Back Hot Read: Defense the Difference for Eagles

Hot Read: Defense the Difference for Eagles

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Georgia Southern tops Troy 20-13.

1. Georgia Southern needed this win and the Eagles got it. Now 5-2 and winners over four of five games, Georgia Southern has considerable momentum heading into a game against Texas State where the Eagles will be heavily favored and then a high-profile three-game stretch versus Army, Georgia State and Appalachian State. There is a lot of football left to be played; Georgia Southern has better positioned itself for the season's stretch run. The Eagles have bounced back nicely from earlier losses to Louisiana and Coastal Carolina.

2. Defense was the name of the game for Georgia Southern. The Eagles kept the high-flying Troy offense out of the endzone and held the Trojans to just 235 total yards, merely 4.3 yards per pass and 2.4 yards per run. Derrick Canteen recorded two interceptions. Overall, Saturday marked one of Georgia Southern's most dominant defensive performances in recent memory.

3. Najee Thomspon had a "Sportscenter Top Ten" catch. Running down the sidelines, with a defender called for pass interference pulling him down, Thompson slid to the ground and caught a one-handed pass from quarterback Shai Werts to move the Eagles to just outside the Troy goaline. It's a highlight worth watching again.

4. Injuries to Wesley Kennedy and J.D. King limited Georgia Southern at the running back position and Gerald Green and Logan Wright responded. Green ran ten times for 109 yards and a touchdown and Wright ran 13 times for 78 yards. Add in a rushing score from Shai Werts and the Eagles, even without their regular rotation, remained productive on the ground.

5. Troy's offense struggled without injured starting quarterback Gunnar Watson. The Trojans couldn't consistently find big plays in the passing game and lacked much of a running game at all on Saturday in Statesboro.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports