Georgia Southern FCS Football 2012 Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

Georgia Southern Eagles


In the last two years, Georgia Southern’s season ended with a playoff loss to the national runner-up Delaware in 2010 and the national champion North Dakota State in 2011. So the Eagles always are a serious player in the 20-team field, and this year’s success is no surprise. Georgia Southern returned several players on both sides of the ball and was the preseason pick to win the league title. Still, a key victory this year came against an unlikely suspect. On October 20th, the Eagles beat Furman 38-17, but they trailed 7-3 at halftime and reportedly got an earful from Coach Jeff Monken during intermission. They shared the Southern Conference title this year with Appalachian State and Wofford.

2012 Record: 8-3, 6-2
Coach: Jeff Monken

Big Wins: 10/13 Wofford (17-9), 10/27 at Chattanooga (39-31)
Bad Losses: 9/8 at Citadel (21-23), 11/3 Appalachian State (28-31)

Georgia Southern loves the triple-option attack and is good at it. The Eagles lead the FCS with an average of 401.2 rushing yards a game. Quarterback Jerick McKinnon runs the offense while Dominique Swope is the top running back. Swope did suffer a concussion late in the season, but he did come back against Howard in the next-to-last game. Georgia Southern has tallied 350 or more yards of total offense in all but two games this season, including 597 against Howard.  The Eagles usually start fast and have outscored their opponents 110-53 in the first quarter.  

If the Eagles get behind and someone can stop their running attack, don’t expect Georgia Southern to go to its aerial game. They were 120th nationally with an average of 66.10 yards a game. They did throw for 165 yards on 10 attempts in their comeback win at Furman this fall. Georgia Southern is only 60th in red zone offense. Kicking is a concern too. Alex Hanks has made just 6-of-13 field goals and missed three field goals in the loss to Appalachian State. The team’s punter isn’t even listed. The status of All-America nose tackle Brent Russell is uncertain after being arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer in early November.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jerick McKinnon, QB, 1,162 yards
Passing: Jerick McKinnon, QB, 412 yards
Receiving: Zach Walker, WR, 256 yards
Tackles: John Stevenson, LB, 94
Sacks: Javon Mention, DE, 6.5
Interceptions: Valdon Cooper, CB, 2; Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, 2

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 401.20 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 66.10 (120, 8)
Total Offense: 467.30 (9, 1)
Scoring Offense: 37.60 (10, 1)
Rushing Defense: 131.50 (30, 2)
Pass Defense: 182.40 (28, 5)
Total Defense: 313.90 (18, 2)
Scoring Defense: 18.90 (16, 2)
Turnover Margin: -0.30 (78, 7)
Sacks: 2.50 (25, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 0.70 (5, 2)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2011    Second Round    Defeated Old Dominion
2011    Quarterfinals        Defeated Maine
2011    Semifinals        Lost to North Dakota State
2010    First Round         Defeated South Carolina State
2010    Second Round    Defeated William & Mary
2010    Quarterfinals        Defeated Wofford
2010    Semifinals        Lost to Delaware
2005    First Round         Lost to Texas State
2004    First Round         Lost to New Hampshire
2002    First Round         Defeated Bethune-Cookman
2002    Quarterfinals        Defeated Maine
2002    Semifinals        Lost to Western Kentucky
2001    First Round         Defeated Florida A&M
2001    Quarterfinals        Defeated Appalachian State
2001    Semifinals        Lost to Furman
2000    First Round        Defeated McNeese State
2000    Quarterfinals        Defeated Hofstra
2000    Semifinals        Defeated Delaware
2000    Championship        Defeated Montana
1999    First Round        Defeated Northern Arizona
1999    Quarterfinals        Defeated Massachusetts
1999    Semifinals        Defeated Illinois State
1999    Championship        Defeated Youngstown State
1998    First Round        Defeated Colgate
1998    Quarterfinals        Defeated Connecticut
1998    Semifinals        Defeated Western Illinois
1998    Championship        Lost to Massachusetts
1997    First Round        Defeated Florida A&M
1997    Quarterfinals        Lost to Delaware
1995    First Round        Defeated Troy
1995    Quarterfinals        Lost to Montana
1993    First Round        Defeated Eastern Kentucky
1993    Quarterfinals        Lost to Youngstown State
1990    First Round        Defeated Citadel
1990    Quarterfinals        Defeated Idaho
1990    Semifinals        Defeated UCF
1990    Championship        Defeated Nevada
1989    First Round        Defeated Villanova
1989    Quarterfinals        Defeated Middle Tennessee State
1989    Semifinals        Defeated Montana
1989    Championship        Defeated Stephen F. Austin
1988    First Round        Defeated Citadel
1988    Quarterfinals        Defeated Stephen F. Austin
1988    Semifinals        Defeated Eastern Kentucky
1988    Championship        Lost to Furman
1987    First Round        Defeated Maine
1987    Quarterfinals        Lost to Appalachian State
1986    First Round        Defeated North Carolina A&T
1986    Quarterfinals        Defeated Nicholls State
1986    Semifinals        Defeated Nevada
1986    Championship        Defeated Arkansas State
1985    First Round        Defeated Jackson State
1985    Quarterfinals        Defeated Middle Tennessee State
1985    Semifinals        Defeated Northern Iowa
1985    Championship        Defeated Furman

*all team stats through 11/10


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