STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Chad Lunsford says the Eagles let an opportunity to virtually guarantee a bowl spot slip away with a loss to Arkansas State last week.
Now with one game remaining in the regular season, a rivalry clash with Georgia State, the Eagles have just one final chance to lock in a bowl trip.
In the Sun Belt Conference, as many as seven teams could be at six wins or more. The conference only has five bowl tie-ins, meaning a team with just six wins could be watching Bowl Season from home.
Lunsford and the program are determined to not let that happen.
“We have to understand that six is not enough. We have to go try and get number seven," Lunsford said Monday. “Being a 6-6 football team does not guarantee anything, and our guys understand that.”
“We understand where we are right now, and what we need to accomplish this Saturday,” says senior cornerback Kindle Vildor. “Everybody’s ready to move forward and go dominate Saturday.”
The Eagles’ comeback attempt against Arkansas State fell short in Jonesboro, dropping the team’s record to 6-5. Lunsford says his team understands Saturday’s rivalry game with Georgia State holds much more weight than just Peach State bragging rights.
“We talked about how important getting that win [vs. Arkansas State] would be for us. We didn’t get it,” Lunsford says. “Now our backs are against the wall even more. We have to go get it done to make sure we secure a spot.”
The Eagles kick off against Georgia State at 6 p.m. Saturday at Paulson Stadium. Southern has never beaten their rivals from Atlanta at home in the short history of the series.