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Monken not Satisfied with Eagles’ Play

By Matthew Osborne
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While Georgia Southern is ranked No.1 in the FCS Coaches Poll, head coach Jeff Monken is not buying into the hype surrounding his program.

After an unexpected early-season loss to The Citadel, the Georgia Southern Eagles have responded with the heart of a champion, rattling off six consecutive wins in SoCon play.

The winning streak has afforded the Eagles with an opportunity to control their own destiny in their quest for yet another SoCon title. Additionally, the Eagles’ recent play has vaulted them all the way to the top of the FCS Coaches Poll.

While a No. 1 ranking can certainly never be examined as a negative, Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken is not buying into the hype surrounding his program.

“The rankings right now, where we’re ranked, that doesn’t matter,” Monken said ahead of his team’s impending battle with No. 14 Appalachian State. “The people that vote on those things haven’t seen us play, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t vote us No. 1.”

The Eagles have emerged as the clear front-runner in the conference race, but Monken is by no means satisfied with his team’s performance. Although Georgia Southern’s 7-1 record and No. 1 ranking might indicate that the team is virtually devoid of glaring flaws, Monken still sees ample room for improvement.

“Every area,” Monken responded when asked which areas his team needed to improve upon. “Every single one of them. It just starts with the fundamental things - blocking better and sustaining blocks, getting off of blocks on defense, making tackles, breaking tackles on offense, taking care of the football, getting the ball away from the other team, kicking the ball better, covering kicks…..I don’t know where to start. We’ve got improvements we need to make in every phase.”

Complacency can often become a stumbling block for many of the nation’s top ranked teams, as they start to believe the hype surrounding their program.

Listening to Monken’s tone, however, it is very apparent that the Eagles are still working tremendously hard to maximize their potential.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s game, it is evident that the Eagles will need to correct some of their issues in a hurry. For the second year in a row, the Eagles find themselves playing in what is the de facto Southern Conference Championship Game. If the Eagles were to win on Saturday, they will have clinched another SoCon title. A loss, though, would open the door for a number of other teams to sneak away with the title.

“This is absolutely the biggest game. Our kids know what’s at stake – there’s a lot riding on this game,” Monken commented. “They’re an extremely dangerous team in all phases because of the skill that they have. They’ve got a program. Jerry Moore is an outstanding coach. I don’t know if there is a better coach around on any level. We’ve got a lot to get prepared for.”

While it has yet to be seen whether the Eagles will once again reign supreme as SoCon champions, one thing is for certain: Saturday’s game will be one to remember.

Matthew Osborne - With an extensive background in both writing and high school recruiting, Matt serves as the Editor and Director of Recruiting for Southern Pigskin. Once serving as the South Region Senior Scout for a national scouting service, Matt is very familiar with the top football prospects in the south. If it is a weekend in the fall, you can rest assured that Matt is on the road watching some of the top high school and college games in the region. To keep up with all of the latest recruiting news in the south, be sure to follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborneSP. You can email him at