Georgia Southern to face in-state rival Georgia State on national television

Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 10:51 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2023 at 6:50 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Southern Eagles will be facing an in-state rival on national television Thursday night.

The Eagles will face the Georgia State Panthers at 7:35 p.m. at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

This will be the 10th meeting between the Georgia rivals as both look to keep pace with James Madison in the Sun Belt conference standings.

During Thursday night’s game, former Eagle head coach Paul Johnson will be honored at the end of the first quarter. Johnson is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The Eagles won two Division 1-AA titles under Johnson in 1999 and 2000.

If you thought people wouldn’t show out for a Thursday night game, you’d be wrong.

Percussion, pumpkins, and...parrots?

Anything goes when you’re prepping to watch Georgia Southern football on the national stage and that means Dino and Big Bird, who travel to televised sports events, have landed in the Boro.

“Instead of keeping them in the cage, I’m trying to make them famous,” said Robert Marmarosa, owner of Dino and Big Bird.

Meanwhile, other tailgaters putting together elaborate setups like tiki bars and spooky tents.

They say it might be a little bit of a late night for a Thursday but it’s worth it to show out for the Eagles.

“You have to watch us. The best part is watching Freedom fly, then we get to watch the Eagles play their heart out.”

And hopefully get the win while people across the country are watching.

“It’s great. It’s a little bit of pressure, we’re feeling it, but we love putting Georgia Southern on a national spotlight so we’re excited about that and we’re hoping for the best tonight,” said Matthew Sapp, wit the Cypress Bar.

Georgia Southern is undefeated at home this season so they’ve got that working in their favor.

Georgia State, however, is on top of them in the Sunbelt East ranking. They’re 6-1 overall, and undefeated on the road.

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