2014 record: 9-3
Total offense rank: 16th
Offensive starters returning: 5
Georgia Southern wasn’t allowed to play in a bowl game in its first season of FBS play, despite winning the Sun Belt Conference and nearly edging ACC teams Georgia Tech and North Carolina State on the road. The Eagles are eligible for postseason play in 2015, though, and with their unstoppable run game they’ll likely be making a bowl appearance.
Last year they averaged 379.9 rushing yards per game, far and away the best in the country, while averaging 7.11 yards per carry and scoring 55 times on the ground. Their “worst” rushing effort was for 227 yards, a tally that would have ranked 24th in FBS if spread over the year.
The three-headed rushing monster of quarterback Kevin Ellison and backs Matt Breida and Alfred Ramsby combined for 3,258 yards with 41 touchdowns, and all will be back in 2015. Georgia Southern does have to replace four of its five starting offensive linemen, but coach Jeff Monken built up depth during the past season and has a plan in place to make the transition for his new starters a smooth one.
Georgia Southern will get another pair of high-profile nonconference games to show off its run game against, opening at West Virginia and visiting Georgia in November.