Originally created 11/26/05

Eagles take title hopes on road

SAN MARCOS, Texas - It's time for the Division I-AA playoffs, when Georgia Southern football seasons have glided into perfection or stumbled into dejection.

And another playoff run for Georgia Southern starts or ends here at 3:30 p.m. today against fourth-seeded Texas State (ESPN2).

"(Postseason football) is an opportunity only 16 teams have," Georgia Southern coach Mike Sewak said of his school's eighth playoff trip in nine years.

Over the years, Georgia Southern has been the most successful team in the Division I-AA playoffs. The Eagles have a record six national championships in eight trips to the final.

But their most recent memory - a 27-23 loss to New Hampshire in the first round last year - isn't a good one.

The Eagles (8-3) rely on a triple-option rushing offense which gets its best footing on dry turf, leading Division I-AA in rushing offense with 388.8 ground yards per game.

Defending the triple option could be one of the weak points for a hardened Bobcats team, whose only Division I-AA setback came against the triple-option attack of Nicholls State.

But Texas State (9-2, 5-1 Southland) has an offense that might be just as difficult to stop.

Quarterback Barrick Nealy, the Southland Conference Player of the Year, ran for 831 yards and 11 touchdowns and passed for 2,043 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Division I-AA Playoffs

Who: Georgia Southern (8-3) at Texas St. (9-2)

Where: Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, Texas

When: 3:30 p.m., ESPN2


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