PREVIEW: Strong Georgia Southern defense to take on a strong Cajun offense

Kaitlin Sells

As seen in past games, the highlight of the Georgia Southern football team has been on the defensive side of the ball. 

Georgia Southern 1-2 (0-0)

The Eagle defense has made huge plays for GS so far this season, and really shone against Minnesota where the Eagles logged two defensive touchdowns.

Redshirt-junior captain Rashad Byrd is a name that has become a big one for the Eagles, as the linebacker leads the defense with 31 tackles on the season. Byrd played a huge role in the defense specifically against Minnesota, where he logged 11 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery which he returned for 44 yards to score a touchdown. His touchdown gave GS a brief lead over the Gophers, as well as a brief hope for an upset. 

Byrd is fully prepared and knows what he will be facing up against in the Cajun offense which has put up impressive numbers this season as well as ranking nationally when it comes to rushing yards per game and total offensive yards on the season.

“They’re kind of their own deal,” Byrd said. “[Their coach] knows a lot of pretty good offensive schemes. They like to run the ball a lot, and we like to stop the run as well. We’re looking to make sure we do our salvage because the quarterback is really athletic, he can make nothing into something. So what he does is make sure that we keep him contained.”

Senior cornerback Monquavion Brinson is also one to expect to see on the gridiron as he’s beginning to show out this season- notching 15 tackles and three pass breakups overall. The senior also scored for the first time against Minnesota after recovering a blocked field goal and returning it for 77 yards.

Someone who hasn’t produced too much, but came into the season expecting a lot is senior cornerback Kindle Vildor. He hasn’t shown much notable action, only logging three tackles on the season and one pass breakup. This game against Louisiana could be Vildor’s chance to start conference play off strong.

Louisiana 3-1 (0-0)

The Ragin’ Cajuns are currently on a three-game win streak, and much of that success is due to a strong defensive line.

With the exception of giving up 38 points to Mississippi State, UL’s defense has held their opponents to low scoring games. They are currently coming off a 45-25 win over Ohio, where the Bobcats made it to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ red-zone three times but were only able to successfully find the endzone twice. 

Someone the Eagle offense needs to be prepared for is redshirt-senior defensive back Michael Jacquet III. The redshirt-senior has notched 14 tackles on the season, including a sack results in five yards lost. He’s also had two pass breakups, one forced fumble, and an interception this season.

As a team the Cajun defense put up 59 tackles against their previous opponent, Ohio. They also logged an impressive number of three interceptions as well as one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. 

The Georgia Southern offense will have their work cut out for them as they host the Ragin’ Cajuns Saturday, with kickoff being slated for 6 p.m.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, [email protected]