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Matt Dobson and the Eagle’s Defense

By Jim Johnson
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Matt Dobson will be the leader of Georgia Southern’s defense in 2015.

Georgia Southern’s defense got lost amidst last season’s offensive storm. While Matt Breida and Kevin Ellison were leading the nation’s number one rushing attack, Matt Dobson and the rest of the Eagle’s defense flew under the radar, despite being the top scoring defense in the Sun Belt.

GSU returns seven starters from last season’s top 30 nationally ranked defense. Edwin Jackson, the team’s leading tackler in 2014, can’t be replaced by any one guy, but a slew of young three-star defensive backs will do their best to fill the void in that 4-2-5 scheme.

Matt Dobson will be the leader of Georgia Southern’s defense in 2015. Not only was he arguably the most consistent player on the 2014 squad, but also made the two most memorable plays of the season. His 102 yard pick six against Texas State proved to be the winning score and he helped clinch the outright Sun Belt title against ULM with his pass breakup on the final play of the season.

Dobson’s efforts landed him on the second All-Sun Belt team. He was joined by two other returning starters, Antwione Williams and Jay Ellison, both of whom were honorable mention all-conference.

The Eagles defense returns four of their five leading tacklers from 2014 and all of their top five leaders in tackles for a loss. 92% of the sack production from last season will be back. Their interception leader is coming back and if their six incoming three-star recruits pan out, they will be even deeper and more athletic in the secondary.

Georgia Southern is returning a ton of talent at the offensive skill positions and that prolific rushing attack will likely continue to steal the headlines, but if the Eagles want to repeat as Sun Belt champs, it’s the defense that will be the key. They have their work cut out for them with Appalachian State bringing back 20 of its starters from last season. I’m sure Dobson and company will something to say about that, though.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP