Ezayi Youyoute competed for the Eagles' quarterback job throughout spring practice and fall camp. He secured the starting nod several days before the Eagles opener and made the most of his chance, finishing with 164 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries.
Youyoute started Saturday's win over Jacksonville off right with a 79-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. He had over 100 yards rushing in the first quarter and had established a new career high by halftime.
Youyoute backed up starter Jaybo Shaw last season, but was listed at the top of the depth chart along with Jerick McKinnon heading into the offseason. McKinnon played some quarterback last season, primarily in the wildcat formation, and started Saturday's game at slotback.
The Eagles open Southern Conference play next Saturday against The Citadel.
Georgia Southern got their 2012 season off to a great start with a 58-0 win over Jacksonville. The Eagles rolled to a 27-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back cruising home to the victory.
Ezayi Youyoute and Dominique Swope scored three touchdowns each as the Eagles ran up 557 yards rushing in the game. Youyoute carried the ball 11 times for 164 yards and those three scores. Swope amassed 104 yards on 13 carries while Jerick McKinnon rushed for 71 yards on 11 carries.
Jacksonville finished with just 178 total yards and five turnovers. The Eagles did turn the ball over four times themselves and did not complete a pass in the game going 0-8.
Georgia Southern will hit the road next week for a Southern Conference matchup with The Citadel.
The Georgia Southern Eagles will open their 2012 season at home against the Jacksonville University Dolphins on Saturday. The preseason has been dominated by a quarterbacks battle between Ezayi Youyoute and Jerick McKinnon. Head coach Jeff Monken insists that a decision has not yet been made, and who will start under center will not be known until the Eagles take the field.
Georgia Southern posted a 11-3 record in 2011, including a 7-1 record in conference and winning the Southern Conference Championship. They'll look to the team's leading rusher to help get them started; Dominique Swope rushed for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.
The Jackson University Dolphins posted a 7-4 record in the 2011 season and are 37-20 under current head coach Kerwin Bell. They may struggle with Georgia Southern's defense, as they only have 2 starters returning to their offense, one of whom is sophomore quarterback Trevius Folston.
Game time, TV channel: 6 p.m. ET, Local Coverage Only
Georgia Southern begins its highly anticipated 2012 season against Jacksonville on Sept. 1 ,and the Eagles are looking to stay on top of the FCS rankings throughout the season. They still need to figure out who their starting quarterback is.
Between sophomore Ezayi Youyoute and junior Jerick McKinnon, the Eagles are looking for someone to lead their triple-option offense that was No. 2 in the country in rushing. Defensive tackle Brent Russell leads Georgia Southern's 4-3 front.
The Eagles went to the FCS semifinal round before losing to the eventual national champion North Dakota State, who defeated Sam Houston State in the title game in Frisco.
This year's Georgia Southern team returns eight starters on offense and defense. It will be interesting to see if the best teams in the FCS are the same as last season, since NDSU and SHSU also return a lot of starters from the championship game.
The Georgia Southern Eagles with start the season using a two-quarterback system. While attempting to replace graduating senior Jaybo Shaw, Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken decided that quarterbacks Ezayi Youyoute and Jerrick McKinnon would split time.
McKinnon, a junior, was Shaw's backup last season, but he also started at slotback, wide reciever and defensive back during the playoffs last season. He played in 13 games last season, starting seven. Last season, McKinnon rushed for 537 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also completed 3-of-6 passing attempts for 37 yards and intercepted two passes. Youyoute, a sophomore, rushed for 310 yards and completed 4-of-6 passing attempts for 35 yards.
Monken has not settled in on who would be the starter for Georgia Southern.
The starting quarterback is the same guy as the backup quarterback. Those two guys are going to be our quarterback. I don't know which one is going to be the first one to trot out there (Saturday against Jacksonville), but I imagine whichever one is the quarterback the first play, the other one will play another position.
Georgia Southern's game against Jacksonville is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.