There is one thing Georgia Southern’s football team needs to worry about — running an offense with a quarterback making option reads, a fullback lined up with his hand in the dirt and a pair of slotbacks. Period.
Jeff Monken is gone. The Eagles, right now, need to be worrying about offensive continuity and nothing else.
Recruits are getting nervous. Fans remember the last time an option coach left and another system was ushered in, even though they’ve spent eight seasons trying to forget.
I’m not sentimental and don’t think the only way Georgia Southern will ever win football games is by running the option. I also think that, in college football, the end justifies the means when it comes to winning. But I also think — and for good reason — the only way Georgia Southern will have a shot at winning next year in the Sun Belt is by doing just that.
And winning next year should be at the top of the to-do list for GSU football.
The Eagles beat the Florida Gators on Nov. 23, and that win was enough to salvage a season that had been spectacularly mediocre.
That win gave the program momentum. It gave potential donors a reason to take notice. It gave people a reason to want to go see the Eagles play next year.
Winning Sun Belt games and maybe even a non-conference game or two is the best way to make sure that the momentum continues at a crucial turning point in GSU’s legacy.
The only way this GSU team is built to win games right now is by running the option. The wide receivers have talent, but the quarterbacks haven’t proven they can deliver the ball consistently and when the undersized offensive line isn’t cutting and run blocking, things tend to break down in a hurry.
That’s a recipe for a lot of losses in the high-scoring, pass-happy Sun Belt.
Running the spread option gives the Eagles, at the very least — though it still doesn’t guarantee — a chance to compete right away.
GSU athletics director Tom Kleinlein still has viable candidates in the system and at other option programs.
There’s no reason Georgia Southern can’t rebuild itself into a competitive FBS program with another offensive system. But it would take time. The problem, at this point in time for Georgia Southern, is that rebuilding isn’t an option.
Yogus may be reached at 912-489-4908.