Eagles Road to a Bowl

Marqus Williams

The Georgia Southern Eagles (4-5) and the Ole Miss Rebels (4-5) came into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium searching for a crucial win on the road to bowl eligibility Saturday.

The Rebels ended up beating the Eagles 37-27 to capture their first win since beating Memphis Oct. 1 and set the Eagles on a two-game skid. Though the Eagles kept it close, the loss puts them in danger of not making a bowl game this season and kept the Rebels hopes alive.

Georgia Southern (4-5)

After starting 3-0 to begin the season, the Eagles have won only one out of their last six games.

In that span, they average 19.6 points per game and have given up 33.5 points per game in that six-game stretch. The games have been against quality opponents in Western Michigan, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss but they haven’t looked like the same Eagle team fans have known to see in past years.

The main reason for this is because the Eagles have been lacking luster on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 339 total yards per game with a -1 turnover differential in the six-game span. They haven’t been able to establish their rushing attack as they average 4.4 yards per carry for the season compared to the 6.5 yards per carry they had last year.

The Eagles host Louisiana-Lafayette (3-5) this Thursday on ESPNU for their homecoming game as this game is a must-win for the Eagles. With games remaining against the Rajin’ Cajuns, Georgia State (2-7) and Troy (7-1), the room for error is slim.

The Eagles need two more wins to become bowl eligible and though their next two opponents come in with a combined record of 5-12, the Eagles can’t afford to take them lightly.

The good news for the Eagles is since changing play-calling duties last Saturday, the Eagles showed flashes of their offensively potential rushing for 267 yards against the Rebels and going 9-20 on third down conversions.

Last week was also the first time this season running back, Matt Breida, ran for over 100 yards as he moved into fourth on Georgia’s all-time FBS rushing list.

If the Eagles can continue to improve on offense and minimize the amount of snaps the defense is on the field, they have a good chance of winning enough games to become bowl eligible for the second straight year.