The excessive firepower wasn’t necessary.
Seven different players scored and the top-ranked Eagles registered their largest margin of victory over the Paladins in the history of the 23-game series during a 50-20 pounding before 19,221 fans.
Georgia Southern (6-0, 5-0 Southern Conference) beat Furman in Paulson Stadium for the first time since 2005 and the 30-point win bested the 45-17 victory in 1998.
“You can never tell who the guy’s going to be in any particular game,” Eagles coach Jeff Monken said.
It’s a nice problem. Quarterback Jaybo Shaw scored twice. J.J. Wilcox, Johnathan Bryant, Robert Brown and Ezayi Youyoute added one touchdown each.
Georgia Southern even scored when Furman scored. Brent Russell blocked an extra-point attempt and Laron Scott scooped up the ball and returned it for a two-point conversion.
And Georgia Southern’s most automatic scorer, senior kicker Adrian Mora, booted six extra points, setting the Football Championship Subdivision record for consecutive PATs. He now has 129 in his career, passing Montana’s Chris Snyder who had 127 from 2000-03.
“There’s very few times in your life, in sports or your career, when you’re the absolute best at what you do,” Monken said. “(Mora) is the best at what he does and that’s pretty special.”
Georgia Southern led 26-13 at halftime by taking advantage of two blocked kicks and a timely interception by cornerback Hudson Presume in the end zone in the final minute.
“The momentum was starting to come over to their side,” Presume said. “Any time the defense gets a stop it’s big.”
After intermission, Georgia Southern pulled away on Mora’s 49-yard field goal and touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards by Shaw and Brown, respectively.
“We have a lot of guys who can do different things,” Scott said.
Bryant was a prime example. The junior had only eight carries for 37 yards in his career before slashing Furman for 10 carries and 95 yards.
“I think we have a bunch of guys who aren’t worried about being in the newspaper,” Bryant said. “As long as we win, that’s the motivation.”
The Eagles finished with 361 rushing yards and averaged six yards a carry.
But Georgia Southern wasn’t just killing its opponent with the triple-option running attack.
Shaw threw for 171 yards, 10 away from his career best with the Eagles. All six of Shaw’s completions were 18 or more yards and all six picked up first downs.
“(Shaw) didn’t make a bad pitch or many bad throws that I can remember,” Furman coach Bruce Fowler said. “He executed very consistently all day long. They were obviously going at a pretty good pace.”
Furman couldn’t keep up. Quarterback Chris Forcier, a UCLA transfer, threw for 217 yards and a touchdown, but wasn’t the dual threat Georgia Southern anticipated.
It was a nice showing for the Eagles’ 1986 national championship team which was honored at halftime.
“I saw some of their highlights on the scoreboard,” Bryant said. “They looked pretty good.”