RALEIGH, N.C. — After Kevin Ellison fumbled on the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter Saturday against N.C. State — a play that resulted in a 99-yard touchdown drive and a momentum swing that led to a 24-23 win for the Wolfpack — Georgia Southern head coach Willie Fritz didn’t want to challenge the ruling.
He knew it was a fumble, so he wasn’t about to challenge it.
“No, I was trying to get a play off real quick,” Fritz said.
There were a few miscues for the Eagles (0-1), playing in a game for the first time with Fritz and his staff.
“It was a whole new operation out there today,” he said. “I told our guys, ‘We lost this as a team — coaches, players, managers, trainers, everybody. We have a lot of room for improvement.’ Certainly myself, there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
A special day
Only one word can describe the Eagles’ kicking game — perfect.
Alex Hanks drilled all six of his kickoffs into the end zone for a touchback. He made all three field goals — 32, 31 and 29 yards — and both extra points.
“I thought he played great,” Fritz said. “As good as he could play.”
Punter Ryan Nowicki was equally as impressive, drilling four punts for a 50.8-yard average.
The average was hurt by a 37-yard punt, but that was perfection too, as it was downed at the N.C. State 1-yard line.
The first of the game soared 60 yards.
A passing trend
Zach Walker caught a career-high five passes for a career-high 84 yards. He had three catches in the first half — more than any Eagle had in a game in 2013. Ellison was effective through the air, connecting on a career-high nine of a career-high 16 passes for a career-high 184 yards.