Eagles rout ULM in Monroe behind a strong rushing attack and a stingy defense

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Robert George

The Georgia Southern Eagles routed the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Saturday, running away with a 51-31 victory over the conference foe. The win improved the Eagle’s record to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Sun Belt.

The Eagles rushed for 455 yards on 67 carries en route to 503 total yards of offense., the second most total yardage in a game this season. Matt Breida once again led the rushing attack with a smooth 149 yards on just 19 carries, including touchdown runs from six and 19 yards out, giving him 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. LA Ramsby, usually known for his quick cutting and punishing style of running, showed off his speed on a 41-yard scamper on 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter after ULM cut the lead to just seven points. “I knew I needed to stuff it in there and get the yard,” Ramsby said in an interview after the game. “A hole opened up to the left and all I saw was green grass.”

Ramsby finished the night with 99 yards and a pair of scores on 13 carries. Freshman running back Wesley Fields continues to impress with his skills, rushing for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. He continued to show a nose for the goal line, punching in touchdown runs from one and four yards out.

Coach Fritz was happy with the rushing attack against the Warhawks, and gives much of the credit to the blockers. “We ran the ball extremely well,” he said in an interview following the game. “All that doesn’t happen with out the offensive line, the wide receivers and tight ends.”

When all three running backs are on, this offense can be downright unstoppable. The Eagles have rushed for over 400 yards in three games this season and have scored at least five rushing touchdowns in every game this season, with the game against West Virginia being the exception. Breida has been the headliner of this talented trio, and with good reason. He has rightly put himself in the #BreidaForHeisman campaign as he is legitimately one of the best running backs in the nation. He leads the nation in yards per carry, is tied for second in rushing touchdowns, and fourth in rushing yards despite having the least amount of carries of the top 10 ranked rushers.

So take those stats and add Ramsby slicing up and punishing would-be tacklers, and Fields as the perfect mix of his teammate’s skills? That’s a recipe for disaster for the rest of the Sun Belt. And running the offense is a duo of talented and experienced signal callers in Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw, a tandem that has shown the ability to run the offense and be playmakers themselves this season.

The offense is clicking on all cylinders going into the bye week, and will look to keep their foot on the gas the rest of the season.

Defensively, the Eagles swarmed the ball all night and came away with three interceptions. Matt Dobson and Darius Jones got their first picks of the season, and Antonio Glover picked off his team-leading fourth of the year. Coach Fritz complimented the defense following the game. “We got some takeaways and tackled well and kept them from running the ball effectively,” he said. The Eagle linebackers in particular were solid, as Ironhead Gallon led the defense with 11 total tackles, and Antwione Williams had seven tackles and a sack.

The special teams made an impacted the game as well. Ironhead Gallon blocked the Warhawks first punt attempt, and Ken Butler scooped and scored to get the Eagles on the board. Alex Hanks nailed a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter, and is now 8-9 on field goals this season.

This was a complete team win. The offense ran all over ULM, the defense was relentless, and the special teams did their jobs in the statement victory. If the Eagles can keep playing at this level, another Sun Belt Championship could be in the works.