Eagles travel to Atlanta

Hayden Boudreaux

After notching an impressive win over Savannah State last weekend the Georgia Southern football team will travel to Atlanta to take on the undefeated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

While Georgia Tech does enter the game with two wins under the belt, it is important to note that their level of competition. Their first win, was a 38-19 game over FCS opponent Wofford College. Their second came against winless Tulane University whom are experiencing a year of rebuilding. However, Georgia Tech is an experienced FBS program and is coached by former Eagle Head Coach Paul Johnson, who brought the team to three national championships and won two along with the Division I-AA Coach of the Year award in 1999 and 2000.

At quarterback for the Yellow Jackets will be redshirt sophomore Justin Thomas, who has started both games this season and saw time in 10 games last season as a backup. Thomas has gone 14 of 23 for 298 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He is also the second leading rusher on the team, averaging 6.1 yards per carry and has totaled for 141 yards on the ground.

In the backfield with Thomas will be redshirt senior fullback Zach Laskey and running back Tony Zenon. Laskey leads the team in rushing with 156 yards and Zenon comes in at third with 86. The two running backs are polar opposites, with Laskey being the bruiser while Zenon is small and considered the fastest person on the roster. The Yellow Jackets will try and pound with Laskey up the middle to draw in the Eagle linebackers to give Zenon room on the outside.

On the defensive side of the ball for Tech, the Eagle Head Coach Willie Fritz will be able to show off his new spread option offense. While Johnson did coach at Georgia Southern this is not his typical triple option attack. However, it is important to note that both teams see the option every day in practice and have since they first stepped on the practice field at their respective school. This experience could make for a low scoring affair.

Leading the attack on the Georgia Tech defense will be sophomore linebacker Paul Davis, who has 10 solo tackles on the year. He is flanked by last year’s preseason all-conference linebacker Quayshawn Nealy. The redshirt senior has done his share to impress this season with 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss and in interception against Tulane.

The good news for the Eagles is that after the beat down of Savannah State last week, most of the starters got a chance to rest their legs and let younger players get experience. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Ellison threw only two passes and remained in the game for only three total drives before sending in promising backup sophomore Favian Upshaw. Ellison’s rushing and passing in the first two games has been impressive with a 61 completion percentage and two touchdowns in the air and 150 yards on the ground.

After last week the Eagles have three running backs with over 100 yards on the season. We will expect to see sophomore Matt Brieda who has started the last two games and rushed for three touchdowns. Newer faces to watch for are seniors Brandon Thomas and Ean Days who both rushed over 100 yards last week and combined for three touchdowns.

Senior receiver Kentrellis Showers will also be looking to have a big day as he climbs up the all-time receiving touchdown list at Georgia Southern. This season he has grabbed five passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Edwin Jackson will lead the defensive wall of the Eagles. Jackson leads the team with 14 tackles. Senior cornerback Nick Wright is also having a big year with 10 tackles and 3 pass deflections. It is important to note that the starting and backup defensive players did not allow a touchdown last week against Savannah State

Georgia Tech has the upper hand in the experience department, but the Eagles are on a roll and their confidence is high after last week. The Yellow Jackets are still searching to gain some confidence and will look for the Eagles to be a stepping stone to remain undefeated moving into conference play. For the Eagles, a win would be an even bigger confidence boost and their first FBS win heading into their own Sun Belt schedule.

The in-state showdown is set to kickoff at noon on Saturday and will be aired on the ACC network.