lobos finished first in the FBS in rushing in 2016, with an average of 350 yards per game on the ground. Even in a ‘down year’ like 2017, the Lobos still ranked in the top 20 rushing offenses in the nation, averaging 235 yards on the ground.
Any of this look familiar?
I remember hearing fans asking for DeBesse to at least be interviewed for the Georgia Southern head coaching spot after the departure of Fritz, so the explosiveness shown by his offensive schemes will be a welcome substitution for the I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I’m-doing attitude of the unit under Cook.
The best part of all of this news is that we have something definite and concrete to pitch to potential offensive recruits. A year ago, we had no idea what sort of offense was going to be run, and it showed in recruiting as the Eagles finished fifth in the conference on Signing Day 2017, according to 247 Sports.
Ever since 2015, rival Appalachian State has given Georgia Southern the absolute blues on both sides of the ball, with the Eagles struggling to match the intensity of the Mountaineers’ defense.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Lunsford went out and got one of App’s defensive coordinators in Scot Sloan.
While Georgia Southern has rocked the 4-3 defensive look for several years now, it will be interesting to see if the team switches to the 3-4 scheme that App has employed to such great effect.
Either way, the Eagles will need to find a way to get pressure on the quarterback has the unit only registered 33 sacks during the past two seasons, and Sloan’s prowess hopefully can fix a leaky Southern secondary that allowed 230 yards per game through the air in 2017.
Sloan’s experience in Georgia should also help in recruiting, as the new defensive coordinator had also been the Mountaineers recruiting coordinator since 2012.
With a young team and a 2018 recruiting class that currently only has three 3-star commits to its name, there will be a lot of work to be done when Sloan hits the recruiting trail.