Georgia Southern 41, S. Carolina St. 16
Georgia Southern lost starting quarterback Jaybo Shaw to injury in the first quarter, but it didn't matter as the Eagles routed South Carolina State 41-16 Saturday in a first-round Football Championship Subdivision game.
Georgia Southern (8-4) ran for 323 yards on 77 carries against a defense that had been giving up only 70.4 yards per game on the ground, best in the FCS. The Eagles, who kept possession for 41:40, will play at No. 2 seed William & Mary on Dec. 4.
At times, the Bulldogs (9-3), who lost in the first round for the third straight year, were their own worst enemy. The Eagles scored two safeties off mishandled kickoffs and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
The Eagles were leading 9-0 with 6:10 left in the first quarter when Shaw left the game with an apparent concussion. He watched the rest of the game from the sidelines with his pads removed.
Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken said after the game he hadn't talked to the medical staff about Shaw's status.
Jerick McKinnon replaced Shaw, and after a shaky start he settled down to guide the Eagles to 22 second-half points.
Freshman fullback Robert Brown led Georgia Southern with 77 yards rushing on 15 carries. Brown, however, also had three fumbles and was replaced in the fourth quarter by seldom-used senior Lee Banks, who rushed eight times for 56 yards.
Georgia Southern led 16-0 after the first quarter thanks to a 5-yard run by J.J. Wilcox, a safety and a 34-yard run with a fumble by Josh Gebhardt.
Wilcox, a wide receiver, had 50 yards rushing and he also had a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Third-team quarterback Russell DeMasi, playing in his first game of the season, made it 41-10 with 6 minutes to play on a 1-yard run.
Georgia Southern made it 19-0 on a 32-yard field goal by Adrian Mora 3 minutes into the second quarter.
The Bulldogs got a 90-yard kickoff return by Lennel Elmore and a 21-yard field goal by Blake Erickson to make it 19-10 at the half. Their only offensive score came on a 58-yard pass from Malcolm Long to Elmore with 5:21 left in the game.