After going 9-3 in their first season as an FBS program, the Georgia Southern Eagles are heading into the 2015-16 season with some significant momentum on their side. They will look to continue this when they host the Western Michigan Broncos on September 12, after traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia for a matchup with the Mountaineers.
Georgia Southern is most remembered by most fans as the team that beat Florida without completing a pass (0-3) while WMU has the "best recruiter in the nation" according to a recruit, that would be Head Coach PJ Fleck.
The Eagles run an adjusted version of the triple option. Thus the success for the Eagles in the 2014 season starts in the backfield, where returning quarterback Kevin Ellison and running back Matt Breida each rushing for over 1,000 yards.
Last season, teams tested the arm strength of Ellison. Ellison made them pay given the opportunity, and his accuracy improved every game. Ellison threw for 1,001 yards to go along with being second on the team with 1,187 rushing yards. Wide receiver BJ Johnson will return for his junior season after collecting 23 catches for 312 yards with a trio of touchdowns.
Defensively, this is a unit that will return eight starters from last season including the entire defensive line (combined 11.5 sacks). The biggest loss for the Eagles defensively is linebacker Edwin Jackson, recording 100 tackles (four for loss).Senior middle line backer Antwione Williams is the leading returning tackler from '14 (65 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks).
While this program is only in their second season as a FBS program, this Eagles team returns 3 of their 4 impact players from last season, and the offense has the potential to be just as electrifying as last season if not more.
The winner of this game is going to look back at this game and how it was used as a springboard for the respective season going into conference play. Whether that is Western Michigan or not, all eyes on you, P.J. Fleck.