STATESBORO, Ga. — Georgia Southern sophomore cornerback Nic Wright has some experience playing against Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
Two years ago, Wright’s high school, Martin Luther King, in Lithonia, Ga., met Heinicke-led Collins Hill in a nonregion football game.
Martin Luther King won, but it wasn’t easy.
“I think he threw for about 300 yards against us,” Wright said, about MLK’s 43-36 victory.
Wright gets a second meeting with the quarterback threatening to break the Football Championship Subdivision’s all-time single-season passing yards mark Saturday when fifth-seeded Georgia Southern travels to fourth-seeded Old Dominion for a quarterfinal playoff game.
“He’s real good, reads coverage well. It will be a real good challenge,” Wright said.
A week ago, Wright was thrown in a pressure-cooker situation, getting his first collegiate start because starter Valdon Cooper was being disciplined by coach Jeff Monken.
Wright and the entire Georgia Southern secondary held up well against Central Arkansas’ high-powered passing attack that entered the game completing almost 68 percent of its passes while averaging 268 yards a game. But the Bears’ all-conference quarterback, Wynrick Smothers, completed only 16 of 41 passes for 251 yards against the Eagles.
Wright came up with a big play late in the fourth quarter when he stripped Bears wide receiver Dezmin Lewis. The fumble was recovered by Deion Stanley and ended Central Arkansas’s last possession.
“It was great to see Nic get out there and compete,” Georgia Southern defensive coordinator Jack Curtis said. “No one fully understands what those corners go through when the game is on the line. You’re one on one against a guy and the ball’s coming and you have to make a play.”
LOCAL VIEWING PARTY: Somewhere in Augusta, located at 2820 Washington Road, will hold a viewing party for the Eagles’ game with Old Dominion at noon Saturday.