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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)."

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.