Georgia Southern travels to Montgomery for the battle of Eagle supremacy in Camellia bowl

Ryan Kostensky

Georgia Southern heads south to just their second bowl game in program history, this time to Montgomery, Alabama for the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.

Much like the GoDaddy Bowl in 2015, GS will be facing off against a Mid-American Conference team against the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

EMU comes into the game at 7-5, knocking off Purdue in the process. The Eagles went 5-3 in MAC play, winning five of their last six games.

So what’s it going to take for GS to pull off their first 10-win season as an FBS team?

Much like their road victories against Coastal Carolina and Georgia State, the offense will have to continue to roll. Throughout the course of the regular season, the Eagles averaged, 31.08 points per game while holding opponents to 21.58 points per game.

GS has been chock-full of talent on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, but no one has had a better turnaround from last year that redshirt-sophomore quarterback Shai Werts.

A year after the well-documented 2-10 season, Werts and the GS offense have looked completely different. The QB has accounted for 23 touchdowns this season, with 13 coming on the ground while 10 came through the air, and has yet to throw an interception all year. Almost just as impressive as the touchdown-to-interception ratio, the redshirt-sophomore has averaged 69 yards rushing per game.

For the offense to continue rolling, the Eagles will have to rely on Werts, as well as senior running back Wesley Fields, who has played a monster role in his final season in the blue and white. Fields has rushed for 959 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games played this season, with a long of 64 against rival GSU, and stands just 41 yards away from a 1,000 yard rushing season. As was the case with the prior two games, if the Eagles are going to win, Fields needs to find the end zone at least once.

The GS defense has been nothing but special from start to finish this year, leading the nation in turnover margin. The Eagles have a +22 thus far with one game remaining, recovering 12 fumbles while intercepting the opposing quarterback 15 times, all while just turning the ball over five times, all via fumbles.

One of the most impressive stats on the season for the defensive squad, led by defensive coordinator Scot Sloan, is the performance against the College Football Playoff-bound Clemson Tigers. Although the Eagles lost the game rather handily, the defense recorded three turnovers, including an interception from the second-team All-American cornerback Kindle Vildor, who leads the team with four interceptions on the season. For GS to be successful against EMU, the defense will have to continue their stellar season.

As the Eagles get ready for their final game of the 2018 season, Eagle Nation has completely bought in, and has seen support like many teams in the nation never see.

{{tncms-inline account=”Cole Swindell” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">WHO NEEDS A RIDE FROM ATL TO MONTGOMERY THIS WEEKEND?! TICKETS TO THE <a href="https://twitter.com/CamelliaBowl?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CamelliaBowl</a> INCLUDED! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GATA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GATA</a>Check out <a href="https://t.co/4LPNAUXdSk">https://t.co/4LPNAUXdSk</a> for more details <a href="https://t.co/r0CQlN01Jx">pic.twitter.com/r0CQlN01Jx</a></p>— Cole Swindell (@coleswindell) <a href="https://twitter.com/coleswindell/status/1072261479779323904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 10, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/coleswindell/status/1072261479779323904″ type=”twitter”}}

After it was announced that GS would be heading to Montgomery for their bowl game, head coach Chad Lunsford fronted a bus to ensure that students could make it to cheer on their team. And if that wasn’t enough, Cole Swindell, the country music superstar, and one of GS’ most notable alumni, provided a second bus so that even more students could make it.

Kickoff for GS’ 2018 season finale from the historic Cramton Bowl is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Eastern, and will be aired on ESPN.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, [email protected]