STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The anticipation is real for the Georgia Southern Eagles, who are just days away from the 2018 season opener.
And that's no more evident than with the man in charge, Chad Lunsford.
After taking over the program for the last half of the 2017 season, Lunsford says this game week feels much different than the last six he's experienced.
"It was a lot about trying to send the seniors out right and trying to get the young guys to understand what we needed to do to win football games," Lunsford said.
This time around, Lunsford has his staff in place and this program is now truly his.
"We were able to implement what we wanted to do from January on. So, we're expecting good things, expecting guys to play hard, play disciplined, and kind of see what we are," he said.
Perhaps no player in the locker room is feeling that 2017 to 2018 change more than quarterback Shai Werts.
This time last year, Werts was preparing to make his first ever start at Auburn. It showed.
The Tiger defense dominated, holding the Eagles to less than 100 yards of total offense.
This fall, Werts says his confidence is much higher entering this weekend's opener against South Carolina State.
"There's some nerves going into Week 1 this year, but as of right now and keeping things simple, I feel comfortable about what we got going in," Werts said.
With a different mood in the air in Statesboro, the Eagles hope it brings a change in results as well.