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Eagles prep for homecoming
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STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern Football returns to Paulson Stadium this Saturday (Nov. 8) for the regular season home finale, a scheduled 12 noon Homecoming kickoff against Samford. The Southern Conference showdown will be televised live on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS). Every Georgia Southern Football game can be heard on the 19 station Georgia Southern Radio Network (Eagle 102.9 FM the flagship station) and on the internet at Chris Blair (play-by-play), Terry Harvin (color analyst) and Ryan Chambers (sidelines) will call the action.  Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ‘Inside Georgia Southern Football with Chris Hatcher’ is on the air at Locos Grill and Pub. Coach Hatcher and Chris Blair will recap the previous game and look ahead to the upcoming game against Samford. The broadcast will be carried live on Eagle 102.9 FM and on the website. Subscribers to Eagle Vision can also watch the game live at, and the contest will also be archived following the game. This Friday at Bishop Field House will mark another installment of the coach’s luncheon, featuring Coach Hatcher. Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling Southern Boosters at (912) 478-5522. Fans are also encouraged to help support the ‘Let’s Beat Samford, Let’s Beat Hunger’ food drive that is currently taking place. Fans can donate non-perishable canned food items at all local Harvey’s Supermarkets in Bulloch County, the Athletic Department inside Hanner Fieldhouse and the day of the game at Paulson. The Eagles (5-4 overall, 3-3 SoCon) are coming off a 44-41 triple-overtime win at The Citadel last weekend, not only setting a program record for longest OT game but also setting a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record for most OT games played in a season (4). Entering the game, Georgia Southern ranks 13th nationally scoring 35.1 points per game. The Eagles stand 35th in total offense (390 ypg), 12th in punt returns (14.9 ypr), 32nd in sacks (2.3 per game) and 29th in tackles for a loss (6.9 per game). Senior wide receiver Raja Andrews (Swainsboro/Swainsboro) broke four receiving records last weekend and added to two more he already owned. Andrews set records at The Citadel for: most receptions in a game (10), season receptions (46), season receiving yards (677) and career 100-yard receiving games (4). He also added to his record for: most 100-yard receiving games in a season (4) and career receptions (109). Andrews ranks 27th nationally averaging 84.6 receiving yards and is tied for 33rd with 5.8 receptions per game. Sophomore quarterback Antonio Henton (Fort Valley/Peach County) stands third in the SoCon and 32nd nationally averaging 244.3 yards of total offense per game. He set a personal-high with three touchdown passes during the win at The Citadel (two coming in overtime). With 13 TD passes this season and four 200-yard passing games, Henton is now tied for the season record in both categories. He is also on the verge of breaking several other season offensive records. Henton also ranks in a tie for 22nd nationally, responsible for 14.7 points per game. Over the last four games he is averaging 296 yards of total offense, accounted for 11 touchdowns and recorded a passing efficiency of 127.36. Senior defensive end Dakota Walker (Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest) continues his late season tear, taking over the Southern Conference lead with 7.0 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. Among the national leaders he ranks in a tie for 17th and 13th, respectively. Over the last five games Walker has recorded 6.0 sacks, 9.5 TFL and a fumble return for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Chris Covington (Lawrenceville/Brookwood) is right behind Walker in both categories, tied for 22nd in sacks (6.5) and tied for 20th in tackles for a loss (13). Covington remains third in the SoCon and is 34th nationally averaging 9.3 tackles per game. Over the last five games Covington has averaged nearly 12 tackles per game in addition to 6.0 total sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss. Senior Quentin Taylor (Apopka, FL/Apopka) continues his lead in the Southern Conference and enters the game tied for 10th averaging 10.9 tackles per game. Over the past six games Taylor has averaged 12.5 tackles. Redshirt-freshman punter Charlie Edwards (Tifton/Tift County) slipped to second in the SoCon but still ranks 22nd nationally averaging 41.5 yards per punt. Adrian Mora (Dalton/Dalton) extended his streak to six straight games kicking a field goal (all six games of his collegiate career). The redshirt-freshman kicker improved to 27-for-27 in extra points and 8-for-10 in field goals. He is second on the team with 51 points.  Samford enters the game at 4-4 overall and 2-3 in its first-year as a SoCon member. Two of the Bulldogs wins were against non-Division I teams: West Georgia (21-19) and Faulkner (62-0). The Bulldogs defeated Western Carolina (21-6) and The Citadel (28-10) in league play. Freshman Dustin Taliaferro leads the passing attack averaging 157 yards through the air. He has completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 1,259 yards and nine TDs to five interceptions. Sophomore running back Chris Evans leads the SoCon and ranks 11th nationally averaging 120 yards rushing. He is tied for 27th nationally averaging 7.5 points and 30th with 134.5 all-purpose yards per contest.  Jonathan Lowery has caught four TD passes and also leads the team with 23 receptions for 360 yards. Evans has 22 catches for 111 yards and Riley Hawkins has 21 catches for 342 yards.  Defensively the Bulldogs are 14th nationally in turnover margin (.88), sixth in rushing defense (77.6 yards allowed), 25th in total defense (313.4 ypg) and 16th in scoring defense (19.4 ppg). Bryce Smith leads the defense with 69 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Rodney Shepherd has 54 tackles, 3.0 sacks and 6.0 TFL. Patrick Hatcher leads Samford with 5.0 sacks and 7.0 TFL. This is the first meeting between Georgia Southern and Samford since 1990. That capped a stretch of three consecutive years of playing one another as the Eagles own a 3-0 record against the Bulldogs all-time 
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