College Football Preview: The 2015 Georgia Southern Eagles
Georgia Southern Eagles Preview
2014 Record: 9-3
The Georgia Southern Eagles did the unthinkable in their first FBS campaign with a 9-3 record and an 8-0 mark in the Sun Belt.
Overview: The Georgia Southern Eagles dominated the Sun Belt with their option that averaged 39 points but proved they were more then a one trick pony with a stingy defense that allowed just 23 points. Willie Fritz has to live up to high expectations already but will have to rebuild his offensive line in 2015 to duplicate the first year success.
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Offense: Quarterback Kevin Ellison only threw 128 times and connected on 55.5% for 1,001 yards but 37 catches and over 600 yards departed with Zach Walker and Kentrellis Showers leaving BJ Johnson (23-312) and six players that combined for 24 receptions to carry the load. Matt Breida paced a bruising rushing attack with 1,485 yards and an 8.7 yard average with 17 touchdowns while Ellison totaled 1,108 yards and averaged just over six yards per touch. LA Ramsby added almost 700 yards with backup QB Favian Upshaw posting 385 yards on 9.6 yards per touch. The O-Line loses four starters although a few have seen the field because of injuries.
Defense: The defensive line returns six of their top seven with each logging at least three TFL and a sack as the Eagles kept fresh legs on the field with a deep rotation. The linebacking unit loses top tackler Edwin Jackson (79T) but returns two starters and five others that saw the field so the front seven will not be lacking in the experience department. On paper the defense was easier to throw on then to run on but the secondary has plenty of leadership with six seniors while a slew of incoming highly ranked freshman will likely get their feet wet and contribute while gaining some experience.
Special Teams: Ryan Nowicki only averaged around 40 yards on 34 punts but few were returned while Alex Hanks was 8-12 on field goals but didn’t show a lot of range. Derek Keaton and Montay Crockett were solid kick returners but the Eagles lost both of their punt returners.
Outlook: Georgia Southern has questions on the offensive line and receiving corps while the defense does tend to give up yards but not points. Having said that they don’t face either conference heavyweights ULL or Arkansas State which leaves the door open for another Sun Belt title.