Jaguars come to Statesboro looking to put last year’s blowout behind them

Ryan Kostensky

After their thrilling win at home against Arkansas State, a game that went back-and-forth and down to the wire until the very end, the Eagles look to continue their winning ways as they welcome in Sun Belt foe, South Alabama.

South Alabama travels to the friendly confines of Paulson Stadium leading the West Division of the conference. Despite a 1-4 record, the team looks to slow down the upstart Eagles.

Georgia Southern leads the all-time series 4-0, including a 52-0 drubbing of the Jaguars by a then winless GS team in Statesboro in 2017.

Under new head coach Steve Campbell, South Alabama has played better on the offensive side of the ball as compared to the defensive. The offense is ranked 100th out of the 130 teams in Division-1 FBS football, averaging 24.4 points per game.

The Jaguars are led by senior quarterback Evan Orth, who has thrown for 1,014 yards with six touchdowns to just two interceptions.

Most of the yards on the ground are gained by running back Tra Minter and wide receiver Kawaan Baker. The duo has combined for more than 300 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Baker also leads the team in receiving touchdowns with three.

South Alabama comes into the game ranked 127th out of the 130 teams on the defensive side of the ball, allowing on average 44 points per game. In three of their losses, the opponent scored more than 50 points, including at No. 25 Oklahoma State, where they lost 55-13; Group of Five powerhouse Memphis, where they lost 52-35; and the Sun Belt front-runner, Appalachian State, where they lost 52-7.

In order to stop GS’ ground-and-pound option offense, the Jaguars need to force all running plays up the middle, versus outside toward the sideline, all the while being cognizant of the arm of Shai Werts, which has been on display much of the season.

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