Georgia Southern hasn’t been through a two-game losing streak since 2013, and the Eagles broke that slump with a win over Western Carolina.
That was during the Eagles’ final season in the Southern Conference, which ended with a win over Florida.
Georgia Southern will try to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2009 when it visits a team on a three-game losing streak, Georgia Tech.
The teams kick off at 12:30 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
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The matchup is a chance for teams that started off 3-0 before hitting rough patches to get back in the win column, as well as pick up some bragging rights.
“We are 3-2 and not where we want to be,” Georgia Southern head coach Tyson Summers said. “But a win over a Power-5 team, and probably more importantly a team that is in our state, is certainly an important piece.”
The two teams squared off last in in 2014 with the Jackets narrowly escaping 42-38, thanks to Justin Thomas’ game-winning touchdown pass with 23 seconds left. Thomas passed for four touchdowns in that game, so he’s obviously a focal point of the Eagles’ defense.
“Justin Thomas, their quarterback, is both a tremendous runner and passer,” Summers said. “They are a team that has weapons and certainly knows what they are doing in their offense.”
Thomas has 206 rushing yards and a touchdown, while passing for 588 yards and three touchdowns, completing 51.2 percent of his passes with one interception.
The Eagles are coming off a mid-week game last week at Arkansas State. They led 23-10 late in the third quarter and 26-17 with 11:53 left in the game, but lost when Arkansas State scored on an 8-yard pass with nine seconds left and added the point-after kick for a 27-26 win.
So Georgia Southern has worked to get over that Sun Belt Conference loss while trying to take advantage of the extra time to prepare for Thomas and the option offense. Hurricane Matthew displaced the Eagles a bit and they were unable to get as much preparation in as Summers and his staff wanted.
“You would think we would have a couple extra days, but we had a mild weather issue here to add some humor to it,” Summers said. “We have tried to have a little more time with our staff, but we really haven’t been able to do it with our players the way you would think.”