Georgia Southern Spring Game Breakdown

Thom CunninghamCorrespondent IApril 6, 2009

ATHENS - AUGUST 30:  Head coach Chris Hatcher of the Georgia Southern Eagles argues with the referee during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on August 30, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Saturday’s Blue vs. White Spring Game was an overall successful day for the Georgia Southern football program. The blue team (mostly starters) defeated the white team, 31-0. Although we haven’t seen the full picture, Saturday gave Eagle fans a peek at which direction this program is headed going into the fall.

“A lot of the plays we called were mainly base stuff,” said Head Coach Chris Hatcher. “They were plays that a lot of our guys knew well, where they didn’t have to think much so I could get a good evaluation on them.”

Lee Chapple was behind center for the blue team a majority of the game. Chapple completed 26 of 35 passes, threw for 247 yards and tossed two touchdowns.

“Coming into this year I think I have to bring confidence, leadership, and consistency,” said Chapple. “I think we started off slow, but once we got rolling, we got confident in each other and started making plays.”

One play was a 34-yard touchdown to ex-half back Leander Barney, who moved to play the x-slot as a receiver this year.

“I told Coach Hatcher I would go from receiver to defensive line if it helps our team,” claimed Barney. “I just want to do what is good for the team and help us win.”

Barney was not the only receiver who stood out. Red-shirt freshman Tyler Sumner had a breakout game, catching two touchdown passes over his head, one of which was a one handed grab.

“I think we (blue team offense) looked pretty good today,” said Barney. “It’s like Coach Hatcher says, there are still things we need to work on and get better. Overall though, I think we did real well. The quarterbacks threw the ball well and the running backs ran the ball hard. It was fun.”

The running back position for the blue team was a rotation of carries between veteran Adam Urbano and freshman Darreion Robinson, who loves his new team.

“It feels good to come down here to a football town,” said Robinson. “It was a good crowd out here for a spring game. It feels like they were real supportive so I could get used to this.”

Robinson’s speed in the backfield can help contribute to a dangerous ground game. Robinson seemed to compliment Urbano’s smash attack style, which could give opposing defenses two styles of rushing to defend.

The defensive picture became clearer as well. For any questions about the defensive line, Harland Bower might be the answer. The defensive end recorded three sacks in the game and helped the blue team achieve a shutout.

“I want to bring leadership, tackles, and sacks,” said Bower. “Defense starts with the line. If we don’t get a pass rush, we’ll put the guys behind us in a bad spot. We just got to work hard every day to get that pass rush. We need to work on some red-zone stuff but I felt we (defense) got after it today. We are definitely headed in the right direction.”

Overall, the game was a success, but there is still a lot of time between now and August. However, the Eagles seem to be soaring in the right direction. The confidence these guys have shown in themselves and each other can help this team achieve success come fall.