The battle for the real GSU

Chris Smith

On Saturday, Georgia Southern University will travel up to Atlanta to face their in-state rival, Georgia State University. This is the ultimate battle for the right to be called the real GSU.

The last time Southern and State played in Atlanta, Eagles fans traveled well and turned the Georgia Dome into Paulson North by defeating them 69-31 in 2014. This team is different than the one two years ago. State got the better of Southern last year in Paulson Stadium, pulling off the upset and winning 34-7.

Injuries have been a nuisance to Southern all season long, and it showed last week against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. The Eagles were without co-starting quarterbacks Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw. Ellison missed the game last week due to an injury he sustained against Ole Miss. Upshaw has not played in a game since the Georgia Tech game. Coach Tyson Summers is hopeful that he will have either one or both of those players back this weekend.

“We should be able to have Kevin, and we are hoping to have Favian as well. Kevin is a little further ahead than Favian is,” coach Summers said.

By getting one of these two players back, possibly both, they will be able to get back to their option run attack. Last week, the team passed the ball 37 times compared to their 28 attempts on the ground. 

The running back situation did not look for the Eagles last week, either. Running back Wesley Fields missed the game last week due to injury, and L.A. Ramsby and Matt Breida struggled to get anything going on the ground. Ramsby appeared to limp off the field after he ran his second touchdown in against ULL.

As many fans know, the Eagles need to win out to get a chance for their second bowl berth in the school’s history. State has won two games this year and has undergone a coaching change, but they are not to be overlooked. One slip up against them and, the Eagles can kiss their season goodbye.

“We have two games left, and we need two games to get into a bowl game. This is an opportunity to send these seniors out right, and that’s the emphasis for me,” Summers said.

The two teams will kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday inside the Georgia Dome. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.