Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets have overcome sluggish first half starts in each of their first two football games in order to take their 2-0 record into Bobby Dodd Stadium to face the Georgia Southern Eagles.
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This is an intrastate rivalry for sure. You can bet that there are some players on the Georgia Southern roster that feel spurnged because Georgia Tech did not recruit them heavily, if at all.
That factor alone is going to make Saturday’s game epic. People around the state of Georgia have a pretty good idea who the Georgia Southern Eagles are, however, the rest of the nation would like an idea of who they are.
That is where this article comes in. Hopefully this will give some perspective in regards to who Georgia Southern is and how dangerous they actually are.
Georgia Southern University is located in Statesboro, GA and plays in a stadium that has Bermuda Grass–you know– kind of like the golf courses around the whole state of Georgia.
The thing about Georgia Southern football is no one is giving a golf clap to their performances. The applause is a little more resounding than that.
The Georgia Southern Eagles can play football–just ask the Florida Gators.
In 2013, Georgia Southern, led by then head coach, Jeff Monken, pulled off a statement upset over Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators 26-20 which was their first win against a Division I opponent in 21 attempts.
On that day, Georgia Southern totaled 429 yards of total offense and held the Gators to 279 yards of offense, despite the fact the Gators ran five more plays (62-57) and committed zero turnovers.
To add more perspective on that Eagles victory, Florida was up 10-0 before Georgia Southern rattled off 20 unanswered points.
Now keep in mind that all that happened while they were a Division I-AA school, they are in Division I now in the Sun Belt conference.
Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)
This season the Eagles are coached by Willie Fritz, and just in case there were any doubters when it came to their ability to compete with Division I competition, they opened up the season against North Carolina State and took them to the wire falling short 24-23 in Raleigh.
Georgia Southern actually led 20-10 deep into the third quarter before the Wolfpack came back and snatched the win.
The offensive output for the game was pretty even between the two teams with Georgia Southern accumulating 438 yards of offense and NC State tallying 464.
The Eagles came out the following week and took out their frustration on Savannah St. by spanking them 83-9.
Before moving up from Division I-AA football, the Eagles were a power in the FCS. The Eagles have six FCS National Championships to their credit with their last coming in 2000.
They have also made their presence felt recently by putting a scare in the Division I teams that they faced.
That is why Georgia Southern is not a game the Yellow Jackets can overlook by any means.
This would be defined as a trap game since Tech will be taking on Virginia Tech next Saturday. But looking ahead will get you in trouble every time.
Paul Johnson knows that he can’t look past Georgia Southern at all. He put it in pretty simple terms when asked about playing the Eagles in an article on foxnews.com:
Georgia Tech better be ready for a dogfight on Saturday. Georgia Southern missed in their first attempt to get a win over a “Power Six” Conference school this season, they are going to be even more focused to get that done the second time around.