Georgia Southern Fumbles Away FCS Football Semifinal Vs. Delaware, 27-10

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Final Score: 27-10, Blue Hens Get Eastern Washington In FCS Football Championship

Three turnovers in Delaware Blue Hens territory gave the Georgia Southern Eagles too big of an obstacle, and Hens QB Pat Devlin’s offense took advantage. Delaware will take on the Eastern Washington Eagles in the FCS Championship Game. Visit SB Nation Seattle for more on that in the days to come.

Delaware only outgained the Eagles by eight yards. From a look up and down the box score minutes those turnovers, you’d guess this was a three-point game.

Delaware RB Andrew Pierce carried more of the day than most expected, running for 186, setting up the all-but-winning touchdown, and burning tons of clock in the second half. Jerick McKinnon and J.J. Wilcox were the Eagles offensive stars, with 101 and 77 total yards respectively. QB Jaybo Shaw didn’t have his best game, losing a fumble on a sack, throwing mostly incompletions, and losing another fumble late in the fourth.

Few expected the Eagles to make it anywhere near this far in their first year under new head coach Jeff Monken’s option offense. With more time for Monken to recruit and teach his system, plus two more years of DT Brent Russell in the middle of the Eagles defense, big things could be on the horizon again in Statesboro.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Score: 24-10 Hens, Robert Brown And David Hayes Touchdowns In Fourth

With just under eight minutes left, the Georgia Southern Eagles finally turned a red zone possession into something besides a fumble or a field goal. RB Robert Brown, who’s been shut down much of the day, took a fourth-down pitch through heavy traffic, diving in to put the Eagles down by a score. Brown has 43 yards on 12 attempts.

Eagles QB Jaybo Shaw completed his first three passes of the game on this drive, one of them a backpedaling heave to a leaping J.J. Wilcox to convert a third-and-long in the red zone.

GSU has 62 more yards than do the Delaware Blue Hens, with penalties and turnovers ruining what should be a Georgia Southern advantage by this point. Delaware’s running game, led by Andrew Pierce, has taken pressure off of QB Pat Devlin, who is 14-of-20 for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

Pierce just broke a big run deep into GSU territory. With only six minutes left and Southern’s last scoring drive taking almost nine minutes, a score here would just about ice a FCS Championship Game appearance for Delaware.

And there’s a scoring run up the middle by David Hayes.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Score: 17-3 Hens, Brent Russell Leaves Field With Injury

The Georgia Southern Eagles fumbled in Delaware Blue Hens territory for the third time today, setting up a seven-play, 63-yard touchdown drive concluding with a screen from QB Pat Devlin that Philip Thaxton took 24 yards for a score.

With only 16 minutes left and an offense not designed to play from behind (not to mention a 0-for-5 passing day so far), it’s starting to look like missed opportunities are going to be the story for Georgia Southern today. Minus those fumbles this game should be something like 14-13 at worst. Still, GSU’s defense has played well enough that all isn’t lost. Delaware only has eight more yards of offense than Southern.

Star Georgia Southern DT Brent Russell, a rare sophomore Buck Buchanan Award candidate and the best player on the Eagles roster, left the field on Delaware’s touchdown drive after a falling teammate’s helmet bent his right knee sideways. He walked off the field with help and hasn’t been ruled out of returning.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Update: 10-3 Hens, Delaware WR Tommy Crosby Leaves By Stretcher

The Georgia Southern suffered another disappointment deep in Delaware Blue Hens territory, but at least came away with three points this time. After a goal line fumble on their opening drive and another red zone fumble to close the half, it’s nice to finally come away with points.

Eagles RB Jerick McKinnon charted a 53-yard course down the field, veering from one side of the field to the other, the longest play of the day for either team. McKinnon, Darrelon Robinson, and J.J. Wilcox all have over 48 yards on the day.

A pair of stuffed Jaybo Shaw keepers and a fruitless run by RB Robert Brown left the Eagles to settle for a 40-yard Adrian Mora field goal. Star runner Brown hasn’t been much of a factor today, with only 14 yards on four carries.

Delaware WR Tommy Crosby took an accidental knee to the back of the head on the Blue Hens’ next offensive play. He has some movement in his limbs and waved at the crowd, but medical staff are removing him from the field via stretcher.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Score: 10-0 Blue Hens, Pat Devlin Has A Running Game

Delaware Blue Hens QB Pat Devlin is now 12 of 18 for 98 yards and a touchdown, but the worse news for Georgia Southern Eagles fans is the arrival of Delaware’s running game. Hens RB Andrew Pierce is suddenly up to 65 yards, with a handful of big runs setting up a 21-yard Mike Perry field goal.

Southern’s offense has yet to duplicate its opening-drive performance, but a huge kickoff return has the Eagles deep in Delaware turf with under two minutes to go in the half.

RANT I TYPED UP A MINUTE AGO: Another questionable penalty helped stunt an earlier Eagles drive, as refs whistled Shaw for intentional grounding on what looked like a pretty standard downfield throwaway over everybody’s head — including the head of a GSU receiver. On the next play, a penalty-addled third-and-15, Hens DL Chris Morales got a hand on Shaw’s facemask while sacking the quarterback.

If Shaw’s pass was intentional grounding and Josh Rowe’s hit on Delaware’s touchdown drive was a personal foul, then Morales’ sack absolutely merited a facemask penalty. Hey look, Devlin just heaved one out of bounds a mile over the nearest receiver. #joebidenconspiracy

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Score: 7-0 Blue Hens, Pat Devlin Takes Advantage Of Penalty

The Georgia Southern Eagles forced what looked to be a fourth down near the red zone, but LB Josh Rowe was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver. It was sort of borderline, but the 12-yard supplement and automatic first down set up a six-yard touchdown pass from Hens QB Pat Devlin to WR Mark Schenauer. This was the receiver’s second on the year a week after catching his first. Devlin’s touchdown-to-interception ratio: 21-to-two.

According to ESPN’s Pam Ward, the Hens are 10-0 when scoring first.

The Eagles offense, which looked magnificent on its first outing, suffered a three-and-out of its own on its second drive. They’re now driving, with QB Jaybo Shaw converting a first down, and doing some of that wacky trips stack formation stuff Paul Johnson used to do at Hawaii. <—- schooling you

The Eagles running game hasn’t wandered too far from the outside pitch, other than a Shaw dive or few. Shaw has completed none of his three passes.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Score: 0-0, Bobbled Goal Line Snap To Jaybo Shaw Kills Eagles Drive

Early in today’s FCS Semifinals matchup the Georgia Southern Eagles option attack moved the ball with relative ease against the Delaware Blue Hens defense, driving to a third-and-goal on the one-yard line. Chewing up 71 yards via consistently effective pitch work by QB Jaybo Shaw, the Eagles offense came up short when an errant snap didn’t quite make it far enough. The ball skittered on the ground, coming up in Delaware DL Chris Morales’ hands.

Other than a bobbled pitch that J.J. Wilcox fell on in time, GSU’s offense looked sharp, with crisp blocks leading to a gain on every rush. RB Darrelon Robinson leads all Eagles rushers, with a pair of big runs giving him 41 so far.

More encouraging: two straight three-and-outs to open the game for Delaware’s offense. Blue Hens QB Pat Devlin runs a patient, efficient attack, so the Hens will have their chances soon, but so far both Eagles units have looked better than their counterparts.

Georgia Southern has the ball near midfield.

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FCS Football Playoffs: Delaware's Pat Devlin A NFL Draft Prospect, Tough Test For Georgia Southern

When the Georgia Southern Eagles take on the Delaware Blue Hens, the two best players on the field will be GSU DT Brent Russell and Delaware QB Pat Devlin. Russell’s a Walter Camp All-American and Buck Buchanan Award candidate, while Devlin could be drafted as high as the fourth round in the 2010 NFL Draft, according to some scouts.

A Penn State transfer, Devlin is described by Mocking The Draft as having “starting potential in the pros.” The senior has an absurd 20-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has completed 70 percent or more of his passes in five of his last six games, several of those against FCS playoff teams.

He can move around a little bit too, with a 34-yard run and at least six other runs of more than ten yards to his credit. The knock against him seems to be that he plays in a dink-and-dunk offense, which I can neither confirm nor deny, though it would make sense considering his interception total.

Still, it’ll be up to the Eagles to rattle a quarterback that’s either unrattleable or plays in the most rattle-proof system possible.

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FCS Football Playoffs Schedule: Villanova Vs. Eastern Washington Preview

Villanova Wildcats at No. 5 Eastern Washington Eagles, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m., ESPN2: The defending national champions travel t- Hey, the blood-red field team! The Wildcats got hot at the right time, recovering from a 6-4 late-season slump to come within a game of making their second-straight title game appearance. But EWU hasn’t lost since September, despite fielding the nation’s 93rd-best defense out of 117 teams.

Last Saturday Villanova stunned top-ranked Appalachian State 42-24 in Boone thanks in part to a 207-yard, five-touchdown day by triple threat WR Matt Szczur. The senior missed most of eight games during the middle of the season, during which the Cats turned in three of their four losses.

Second in the nation in yards from scrimmage, Eagles RB Taiwan Jones gutted North Dakota State’s middlin’ defense for 230 yards last weekend. Whether he can pull off the same against Nova’s respectable D will go a long way toward deciding the winner.

Join The Nova Blog for more Villanova, and SB Nation Seattle for more EWU.

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FCS Football Playoffs Schedule: Georgia Southern Vs. Delaware Preview

Georgia Southern Eagles at No. 3 Delaware Blue Hens, Dec. 18 at noon, ESPNU: Wofford outgained GSU by almost 100 yards, but Brent Russell's defense still gets the game ball. The Terriers only scored 13 offensive points, and the Eagles D turned in a touchdown of its own while forcing a pair of early turnovers.

Both Southern and Delaware boast top-seven defenses, with the Blue Hens allowing only three points last week to New Hampshire. UNH produces almost exactly as many yards per game as does GSU, so the Eagles have a problem on their hands.

Delaware QB Pat Devlin in third in the nation in passing efficiency, throwing a scant two interceptions in 330 attempts. I do believe that's the best ratio I've ever seen at any level of football -- the Eagles offense won't get as many extra chances as it got last week, so it'll be up to the nation's fourth-best rushing attack to keep the ball out of Devlin's hands.

Join SB Nation Atlanta for more GSU football.

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