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Georgia Southern (0-0) at NC State (0-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, August 30, 12:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: ACC Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: GSU 0-0, NC State 0-0. Away Record: GSU 0-0, NC State 0-0. Neutral Record: GSU 0-0, NC State 0-0. Conference Record: GSU 0-0, NC State 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: In their first official game as a member of the FBS, the Georgia Southern Eagles will travel to Carter-Finley Stadium to take on the NC State Wolfpack in the 2014 season opener on Saturday afternoon.

Georgia Southern had been one of the most consistent teams in the FCS heading into last season, collecting 31 wins from 2010-12 with three straight trips to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs, but the program took a slight step backwards in 2013 by finishing 7-4 (4-4 in the Southern Conference). As the Eagles relocated to the FBS' Sun Belt Conference this season (along with Appalachian State), they will say goodbye to Jeff Monken, who is now the head coach at Army, and welcome former Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz aboard for the program's next chapter.

NC State's first season under head coach Dave Doeren in 2013 was a major disappointment. After coming out strong with wins in its first two games, the squad faltered down the stretch with losses in nine of its final 10 games to wrap up 3-9 overall and a winless 0-8 in ACC play. It marked the first time the Wolfpack failed to qualify for a bowl game since 2009.

This marks the first-ever meeting between the programs.

The Eagles impressed offensively a season ago by scoring 33.5 ppg, and as a triple-option squad, the majority of their 451.5 ypg came on the ground (360.4 ypg).

Of the seven returning starters, quarterback Kevin Ellison is the most valuable asset back for the offense. While his passing numbers were low (41- of-79, 759 yards, two TDs, three INTs), he orchestrated the option attack well and finished the year with 886 rushing yards and eight scores.

With Jerick McKinnon (1,050 yards, 12 TDs) gone, the team will have to find a new leading rusher in 2014. Irving Huggins (224 yards, four TDs), Tray Butler (251 yards) and Nardo Govan (245 yards, two TDs) will all get an opportunity to run behind a veteran offensive line that returns four starters.

Starting receivers B.J. Johnson and Zach Walker are back, but the two combined for just 19 receptions on the run-first team and are utilized mostly as blockers on the outside.

Georgia Southern's defense was solid, if unspectacular, in the lower rung of college football last season, allowing 23.2 ppg while generating just 13 takeaways, but it'll benefit from returning more than half its starters on that side of the ball.

Edwin Jackson anchors the unit from the middle linebacker position and led the team in tackles a season ago (92), although he is the only starting linebacker returning.

Jonathan Battle (34 tackles, 3.0 TFL) was solid at defensive tackle, but the team had just 11 sacks in 11 games.

Three returning starters occupy the secondary. Safeties Deion Stanley (30 tackles, three INTs) and Matt Dobson (44 tackles, two INTs) were crucial in the turnover battle, and cornerback Tay Hicklin (27 tackles) was solid as well.

NC State had instability at the quarterback position last season and the result was a rather poor offensive season, as it averaged just 22.8 ppg and 403.5 ypg, but with seven returning starters on that side of the ball and a new signal caller better suited for Doeren's system, an improvement is expected in 2014.

Jacoby Brisset transferred from Florida after losing the quarterback competition to Jeff Driskel in 2012 and will regain his eligibility this season. The 6-foot-4 junior impressed in limited reps in his final season with the Gators (23-of-35, 249 yards, TD).

Shadrach Thornton returns after a strong sophomore season in which he rushed for 768 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers should improve this time around running behind a veteran offensive line that welcomes back four starters.

Bryan Underwood leads a group of inexperienced pass catchers. He played just seven games in 2013 but was second on the team in receptions (32) for 382 yards and a score.

The Wolfpack's defense was often put in compromising positions by their lackluster offense, which resulted in a poor scoring defense (30.2 ypg), but their respectable total defense (399.4 ypg) and the return of seven starters give the unit some hope moving forward.

The strength of the defense comes up front with three of four starters back along the defensive line, anchored by Art Norman (9.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks) and Thomas Teal (10.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks).

Leading the linebacking corps is Brandon Pittman, who racked up 62 tackles and 7.0 TFL. In the secondary, Hakim Jones (61 tackles, two INTs) and Jack Tocho (two INTs) bring valuable experience.

Even though NC State was an ACC bottom feeder last season, it appears poised for at least a little bit of a bounce back campaign in year two under Doeren, and at home against a Georgia Southern squad getting accustomed to life at the highest level, expect the Wolfpack to take care of business.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 34, Georgia Southern 13

08/29 15:18:38 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 21
NCA 14
 
Final
DAVID 72
UNC 90
4th
ECU 27
TULA 6
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CAR
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
STAN
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIA
7:00pm Tonight
IND
PHO
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
SAC
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
BRK
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
WAS
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
NOP
Final
UGA 55
CHSO 9
 
Final
UF 52
EKU 3
Final
OSU 42
IND 27
Final
OKLA 44
KU 7
 
Final
UAB 18
MARS 23
Final
NEB 24
MINN 28
 
Final
PURD 14
NW 38
 
Final
ILL 16
PSU 14
 
Final
MSU 45
RUTG 3
 
Final
UCF 53
SMU 7
 
Final
SCAR 37
SALABAMA 12
Final
WKENT 45
TXSANANTO 7
 
Final
WAKE 6
VT 3
 
Final
ODU 30
LATU 27
 
Final
ARST 52
WASU 31
 
Final
CMICH 20
WMICH 32
 
Final
COLST 58
NMU 20
 
Final
LALAF 16
APPST 35
 
Final
BST 45
EMICH 30
 
Final
HOU 38
TULSA 28
Final
UTAH 10
ARZ 42
 
Final
FSU 20
BC 17
 
Final
UNT 17
FIU 14
 
Final
CLEM 28
GASTATE 0
 
4th
ND 28
LOU 31
 
4th
MICH 16
MD 23
 
4th
ARK 27
MISS 0
 
4th
PITT 30
SYR 7
 
4th
ISU 31
TTU 27
 
4th
ECU 27
TULA 6
 
4th
IOWA 24
WISC 26
 
4th
MEM 28
SFLA 13
 
3rd
CAL 7
STAN 31
 
4th
NMST 17
LAMON 27
 
3rd
ALA 41
WCAR 14
 
3rd
OREG 30
COL 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
MTST
FATL
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
MIAMI
7:00pm Tonight
AUB
SAMF
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
MIZZ
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
OKST
7:30pm Tonight
MSST
VANDY
8:00pm Tonight
UCONN
CIN
8:00pm Tonight
UCLA
USC
10:15pm Tonight
WYO
BSU
10:30pm Tonight
NEV
FRES
10:30pm Tonight
WASH
ORST
11:00pm Tonight
HAW
UNLV
Final
PRIN 68
INCWORD 79
 
Final
UMASS 68
ND 81
 
Final
GEOR 80
RMU 66
 
Final
LAS 59
PETE 50
 
Final
VT 63
APP 65
 
Final
IUPUI 71
BST 69
 
Final
WMICH 91
DRAK 75
 
Final
RICH 80
HIGH 56
 
Final
MSST 71
UTST 63
 
Final
CAMP 48
COL 53
 
Final
DAVID 72
UNC 90
Final
NIOWA 66
UNF 49
 
Final
CSNO 79
SAMF 72
 
Final
YALE 61
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
NEV 50
CLEM 59
 
Final
PROV 80
FSU 54
 
Final
MARQ 89
NEOM 97
 
Final
DET 66
SALA 53
 
Final
TXSA 80
TXST 67
 
Final
CHIST 75
TRINCHRIS 52
 
Final
UMO 63
LIB 52
 
Final
BONA 59
CAN 53
 
Final
SAV 87
CLST 83
 
Final
NW 68
ELON 67
 
Final
RFLSH 57
MDES 53
 
Final
CARK 68
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
AFA 90
WSCO 60
 
Final
YOUNG 82
LONG 72
 
Final
MTST 66
SOUTH 48
 
2nd
ARKLR 71
UMKC 66
 
2nd
ABCHRIST 54
DUQ 66
 
2nd
WEBER 55
LSU 66
 
2nd
BUT 73
GHND 36
 
2nd
CSFU 60
SJST 51
 
2nd
WOFF 69
SD 54
 
2nd
NORST 60
TXSOU 51
 
2nd
COOK 37
TOWS 53
 
2nd
SILL 38
YALE 46
 
Half
KNST 44
ALCOR 29
 
Half
MAN 43
BING 27
 
2nd
JVST 43
MILES 46
 
Half
CSOU 35
WRST 42
 
1st
CITA 27
BOBJONES 24
 
1st
INDST 30
BRO 23
 
1st
WYO 19
COL 22
 
1st
GSOUT 6
FCCOL 6
 
1st
CCAR 25
PIED 13
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
AMER
7:00pm Tonight
MAR
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
CHAT
7:00pm Tonight
EKENT
CLERMONT
 
7:00pm Tonight
SMU
EWASH
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
HART
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
MASTERS
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
VMI
UNCW
7:00pm Tonight
RIU
NEB
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
OHMWSTRN
 
7:00pm Tonight
GTDNS
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAIR
SHSU
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
UNCG
7:00pm Tonight
ETST
UNCA
 
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
UNLV
7:00pm Tonight
STJOE
VERM
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
CCST
7:30pm Tonight
KSU
ILLCH
7:30pm Tonight
LIP
TRANSYLVAN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FUR
UCD
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
BEL
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
HAMP
 
8:00pm Tonight
IND
LAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
MIZST
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MRGST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAVY
NE
8:00pm Tonight
ALAAM
OAKW
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SONO
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
A
 
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
WMARY
8:30pm Tonight
TXARL
HOUB
 
8:30pm Tonight
MINN
UMBC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
NMST
 
9:00pm Tonight
GONZ
STTHOM
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
PBY
MORE
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
STAN
10:00pm Tonight
WISC
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
PORT
SIUE
Final
OTT 2
STL 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CLB
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
DET
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MIN
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
MON
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
FLA
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CAR
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
CHI
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
NJD
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
ARI
Final
NCCU 21
NCA 14