(0-0, 0-0 MEAC)
Georgia Southern Eagles I Game Notes: Click Here
(0-0, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Allen E. Paulson Stadium
(Statesboro, Georgia, 6 p.m.)
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"Yes, it is a challenge. It forces you to defend the whole field and really be disciplined defensively; particularly with the guys they have running. Both their quarterbacks are both dynamic playmakers. Guys that are lightning fast anytime they touch it, they're a threat to go the distance. Then their running back had over 1,000 yards, I think 1200 yards last year so he's a real force too. The triple option is dangerous when anyone runs it and difficult to defend defensively. And when you put the ball in the hands of some really electric guys with the skill positions, it's even more worrisome."
Coach Raeburn on adjusting from D-III to D-I…
"Obviously there are some differences between Division III and Division I, but I think the biggest adjustment is just being new and trying to learn the strength and weakness of your own players. When I was back at Wabash for example, I would only have to do that with the new guys; I would already have a pretty good idea of each of the guys on that roster and what they need to work on. What their good at already and what their strengths are. Here you kind of start from scratch and you gotta try to assess that in a short period of time. So I feel like I spent most of our camp trying to evaluate our players and I think that's the biggest challenge to taking the new position."
The Series: Georgia Southern leads the series, 11-0. (2013 win vacated)
- Coach Raeburn is 15-1 in season debuts during his 16-year coaching career. He has won 14 consecutive season openers dating back to 2001.
- SSU is 0-3 when facing Georgia Southern in season openers. The Tigers fell to GSE in 2010 (48-3), 2013 (vacated: 77-9) and 2014 (83-9).
- SSU second year receivers coach Russell Demasi is a former Eagle. He lettered in football from 2008-12 at quarterback and scout team for GS.
MAKING A CHANGE
Several players have changed positions from last season. Arshon Spaulding (QB to WR), Marquis Smith (LB to DE), Tino Smith (QB to WR) andAfolabi Ayangbayi moved from (LT to C).
This week's trip to Statesboro is only 55 miles, the shortest road trip for SSU this season.
Erik Raeburn is the new head football coach at SSU. Raeburn comes to SSU from Wabash College where he, in his eight years, accumulated a record of 78-13, earned five trips to the Division III playoffs and had 16 student-athletes earn All-America status. His 2015 squad posted a 12-1 record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division III playoffs. Raeburn's overall record as a head coach is 135-39.
Two Tigers received MEAC preseason honors this summer. Linebacker Marquis Smith and kicker John Barron were named to the preseason All-MEAC Third Team.
Three members of the previous staff are back for another season for the Tigers. They are Russell Demasi, Jonas Johnson and Cordell Taylor.
SSU has five new assistant coaches on the staff this year. Bill Rychel (offensive coordinator/offensive line), Chad Williams (defensive coordinator/linebackers), Nathan Scola (running backs), Paris Jackson (defensive backs) and Anthony Neymeiyer (tight ends).
THE SIZE OF IT
Wide receiver Tyler Hagan is the tallest player on the team, standing 6'7" while running back Monroe Thornton is the shortest at 5'6". Wide receiver James Kicklighter is the lightest at 150 pounds, wShile offensive lineman Anquavius Fuller tips the scale at 320-pounds for the heaviest player on the squad.
FOLLOWING DAD'S FOOTSTEPS
Two players on the roster are sons of former SSU players. Raydell Martin is the son of former running back Isaac Caesar and K'Lon Lovett is the son of former defensive back Neeley Lovett.
SAVANNAH STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS