The Panthers made their way to South Georgia looking to continue their streak of getting a monkey off their back. First, it started with doubling their win total from the previous two seasons. Then, after a win over South Alabama, Georgia State notched their first win at home in the Georgia Dome then followed that up with a win over Troy.
I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that a team with momentum and confidence can be a very dangerous thing. They proved as such when they told a few more monkeys to go take a hike by defeating their bitter rival Georgia Southern 34-7.
Here is how it went down by the numbers.
156468468748456 – The number of messages sent via social media by Eagles fans to Panthers players and fans talking smack leading up to the game. (OK not really… probably more like 156468468748455). They were oddly very silent midway through the game and absent after the clock ticked down to zero.
489 – The total number of yards allowed by the losing teams defense. Nick Arbuckle was 20 for 32 and 346 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. Arbuckle, along with his receivers and backs, sliced and diced the Eagles defense, particularly in the second half.
233 – Heading into the game, Georgia Southern was averaging 436 yards per game. On Saturday, the Eagles only had 203 yards total offense led by Ramsby with a total of 65 yards.
62 – When the Eagles visited the Georgia Dome a year ago they scored 69 points. They scored 7 total points at home in Paulson Stadium in 2015. (For Southern fans 69-7=62)
45 – Eagles RB Matt Breida was 9th in all of FBS with 1495 total rushing yards, an average of about 136 yards per game. Breida was held to 91 yards less than his average versus Georgia State. L.A Ramsby was the only player, in an offense mostly predicated to the run, rushed past the half century mark in rushing.
34 – 4 players accounted for 5 touchdowns against the Eagles. Kyler Neal led the team with 2 rushing touchdowns. Penny Hart, Keith Rucker and Robert Davis each had one reception for a touchdown.
23 – One way to keep the Eagles rushing attack in check is to keep them on the sidelines. Georgia State did just that with 7 more first downs than the Eagles.
22 – There are a number of players, especially the Seniors, who can hold their head high knowing they helped this program make history and laid “The Foundation” for all the success this program will likely have going forward.
21 – Vegas obviously didn’t do their homework on Georgia State as a road team listing the Panthers as 21 point underdogs to the Eagles. Georgia State won by 27 points.
8 – Coach Minter has really got his defense working on a whole new level this season. Joseph Peterson, Tarris Batiste, Alonzo McGee, Michael Shaw, Chase Middleton and Marterious Allen all combined for 8 tackles for a loss.
8 – Southern is well known for their one dimensional rushing attack. In fact, the Eagles lead the FBS in rushing offense. The Panthers, led by Glenn Smith, Kyler Neal, and Taz Bateman had more rushing yards (143) than the team down south (135).
6 – For the 2015 regular season, the Panthers have wins over @New Mexico State, @Ball State and a now four game winning streak over @Texas State, their first home win versus South Alabama, Troy and close out the year with a win over that team down south. Two years prior, the Panthers had 1 FBS win total.
5 – To no one’s surprise, a number of receivers had 50+ yards against Southern including Taz Bateman (52), Robert Davis (47), Keith Rucker (48), Donovan Harden (60), Penny Hart (129). Georgia Southern had 1 player over 50 yards.
2 – Not to be outdone by turnover machine Bobby Baker who is tied for fourth in FBS fumbles recovered, Safety Tarris Batiste created a few turnovers with 2 interceptions on Eagles QB Kevin Ellison.
1 – Georgia State defeated Georgia Southern for the first time in program history. The series is now tied 1-1.
1 – First time the Panthers are bowl eligible in program history.
0 – Number of wins Georgia Southern has over the real GSU in Panthersville South… errr I mean STATEsboro.