McKinnon has career day, leads Eagles to win

Kevin Gregan

Junior quarterback Jerick McKinnon appeared to catch the Bears in a state of hibernation on Saturday as he had a career day, leading the Eagles to the quarterfinals.

McKinnon ran for 316 yards, a career-high, and was responsible for all three of the Georgia Southern University touchdowns versus the University of Central Arkansas.

“Credit goes to the whole offense, those stats might be under my name but the other ten guys that were on the field did a great job. We had great perimeter blocking and the offensive line opened up holes,” McKinnon said.

While setting a GSU record for rushing yards gained by a quarterback, Mckinnon came close to breaking the school record for rushing yards in a game set by Eagle great, running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson ran for 333 yards against the University of Massachusetts during the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision in 1999.

The Southern Conference did not start considering playoff games when it comes to records until 2000, so the current SoCon record for an individual rushing performance belongs to Wofford College halfback Eric Breitenstein.

McKinnon was only five yards away from tying Breitenstein’s record of 321 yards, which he set earlier this year against Elon University.

Head coach Jeff Monken was happy with the performance by McKinnon.

“He’s strong. We needed a bunch of yards out of him, and he did a good job,” Monken said.

McKinnon had some big plays through the air. He only completed two of his seven passes, and one was intercepted, but his two completions were big plays.

“He made some nice throws. He does what he needs to do to help our offense flow,” Monken said.”

The first completion for McKinnon came on a play-action pass up the middle to senior a-back Darreion Robinson, who scored on the 32-yard pass to put the Eagles up 14-3 in the first quarter.

McKinnon’s other completion, was a deep 47-yard pass with a yet another nice catch from sophomore receiver Zach Walker.

The play was part of the drive that led to the 47-yard field goal from freshman kicker Alex Hanks that put the Eagles up 24-6.

McKinnon and the Eagles can be witnessed on Saturday at noon on ESPN as they face their next challenge, the Old Dominion University, in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.