Georgia Southern’s season opener with Savannah State is quickly approaching. Given the history of Savannah State football and the meetings between the two programs, the Eagles should see this as nothing more than a glorified scrimmage.
Here are four things fans should all expect out of Georgia Southern this Saturday:
What to Expect From Georgia Southern vs. Savannah State
1. More than 20 passes
A lot has been said on this site about the Eagles needing to improve their passing game and their efforts to do just that. Savannah State would be perfect opponent to get some passing practice before the schedule heats up.
The Eagles won’t need to pass the ball much to win. They could probably just fine handing off to Matt Breida, L.A. Ramsby and Wesley Fields, get 400 rushing yards and be just fine. But they need to pass the ball to get Kevin Ellison comfortable and confident passing for when they’ll need to in the future.
Their leading receiver from 2015, B.J. Johnson returns. But he only had 15 catches for 249 yards. His role should be amplified this year and he should receive his fair share of passes against Savannah State. With a good stable of backs, we should see several passes to running backs coming out of the backfield.
2. More than 50 points for the Eagles offense
Georgia Southern is 11-0 against Savannah State. In those 11 games the Eagles offense averages 45.5 points. In their last two meetings the Eagles scored 77 points in 2013 and 83 points in 2014.
Since then Savannah State hasn’t gotten any better, they’re still a team that only wins one or zero games a year. Georgia Southern however has a very mature offense with Breida and Ellison going into their senior seasons and Ramsby becoming a junior.
Whether the Eagles run the ball 45 times or open up their passing game, they are the superior team and one of their hobbies is beating up on Savannah State.
3. Less than 10 points for the Tigers offense
In the 11 meetings between these two schools, Savannah State averages just 5.8 points per game. They’ve only scored more than 10 points once and the Eagles have shut them out twice.
While the offense is a weapon for Georgia Southern, the defense is their backbone. They return six starters and all of them are on the front seven. That one open spot on the front seven is being replaced by Ukeme Eligwe who played a big part on Florida State’s 2013 national title team.
As stated before, Savannah State isn’t improving while Georgia Southern is getting better. Expect your typical, Georgia Southern thrashing of Savannah State.
4. 350 plus rushing yards by Georgia Southern
Do I really need to go into much detail? When you add backup quarterback Favian Upshaw, Georgia Southern’s top five rushers combined for 4,589 yards last year. That’s an average of 353 yards per game. And all five up them return with another year of experience. They should have no problem running free this Saturday.