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  • 2013 Week One Recap

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    GSU Offense:
    The Eagles started out of the 2013 gates sluggish, putting just seven points on the board in the first quarter of a game vs. Savannah State when conventional wisdom was predicting an early dismantling of the Tigers. The Eagles had two early scoring opportunities but a missed field goal followed by a blocked field goal seemed to pick up right where the 2012 season ended.

    Jerick McKinnon though was able to muster the offense into gear, as the Eagles put together solid scoring drives for a 28-0 lead at the half. The second half was highlighted by the play of Kevin Ellison at QB, who along with Vegas Harley directed multiple scoring drives the remainder of the game. Perimeter blocking seemed to be good especially in the 2nd half. The Eagles compiled 651 yards on the day, while putting 77 points on the board. The total results were overwhelming, however it has to be taken in context of the opponent.


    GSUFANS.com Offensive Play of the Game: Jerick McKinnon’s 1st quarter TD run shook the Eagles out of the doldrums and started the offensive barrage.

    Grade: A


    GSU Defense:
    The biggest question entering the season was who would replace the void created by the departure of seniors JJ Wilcox, Darius Eubanks, Brent Russell and Dion Dubose ? Well, that question has multiple answers and early results indicate a bevy of new Eagles lined up and ready to make an impact.

    Twenty four Eagle defenders recorded tackles on the night, but new faces like Tay Hicklin, Darius Jones and Darius Safford were active and making impacts felt far beyond the tackles. Jonathan Battle, Rashad Williams, Rafael Hardee and Jay Ellison all saw time in their bid to compete across the defensive line for playing time. The Eagles aim for a shutout was denied after a Savannah St. 4th down conversion and a safety late in the game.


    GSUFANS.com Defensive Play of the Game: Val Cooper’s interception stuffed one of the few Savannah State offensive charges during the game:


    Grade: A

    GSU Special Teams: After the 2012 season, most Eagle fans would point towards Special Teams play as an area of concern entering the 2013 season. With the loss of JJ Wilcox to the NFL and his explosive return ability, the job has passed to Jonathan Bryant, Kentrellis Showers and Montay Crockett. Bryant has been fearless in the punt return game, but this also has the capacity to be a high risk endeavor. Alex Hanks looked strong on kickoffs, having plenty of opportunities to put it in the endzone.


    Placements were handled chiefly by Connor Tierney. Tierney was out of sync on his first attempt, and rushed the kick which he pushed to the right. His second attempt was low and was blocked. Tierney’s third FG attempt was good and true, however due to a personal foul the Eagles elected to take the points off the board and proceeded to score a touchdown. Senior Luke Cherry was responsible for the only GSU punt of the evening, a punt he likely wish he had the opportunity to redo.


    Kickoff return coverage by the Eagles needs some work. Savannah State started inside the 20 on a couple of occasions, but also had some nice returns.


    GSUFANS.com Special Teams Play of the Game: Josh Rowe’s tackle of DeQuan Daniels. Daniels, a Statesboro High product had several nice returns in the game however tried a fancy spin move at mid field that drew Rowe’s attention. Rowe instantly halted Daniel’s progress and decleated Daniels with one of the best tackles in the game.


    Grade: B-