Ezayi Youyoute doesn’t know what the future holds.
With senior quarterback Jaybo Shaw playing his last season at Georgia Southern, somebody will have to take over in 2012, and for now, Shaw’s successor looks to be either Youyoute or sophomore Jerick McKinnon.
Still, the only thing that matters at this time for Youyoute and the No. 1-ranked Eagles (6-0, 5-0 Southern Conference) is the regular-season goal for 2011 — a SoCon championship.
“Every competitor thinks about what can happen down the line,” said Youyoute, a redshirt freshman who has appeared in five games this season, “but all this team can control is what we’re doing right now.”
Youyoute has seen all of his action in the fourth quarter this season, but he’s made the most of it, rushing only 17 times for 261 yards (15.4 per carry) and three touchdowns.
He’s done it behind an offensive line that has led the Eagles to 2,235 rushing yards so far this season.
“You’ve got to give all the credit to them,” Youyoute said about the line. “They put it on the line every game and they work so hard throughout the week.”
Youyoute has spent plenty of time with Shaw at practice, learning the nuances of the triple-option offense.
“Every day. Every day, I strive to know the game just like him,” Youyoute said of Shaw. “He knows the game in and out, so I try to be under his wing so I can know the game inside and out, know the offense inside and out.”
Even though 255 of Georgia Southern’s 361 rushing yards in Saturday’s 50-20 win over Furman came from the blocking and running of the slotbacks on the perimeter, it couldn’t have been successful without an offensive line that has come a long way since the option was installed in 2010.
“You see the wide receiver and the slot, but what you don’t see are those (offensive linemen) climbing up to get the backside linebackers and safeties for us,” second-year coach Jeff Monken said. “That helps on the perimeter.”
“Coach Davis asked us to play more aggressive this year and knock more guys to the ground,” senior offensive guard William Maxwell added.
The aggressiveness on the O-line isn’t just for running plays, either.
“It’s basically play-action every time we’re pass blocking,” Maxwell said, “so we still fire off the ball and try to suck in the linebackers.”
It’s about time
Kicker Adrian Mora finally was named the SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday after breaking the Football Championship Subdivision record of 126 consecutive extra points.
Mora now stands at 129 of 129 for his career, which began at GSU in 2008.
“What a streak,” Monken said. “He’s been perfect. He hasn’t missed one. That’s amazing to me.”
Mora was 6 of 6 in extra points Saturday and also 2 for 2 in field goals, including a 49-yarder, but he’s just happy to be a part of a line of Eagles who have received weekly awards from the SoCon in 2011.
“It seems like every week we get a freshman SoCon player of the week, or defensive, it doesn’t matter what it is,” Mora said. “Collectively, we’re happy for each other and hopefully they keep on coming.”
Mora, along with holder Charlie Edwards and long snapper Carter Jones, has been handling every kick since 2008. Mora isn’t worried about next season when they all graduate.
“(Sophomore Luke Cherry) has a strong leg and great potential,” Mora said. “He could be a great one here at Georgia Southern if things go well. I have full confidence in Luke.”