New goals, new identity for Georgia Southern football - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

New goals, new identity for GSU football

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STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -

There were similarities to the first major announcement about Georgia Southern football, a similar excitement linking to the program's history and the hope that defined it.

But when the university confirmed it was moving it was moving up to the FBS subdivision, it was really starting off in a whole new direction.

"It's totally different,'' said Rincon GSU fan Marty Fischer. "And I think a lot of people are unfamiliar with that territory.''

If GSU's reputation was built largely on football, GSU football's reputation was built solely on championships, the six national titles that are proudly represented at Paulson Stadium but are likely no longer possible at college football's highest level.

"I liked the way the Southern Conference was, when we played playoff games and got to a championship game,'' said Savannah GSU fan John Greenway. "Of course, the FBS is supposedly going in that direction. I don't think we'll ever get there, not in my lifetime anyway.''

The new life GSU football is entering was the talk of Wednesday's Eagle Booster Club meeting at Johnny Harris in Savannah.

And, while many fans support the move up, just as many have concerns about over-reaching.

"I think everyone's excited about the future, but we don't know what the future holds for us yet,'' said Savannah GSU fan Lenton Gay. "It's one of those things, ok, let's go over the hill and go look and see.''

As GSU football heads down a new path it will need to build a new identity for itself.

And it will have to do so in the same as it first did.

"Win,'' said Greenway. "We've got to show the same enthusiasm, got to be competitive with whoever we play.''

"I think that the opportunity to go up against some bigger names and knock some of the big guys off, that's pretty darn exciting,'' added Fischer. "And I know I'll be there to watch.''

"In terms of what we have to do to change our identity, the answer to that is win,'' said Gay. "Or, let me say this, be extremely competitive.''

Anything else wouldn't be Georgia Southern football.

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