Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

As Expected, GSU Cruises Eagles Blow out FAMU

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

As Expected, GSU Cruises Eagles Blow out FAMU

Article excerpt

Byline: Teneshia L. Wright, Times-Union sports writer

STATESBORO, Ga. -- No one expected Florida A&M to beat two-time defending national champion Georgia Southern.

Even Rattlers coach Billy Joe said his team was an underdog.

However, the Rattlers, with an estimated 1,300 fans cheering them on, actually appeared on the way to a victory yesterday after scoring on their first three possessions to take a 21-7 lead in the opening quarter.

But second-seeded Georgia Southern ended up producing the expected blowout, a 60-35 Division I-AA playoff victory in front of a Paulson Stadium crowd of 9,884, after cutting FAMU's lead to one point at halftime and scoring 33 unanswered points in the second half.

"I told our guys at halftime that we knew we hadn't played as well as we can play," GSU coach Paul Johnson said, "and we were dead even. We just needed to kind of turn it up a notch and play a little better, and we did in the second half."

The victory extended Georgia Southern's home-playoff record to 26-0 and pushed the Eagles into a second-round playoff matchup against conference foe Appalachian State, a 40-27 winner over William & Mary. Georgia Southern beat Appalachian State 27-18 Oct. 13.

FAMU (7-4) gave up the most points since a 65-0 loss to Alabama State in 1909.

Georgia Southern senior fullback Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries for his 13th consecutive 100-yard playoff game. He has never been held under 100 yards in the postseason. Scott Shelton kicked four field goals (44, 35, 25, 24) to set a Southern Conference playoff record.

Peterson was held to 44 yards at the half. He mustered only 5 yards on his first three carries of the second half before breaking loose on a 21-yard dash and followed it up with a 45-yard touchdown run on the next play to push Georgia Southern (11-1) ahead 33-28 with 8:14 remaining in the third quarter. …

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