It’s hard to know what to say after such a game. It happened exactly how you thought it would, and yet still infuriated Georgia Southern fans, alumni and, I’m sure, coaches and players.
There’s still some time for great moments in 2017 in conference play and especially rivalry games. But that’s not gonna sound like much right now for Eagle Nation.
Southern came out of the gate with three three and outs, gaining a grand total of one yard of offense midway through the first quarter.
Indiana quickly made GS pay thanks to a Morgan Ellison run that capped off a 73-yard drive.
Following another Georgia Southern punt, Indiana put the squeeze on tighter with a 70-yard return to make it 14-0 with more than 6 minutes to go in the first period. It was the first time GS allowed a punt return touchdown since a game against Wofford in 2006. We all know who the head coach was that year. The linebackers coach was Tyson Summers.
As if it couldn’t get worse, on the next nap LA Ramsby fumbled, giving Indiana its first forced turnover of the entire season. That led to another touchdown, and at 21-0 the game was over at 4:56 of the first quarter.
GS turned it over on downs, quarterback Shai Werts lost a fumble, and Ellison and Indiana’s kicker scored to make it 31-0. The Hoosiers gained more rushing yards in the first half than they had in their first two games combined. What else needs to be said?
The Eagles’ lone highlight in half number one was a touchdown pass from Werts to Ellis Richardson, the first career TD pass for the former and the first TD catch for the latter.
By halftime, GS gained 26 passing yards, went 2 of 8 on 3rd down, committed 6 penalties for -43 yards, and lost two fumbles.
Georgia Southern down 31-7 to Indiana. That program is broken.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 23, 2017
The second half went somewhat better thanks to garbage time as Werts got another touchdown pass, this time to D’Ondre Glenn (fun fact: both Glenn and Richardson graduated from Douglas County High School. Why is that important? Because I’m from Douglas County, that’s why).
The fact that Georgia Southern got both touchdowns through the air speaks to the ineffectiveness of the supposedly resurrected triple option even though the Eagles rushed much more often than they passed on the afternoon.
With its first 0-3 start in 23 years, GS will hope for some relief in conference play. Next up is Arkansas State, who as I write this sits 1-1 with a close loss to Nebraska and and a blowout win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The game isn’t for a week and a half, coming in Statesboro Wednesday, Oct. 4. Perhaps the extra time and the travel will weaken the Red Wolves’ game.
Or, perhaps Southern doesn’t wait that long and makes a change at head coach or elsewhere in the interim.