Eagles fall to Panthers in rivalry game

Despite leading nearly the entire game, the Eagles fall in Atlanta

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Credit: Georgia Southern Athletics

DJ Cadden, Sports Correspondent

ATLANTA—After leading for nearly 50 minutes of game time, Georgia Southern fell to Georgia State 30-24 on Saturday. This game was yet another example of the Eagle simply failing to close out an opponent at the end of a game.

Georgia Southern came out strong to begin the game on a picturesque Saturday afternoon as they quickly jumped out to a 14-3 lead. Despite losing Wesley Kennedy to suspension and JD King to injury, it looked as if the Eagle rushing game did not miss a beat without their two headliners.

In the fourth quarter, after a Shai Werts injury, Justin Tomlin was forced to quarterback the Eagles in crunch time for a second straight game. This game, just like last week, Tomlin threw a crucial interception that more or less decided the game.

Georgia Southern would struggle to counter their run game with anything through the air as Werts and Tomlin were a combined 6-10 for just 74 yards and an interception. If the Eagles want to be successful, even as an option team, the passing game must be more effective.

On the defensive side, it was more of the same for the Eagles. The defensive line, missing CJ Wright after his arrest, gave up just 55 total rushing yards.

The secondary, weakened by the loss of Chris Harris Jr, gave up 372 yards through the air. Despite having an interception, the Eagle secondary struggled mightily, giving up numerous big plays that would later result in scores for the Panthers.

After Saturday, Georgia State now leads the rivalry series with a record of four wins and three losses. This is the first Eagle loss in the series since November of 2017.

The Eagles now look to shift their focus to next Saturday’s matchup as Florida Atlantic visits Statesboro. The game is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN+.