Georgia Southern Football: 2018 Season Preview

Georgia Southern Football: 2018 Season Preview

By Ethan Smith, News Editor

The Southern Pride Band plays one of GSU’s fight songs during team practice. The band usually consists of around 100-200 members and has been active since 1982. The band also leads kickoff and touchdown chants at every home and away game. The band at one time had members of its drumline perform on the David Letterman Show. Photo by Ethan Smith.

The Chad Lunsford era of GSU football officially kicks off this Saturday. Once again, the Eagles, under a new head coach once again following the dismissal of Tyson Summers, express the motive to improve from their 2-10 season last year. Here is what you could expect from the Eagles for the 2018 season.

The Eagles will play six home games for the first time since 2015, two of those being played to open the season. The Eagles kick off their season this Saturday with a game against South Carolina State, a team that the Eagles have never lost to once within their seven meetings. The Eagles will also play Clemson, a member of the College Football Playoff last season that lost to Alabama in the semifinal. The Tigers are ranked number two in the preseason poll, so the biggest foe of the season is evident to Lunsford’s team.

Jillian Scelsi and a Georgia Southern tailgate member take a picture with Gus. Gus is GSU’s number one fan and is everywhere at almost every atheltic event. He is an energetic part of the GSU student body and pumps up everyone no matter what the setting. Photo by Ethan Smith.

The Eagles are bringing back loads of talent from last season with the likes of senior Wesley Fields, sophomore Shai Werts and senior Logan Hunt. Watch out for redshirt-freshman Grant Walker and true freshman CJ Wright as they look to make an impact in their first seasons with the Eagles. The offense looks to improve after a subpar season last year while the defense has returning starters that look to shut down opposing offenses.

Starting QB Shai Werts speaks with a coach after running some plays in a drill. Werts started 11 games last season for the Eagles as a freshman. He finished with 929 passing yards, a record for a freshman at the school. He also had 722 rushing yards to add to his impressive stats on offense and looks to improve on them this season. Photo by Ethan Smith.

Coach Lunsford gave his insight into Armstrong students’ prospective involvement this season,

“People will come to Paulson and see a great gameday environment. They’ll see a great atmosphere. They’ll have a lot of fun. It’s about Georgia Southern winning football games. If Georgia Southern wins football games, people are going to come. So, it’s making sure we do that to ensure people can come to games and have a good time.”

With the transformation of going back to the triple option and a 3-4 defense, the Eagles are treading in the right direction under coach Lunsford. With favorable matchups against the Sun Belt Conference in Paulson’s top competition, the Eagles could surprise many people in the college football scene. The Eagles should nearly run the table at home, despite potentially losing one contest in Paulson. That would lead them to an end-of-campaign impressive 8-4 (6-3) record.

Jeremy Clark, JJ Roach, Chang Weng and Deandre Bryan got their free t-shirts from Fan Fest. The event included free food and drinks, a poster for the 2018 football season, free viewing of the team’s practice and autographs after the practice was over. Photo by Ethan Smith.