Game #3. The Eagles of Georgia Southern University
A preseason preview of the Catamount's third opponent of the 2011 football season, preseason #1 ranked Georgia Southern Eagles.
Western's first conference road game comes as the Catamounts travel to Statesboro, Ga. to Paulson Stadium to meet Georgia Southern for the 22d time. The Cats will face the triple option offense for the second time in three games in this young football season. GSU currently owns a 19-2 overall record against the Catamounts.
Jeff Monken enters his second season as head coach of the Eagles, coming off an initial 10-5 season, going 3 games deep into the NCAA Div. I football playoff series. In Monken's initial season as a head coach, he defeated 5 ranked teams, and lead the Eagles into the FCS playoffs for their first appearance since 2002.
The Eagle have a total of 48 letterwinners returning (19 on offense, 25 on defense, & 4 on special teams) which includes a total of 23 starters returning from the 2010 team (all 11 on offense, 9 on defense, & 3 on special teams). Jaybo Shaw will again be leading the Eagles at quarterback. Shaw throw for over 1200 yards last season, including 5 touchdowns, rushing for 514 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running back Robert Brown rushed for 1,004 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Returning senior and cornerback Laron Scott set two school records in 2010, the single season record for interceptions, & for kick off returns (yardage).
WCU connections: Two former WCU players are assistant coaches on the Eagle staff. John Scott (2000) - Defensive line/Special Teams Coordinator (2d season) and Lamont Seward (2003) - Wide Receivers (2d season)
Game Prediction: Georgia Southern has a very experienced team returning, losing only two of their 2010 starting 22. The Eagles won 28-6 in Cullowhee and will be coming off a home game with Tusculum. WCU: 17 GSU: 21