Eagles' unlikely playoff run ends

Eagles' unlikely playoff run ends

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NEWARK, Del. --- It was hardly by mistake that Georgia Southern made its best run in years and advanced to the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision.

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Georgia Southern quarterback Jaybo Shaw fumbles on a hit from Delaware linebacker Paul Worrilow (10). It was one of five Eagles turnovers.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Georgia Southern quarterback Jaybo Shaw fumbles on a hit from Delaware linebacker Paul Worrilow (10). It was one of five Eagles turnovers.

But mistakes doomed the Eagles on Saturday and they will not be playing for a seventh national championship.

Georgia Southern lost four fumbles and suffered a late interception and lost to Delaware 27-10 at Delaware Stadium.

The Blue Hens (12-2) will play Eastern Washington for the title on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.

The Eagles, picked to finish seventh in the nine-team Southern Conference during the preseason, ended their season with a 10-5 record.

"Certainly, it could've been different if we didn't have the five turnovers," said Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken.

The Eagles had committed only five turnovers in their previous three playoff games this season.

Georgia Southern had won six in a row and was hoping for its first title appearance since winning the championship in 2000.

Statistically, the Eagles were almost on even terms with Delaware. Georgia Southern gained 310 yards; the Blue Hens had 316.

"They have a tendency to fumble a lot with that offense," said Delaware linebacker Paul Worrilow, who forced two fumbles. "We took advantage of that."

And the Hens did enough offensively while leading from start to finish. Quarterback Pat Devlin, a Penn State transfer, threw for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Mark Schenauer and Phillip Thaxton. Running back David Hayes added a score on a 7-yard run.

Kicker Mike Perry booted field goals of 21 and 20 yards.

Delaware running back Andrew Pierce had 121 of his game-high 186 rushing yards in the second half.

Georgia Southern didn't get on the scoreboard until Adrian Mora kicked a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter after the Eagles trailed 10-0.

KEY STAT: Georgia Southern could not hold on to the ball -- fumbling five times and losing four. The Eagles were also intercepted, while Delaware had no turnovers.

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LCC0256 12/19/10 - 02:14 pm
There was at least 1 other

There was at least 1 other GSU team mate (with proven game success this year & THAT DID NOT FUMBLE THE BALL) available on offense to HELP HIS TEAM MATES out on the field who were struggling holding on to the ball...oh wait a minute...no he was not available...HE WAS LEFT IN STATESBORO BECAUSE THE HEAD COACH THOUGHT HE DID NOT NEED HIM...Everyone close to the program knows who and what i am talking about. The head coach is guilty of what a disturbing majority of football coaches are guilty of. IF A PLAYER DOES NOT FIT INTO THE PHYSICAL MOLD of what they think a player at a specific position should "look" like then his chances are greatly diminished at getting an opportunity to play that position. And if that player was not recruited by some of these same coaches then there is more of a challenge for a player.

GSU did well this year under this HC. He is to be congratulated, applauded & supported. But everyone knew the glaring weakness on offense was a couple of good players propensity for putting the pigskin on the ground prematurely. There is a legitimate school of thought that espouses a basic philosophy with respect to running the football (at least on a high school and smaller college level) Basically it states that the player who is a half step slower but MORE APT BY FAR to hold on to the ball should get the SAME OPPORTUNITY as the player who is a half a step faster who will at key times put the ball on the ground. (Given other talents are fairly equal INCLUDING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TOUGHNESS WHICH IS IMPERATIVE FOR PLAYING FOOTBALL). GSU was a football team that very well should have beaten Delaware yesterday. Fumbling IN THE MANNER AND WHERE THEY DID was indicative of poor mental concentration and lack of mental toughness...the kid left behind has a proven track record for excellence in both of those areas...I am a supporter of GSU and will continue to do so. But this coach needs to take a long study of how the greatest coach in our state's history approached coaching and positioning players. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THEY "LOOKED LIKE"....

allansracing 12/19/10 - 09:08 pm
LCCO256 - If you had not had

LCCO256 - If you had not had the new head coach and the former GT QB, GSU's season would have ended three weeks ago. You are the one with the 'sour grapes.' I think the new coach is a MUCH better judge of talent than you and me. The 'kid left behind' must have some flaw. A proven track record with another offensive set does not make him a star in the triple option.

LCC0256 01/06/11 - 07:12 pm
no Nimrod er excuse me allans

no Nimrod er excuse me allans racing (like in nascar there bubba?).... this young man WAS a star in one of the pivotal games of THIS YEAR (GSU vs Elon - who was currently ranked 10th and had beaten GSU soundly the last 2 meetings...) This young man was a state champion option quarterback in high school BUT WAS NOT RECRUITED by the current coaching staff and again did not fit the current coaching staff's "profile" for the running back (either A or B Back) in the option formation. This goes on in many colleges...juxtapose that FACT against the BEST RUN PROFESSIONAL football organization in the world (and if you are so astute i do not have to name the team)who DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE to this biased and rather narrow minded assessment of football talent. The running back & one of the star receivers on this pro football team also do not fit the "profile" yet this team is (and will) continue to dominate all the other NFL teams on a regular basis. As for my credentials as a football coach you are correct - i have none. I did play for 10 years and have watched, listened (to a disproportionate number of great football coaches i was blessed enough to meet and converse with in my lifetime) and been a fan for 50. I know character when i see it allan. Character does matter even in football games... And there was a conspicuous absent of it in KEY plays during this game. It was in fact due to the coaching staff not giving a couple of other players the opportunity they had ALREADY proven they were up to challenge of handling. These are facts and not conjectures. The other players (including the one left behind) may too have FUMBLED THE BALL IN THE CRUCIAL situations. (THAT IS PLURAL IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - SITUATIONS..) He (they) HAD NOT FUMBLED ALL YEAR (as had the player(s) that once again fumbled the ball) The best team did not win the game. Plain and simple. It was due to coaching error plain and simple. On balance this coaching staff should be congratulated supported and encouraged. But they screwed up this one - and unless they change their coaching philosophy they will miss out on many more opportunities in the future. Just because you dont recruit a player or you think he doesn't "look" right for a position sometimes..SOMETIMES... one needs to think outside the box when assessing talent. The inexcusable situation here is that this young man had already proven he was up to the task and NEVER got his chance to help his team.

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