Back Eagles Open FBS Era at Paulson

Eagles Open FBS Era at Paulson

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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With rain clouds moving in and out of the Statesboro area in the hours leading up to kickoff, Georgia Southern fans still turned out in full force to officially welcome their Eagles to the Sun Belt Conference.

Not even intermittent bouts of inclement weather in the hours leading up to kickoff could dampen the enthusiasm of the fans at Paulson Stadium for Georgia Southern’s first home game as a member of the FBS.

With rain clouds moving in and out of the Statesboro area in the hours leading up to kickoff, Georgia Southern fans still turned out in full force to officially welcome their Eagles to the Sun Belt Conference.

Many of the sights and sounds around Paulson Stadium were the same as they have always been. Enticing aromas from various tailgates filled the air, while music could still be heard blasting from various locations on the drive up to the stadium.

Other sights, however, were quite different from what Georgia Southern fans have grown accustom to seeing. The most noticeable change was the addition of a few thousand additional seats along the visitor’s side, which brings stadium capacity to 25,000. Those new seats were built adjacent to a brand new video scoreboard perched atop the recently-built 50,000-square foot Football Operations Center enclosing the east endzone.

For many programs making the transition from the FCS to the FBS, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is getting the overall gameday atmosphere to become more similar to an FBS experience.

At Georgia Southern, a school which has produced six national championships and has long been known as playing host to one of the most intimidating home field advantages in the country, such an obstacle would not present itself.

A near capacity crowd made its way to Statesboro to watch the Eagles take on a Savannah State team which is still trying to find its way in the MEAC.

And while the outcome of the game was never really in jeopardy, the show of support for the Eagles was more about rallying behind the program as it traverses uncharted territory.

Electric atmospheres are certainly nothing new to Paulson Stadium, but there was undeniably a different feel to the atmosphere on Saturday afternoon. Georgia Southern nation has fully embraced the program’s move to the FBS, and that sentiment was reflected by the passion and intensity of the crowd against the severely overmatched Tigers.

The program has long garnered a reputation for giving maximum effort at whatever endeavors it decides to tackles. It only makes sense that the Eagles would hold true to form when making the biggest transition in the program’s storied history.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.