STATESBORO -- The last time Georgia Southern's football team played, it suffered its worst home loss in program history when it dropped a humiliating 34-7 decision to Georgia State.
A week later, that pain intensified when the Eagles lost head coach Willie Fritz to Tulane.
Georgia Southern (8-4) will get a chance to atone for that loss to the Panthers and show new head coach Tyson Summers what he is inheriting when it meets Bowling Green (10-2) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in the GoDaddy Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
Summers, a former Georgia Southern assistant who was Mike Bobo's defensive coordinator this past season at Colorado State, was named Fritz's successor earlier this week.
A native of Tifton who played at Presbyterian, Summers was the safeties coach under Brian VanGorder in his lone season at Georgia Southern.
After VanGorder quit, Summers was an assistant at UAB and Central Florida, where he was the defensive coordinator in 2014 before joining Bobo when he got the Colorado State job.
Summers had been a graduate assistant coach at Troy and Georgia before being hired by VanGorder, who is now the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.
While Summers is officially on board, the Eagles will be coached in the bowl game by interim head coach Dell McGee, who has been the running backs coach the past two seasons. McGee was promoted to assistant head coach by Fritz in mid-November.
McGee came to Georgia Southern two years ago from Auburn, where he served as an analyst on head coach Gus Malzahn's staff in 2013. Prior to that, he was head coach at Carver-Columbus for eight seasons, going 88-19 with one GHSA championship.
McGee played defensive back at Auburn in 1992-95.
The Falcons (10-2) will also be coached by an interim head coach. Defensive coordinator Brian Ward replaced Dino Babers, who was named head coach at Syracuse after going 18-9 in two seasons.
While Ward will be joining Babers at Syracuse following the game, the fate of McGee and the Georgia Southern assistants are unknown, although several are expected to join Fritz with the Green Wave.
After 34 seasons that produced 11 conference championships and six national titles at the FCS level, the Eagles will be playing in their first bowl game.
Georgia Southern just finished its second season in the Sun Belt Conference but was not eligible for postseason play the past two years as a result of moving up to play at the FBS level.
Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green will be playing in its fourth straight bowl game, 13th in program history. This will be the Falcons' third trip to the GoDaddy Bowl.
In previous appearances, Bowling Green beat Memphis 52-35 and Tulsa 63-7. The Falcons enter the game as a seven-point favorite.
The game will present two distinctly different approaches to offense, with the Eagles preferring to grind it out on the ground and the Falcons preferring to go through the air, although the Falcons also have a solid ground game.
The past two years has seen Georgia Southern run for more yards than any other team in FBS. Behind junior running back Matt Breida, the Eagles have gained 9,036 yards with 102 rushing touchdowns. Second-place Navy has 8,225 yards and 93 touchdowns on the ground. Breida has gained 3,025 yards the past two seasons.
Breida, who gained 1,540 yards this season, suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter against Georgia State, and, earlier this week, McGee said it would be a game-time decision as to whether he would play. Georgia Southern is showing Breida as a starter on its depth chart.
In addition to Breida. the Eagles have three other backs who have gained more than 600 yards this season. L.A. Ramsby has 776, quarterback Kevin Ellison 638 and freshman running back Wesley Fields 607.
Bowling Green counters with one of the most explosive offenses in the country, headed by quarterback Matt Johnson, who has thrown for 4,700 yards and 43 touchdowns, breaking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's single-season conference records.
Roethlisberger played at Miami of Ohio.
The Falcons have an outstanding running back in Travis Green and a talented pair of receivers in Roger Lewis and Gehrig Dieter.
While Johnson, a senior who missed last season with a broken hip suffered in the first game of the season, completed passes to 18 different receivers, Lewis led the nation in yards receiving with 1,476 on 82 catches, good for 15 touchdowns. Dieter had 89 catches.
As if that wasn't enough fireworks offensively, Greene, who played wide receiver his first year, ran for 1,219 yards while setting a Bowling Green career rushing mark with 3,773 yards.
Johnson needs 300 yards to become the 13th quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season, and 401 to surpass 9,000 for his career.