Football season expected to finish 9-2

Cheney is a senior journalism major from Augusta. He is the current football reporter

Will Cheney

The Georgia Southern University football team opens its 2013 campaign against Savannah State University on Saturday.

GSU has a handful of key players returning for this season including senior quarterback Jerick McKinnon, junior running back Dominique Swope and senior defensive end Javon Mention, just to name a few.

McKinnon is coming off a junior season in which he ran for 1,817 yards and 20 touchdowns accompanied with seven passing touchdowns and only three interceptions. Swope gained 1,246 yards on the ground in addition to 17 total touchdowns. Both should contribute to another high-powered offense in 2013.

On the defensive side of the ball, Mention is coming off a season in which he sacked the opposing quarterback 6.5 times. Mention will surely cause a handful of problems for offensive lines again in 2013.

With the aforementioned student-athletes all being included on preseason national watch lists, GSU could be poised for a successful final act in the Southern Conference.

I believe GSU will handle SSU in the season opener. They will come out on top against Wofford College, who lost Eric Breitenstein, who rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2012. They will, however, hit a speed bump in Boone on Oct. 26 and lose another close one to Appalachian State University.

Playing App. State the past few seasons has not been an easy task for GSU, especially in Boone. GSU is 4-10-1 all-time on the road against App. State. An App. State team that is returning its starting quarterback and leading receiver matching up against a GSU defense that has lost the likes of Brent Russell and J.J. Wilcox could spell trouble for Coach Monken’s squad.

I see GSU closing out the season with a loss in Gainesville to the University of Florida and ending the 2013 season with a 9-2 mark.

Even though GSU is not eligible for the playoffs this season, a successful last season in the SoCon could propel GSU to hit the ground running next year in the Sun Belt Conference.

To see football editor Randall Hampton’s prediciton, click here  https://thegeorgeanne.com/?p=9472 .