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Indiana Football week 4 preview: Georgia Southern’s offense will try to beat the Hoosiers on the ground

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The Hoosiers will try to slow down the Eagles’ rushing attack when they come to Bloomington

NCAA Football: GoDaddy Bowl-Georgia Southern vs Bowling Green
Former kicker Younghoe Koo is just one of the key players Georgia Southern will miss this season
Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a 5-7 record last season, the Eagles will be looking to improve and possibly earn a bowl berth. Last season, the Georgia Southern offense tied for the 100th most yards in the country with 4,558. The Eagles also had the 78th highest scoring offense in the FBS, putting up 27 points per game.

Passing Game

Georgia Southern ranked 120th in the country last season in passing offense with 1,868 yards which might be because the Eagles’ passing game wasn’t exactly traditional last season. The team rotated between two quarterbacks, Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw. With both of them gone, the favorite to lead the Georgia Southern offense will be sophomore Seth Shuman. Shuman, who has already proven himself on the diamond, will now get a chance to prove himself on the gridiron. As a true freshman, he played in five games and completed 34 passes for 357 yards. Shuman threw one touchdown last season, but got picked off three times while completing 47.2 percent of his passes.

The Eagles’ top returning receiver is redshirt senior Myles Campbell. Last season, the 5-6 slot receiver caught 31 passes for 384 yards and a team high four touchdowns.

Junior Malik Henry will be another top returning receiver. As a sophomore Henry caught just two passes and gained 41 yards.

The Eagle offensive line did a good job of protecting their quarterbacks last season, allowing just 12 sacks on the season, which was tied for the 6th lowest number in the FBS.

Running Game

The ground game was Georgia Southern’s bread and butter last season. They were the 37th best rushing attack in the nation, gaining 2,690 yards last season. Their leading rusher was actually Ellison, the quarterback, who had 678 yards. The Eagles’ top running back, Matt Breida, has departed to pursue an NFL career after leading the team with 168 carries and gaining 646 yards last season.

The team’s top returning rusher is junior Wesley Fields. Last season, Fields played in 10 games, rushing for 492 yards on 94 carries and three scores. His 5.2 yards per carry average was the best on the team for any player with over 50 carries. Fields might be able to carry the load for the Eagles, but he didn’t really show the capability to break off long runs last season, as a 27-yarder was his longest run of the year.

Another backfield option for Georgia Southern will be redshirt senior L.A. Ramsby. As a redshirt junior, Ramsby played in 11 games and carried the ball 84 times for 343 yards, a solid 4.1 yards per carry. Unlike Fields, Ramsby did break off a long run last season; his longest carry was a 61-yarder.

Kicking Game

Last season, the Eagles had one of the best kickers in all of college football. Younghoe (pronounced Young-way) Koo, one of the best names in college football in my opinion, was a Lou Groza Award Finalist after making 19 of 20 field goal attempts, including two makes from 50+ yards. The Korean-born kicker also made 28 of 29 extra point attempts last season, but now he is trying to stick with the Chargers.

The man trying to fill Koo’s shoes should be redshirt sophomore Tyler Bass. Last season, Bass handled the kickoff duties, but also made six of seven PATs against Savannah State in the Eagles’ season opener. In high school, Bass converted 239 of 249 extra point attempts and 28 of 33 field goal attempts.

Overall

This offense is going through a lot of turnover, with multiple key players no longer with the team. This game will be a chance for the Hoosier defense to dominate their opponent, with a possible shutout in the works. Indiana will have to worry about the Eagles’ ground game, but a good showing from their front six will go a long way toward a Hoosier victory in week four.