Georgia Southern Notebook

Posted Sep 4, 2004

ATHENS — There was much speculation about what to expect of the Georgia Southern defense under new coordinator Joe Tresey.

For the most part, Coach Mike Sewak and Tresey were pleased with the unit's effort despite giving up 48 points and 422 yards in Saturday's 48-28 loss to Georgia.

"I saw a lot of positives out there," Tresey said. "Johnson C. Smith (next week's opponent) is not a Georgia, but we've got to come back very upset after this and we've got to come back with an attitude.

"We've got to come out next week and play hard," Tresey added. "We've got to have an attitude and that's what we're going to work on this week. There can't be any letup."

EAGLES CAN'T SILENCE D.J.: Georgia backup quarterback D.J. Shockley was one player Sewak said he didn't want to see under center preferring to take his chances with David Greene, who is not as athletic or mobile as Shockley.

Sewak's worst fears were realized in the third period when Shockley entered the game following Trey Hunter's 22-yard pass to freshman Lynn Jefferson that had cut the Georgia lead to 27-13, giving the Eagles a breath of hope.

Shockley quickly showed his versatility and athleticism in driving Georgia to a quick touchdown to make it 34-13. Greene came back in the next series following Thomas Davis' interception at the Eagles' 43-yard line of Chaz Williams' first-down pass.

Williams was out of the game on the Eagles' previous drive which resulted in the touchdown due to leg cramps.

Shockley finished with 22 yards on two carries and completed 2 of 8 passes for 70 yards. Greene was back for the next series and led the Bulldogs to a quick touchdown, teaming with Reggie Brown on a 43-yard pass to complete a three-play, 42-yard drive.

SIZE DOES MATTER: The difference between Division I-A and I-AA defensive backs and linebackers became more obvious as the game wore on and the hits became harder. Georgia Southern simply does not face secondary people in the Southern Conference who have the size and speed to deliver the hits they were absorbing.

Sewak had said during preseason camp one of the things he was impressed with was the way Georgia's secondary hit, noting when the ball was in the air, the receivers got hit whether they were the intended receiver or not.

"They play the game the way it's supposed to be played," he said. "There's nothing dirty about it. I told our guys they had to be alert."

DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE: GSU president Bruce Grube was in the pressbox shortly before kickoff, having come up from the field where he watched the Eagles warm up.

"Four years ago, I was down on the field and we were really wrapped tight," Grube said. "This year they were relaxed and loose. I don't know what that means."

For a half it meant the Eagles were able to hang with the nation's third-ranked team and it gives Eagles fans hope that last year's 7-4 season is now in the rearview mirror.

"I think this shows we're good enough to win a national championship," said fullback Jermaine Austin. "We didn't have any reason to be scared or up tight."

EAGLES HELD LEAD LONG AGO: When Brandon Andrews scored to tie the game 7-7 in the second period, it was not the first time the Eagles had at least been even with Georgia.

In the 34-7 loss in 1992, Georgia Southern led 7-0 early.

FIRST TIME, LONG TIME: o When Tyson Browning returned Dan Jordan's punt 72 yards for a touchdown in the third period to give the Bulldogs a 26-7 lead, it was the first time an opponent returned a punt for a touchdown against the Eagles since Sept. 12, 1998. Jacksonville State's Eurosius Parker had a 79-yard return in a 51-32 GSU victory.

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