SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Georgia Southern returned to the FCS postseason Saturday. And the familiar Paulson Stadium energy also was back for the Eagles' first home playoff game since 2004.
"This is great,'' GSU fan Angelia Huggins said about the atmosphere at Paulson on Saturday for Saturday's game against South Carolina State. "We were missing a lot of the students today and it looks like a good number of them came back, but the rest of us filled in the stands.''
"I think,'' George Shriver added about the crowd, "they're expecting to go to Williamsburg.''
The Paulson crowd helped point the Eagles toward their second-round showdown at William & Mary, providing an extra push in Saturday's 41-16 win over S.C. St.
"When you get down and you need it, they're there,'' said GSU coach Jeff Monken. "It was just a tremendous atmosphere and it was really exciting for all of us. From my vantage point from our sideline, I could see the other side where our students are and our band and there wasn't an empty seat, it was packed over there. And the hills had people on them and they were loud and we could feel their energy.''
That feeling was even bigger than the curiously low announced attendance of 10,215.
"If there were only 10,000,'' said Monken, "that was the loudest 10,000 people I've ever been around here in Paulson. That was terrific.''
And even though the Eagles won't be around Paulson this week, their fans remain excited. And faithful.
"I'm very proud, very excited and very happy to be here,'' said Huggins. "I'm glad to see the Georgia Southern Eagles headed back in the right direction.''
Well, as Erk used to say,'' added John Benner, a GSU fan from Jesup, "one more time. We'll get through each game, each week. We'll go as far as they take us.''