Georgia Southern Vs. Maine, 2011 FCS Playoffs: Eagles On To Semis

The Eagles have downed another high-scoring offense, advancing to the FCS playoffs semifinals.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Maine Final Score: Eagles Defeat Bears, Advance To Semifinals

The Georgia Southern Eagles charged out to a quick 14-0 lead and a 21-10 halftime edge to defeat the Maine Black Bears, 35-23, and now Georgia Southern advances to the FCS semifinals where they will play either Lehigh or North Dakota State. 

Georgia Southern forced three Maine turnovers and turned those into 14 points. The  Maine offense struggled in the first half and trailed 21-10 going into the break, but they made a valiant comeback effort and closed the gap to 21-17 by scoring on their first possession in the third quarter.

After that Maine touchdown Georgia Southern scored 14 straight points. The first touchdown came on a seven-play, 56-yard drive that was capped by quarterback Jaybo Shaw rushing one yard for the score.

The next touchdown was set up by Georgia Southern's Darius Eubanks who intercepted Maine's Warren Smith, that turnover led to Georgia Southern scoring a touchdown two plays later on a 25-yard pass from Jaybo Shaw to Kentrellis Showers to go up 35-23. That third quarter touchdown would be the last points scored in the game as neither team was able to score in the fourth quarter.

Georgia Southern used their patented offensive game plan, which is to control the clock and run the ball. On the day Georgia Southern held the ball for 45 minutes and rushed for 360 yards as a team, and four of their touchdowns came on the ground.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Maine Halftime Score: Eagles Dominating Time Of Possession, Lead 21-10

Maine allowed only three total yards of rushing in their upset win over Appalachian State last week in Boone. Georgia Southern's triple option has rolled up over 76 times that amount in just two quarters (230 yards, trust us) and lead 21-10 after a half that saw Maine run only one offensive play in the entire first quarter.

The Eagles have dominated time of possession (24:45 to 5:15) and would be sitting on a potential rout if not for special teams play. maine's Roosevelt Boone took a GSU kickoff 91 yards for the Black Bears' only touchdown of the game. The score cut Georgia Southern's lead to 14-7 with under three minutes remaining in a first quarter owned by GSU. Maine quarterback Warren Smith was intercepted on the Black Bear's second play of their opening drive, allowing the Eagles to hold the ball on offense for almost the entire game until 9:47 in the second quarter.

Eagles quarterback Jaybo Shaw has run for one touchdown and is4 of 4 passing for 56 yards. Freshman Dominique Swope continues his breakout run, leading the Eagles in carries (13) and yardage (52). Junior running back J.J. Wilcox has two touchdowns on four carries. 

GSU has 14 first downs to Maine's two, and is 5 of 7 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down conversion attempts. The Eagles (286 total yards) have almost five times the offense of Maine (61 total yards) through two quarters. Maine ran a total of nine offensive plays in the first half.

For more on the FCS Playoffs and everything college football, check out SB Nation's college football news hub

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Georgia Southern Vs. Maine: Black Bear Defense An Enigma For Eagles

The University of Maine has been a surprise team in the current FCS playoffs, having rebounded faster than expected from a 4-7 2010 season to their current 9-3 campaign and the sole survivor of the Colonial Athletic Association in the eight remaning teams in the National Championship hunt. 

Far more shocking was their defensive performance against stalwart Appalachian State in last week's 34-12 win - the Black Bears literally shut down half of the Mountaineer offense, limiting ASU to three rushing yards (they averaged 156 a game this season). The 22-point win was the largest by a visiting team in Boone, North Carolina since ASU began its run of three national championships.

Such a performance would've been hard to forecast for a Maine rushing defense ranked 49th in the FCS (145 yards allowed per game). CAA Champion Towson blasted the Bears for 334 yards rushing in 40-30 win November 5.

Maine hasn't seen a triple option this season, or for that matter, almost in a decade: their last time facing a triple-option came in the 2002 quarterfinals in a 31-7 loss to GSU. But the absence of Maine facing a triple option this season benefits the Eagles as much it potentially hurts their schemes. Courtesy of the Sun-Journal:

"Defensively, we just have no idea what they'll line up in," Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken said. "We can only speculate, probably have to prepare for multiple fronts like we did last week (for a 55-48 win over Old Dominion)."

For everything college football, check out SB Nation's college football news hub.

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Georgia Southern Vs. Maine, 2011 FCS Playoffs: TV Schedule, Game Time

The Eagles have found a complimentary threat for Robert Brown in freshman Dominique Swope as another high-scoring offense in Maine visits Statesboro.

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