Georgia Southern to start Tomlin at QB against Arkansas, J.D. King’s status uncertain


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Ask anybody around the Ted Smith Family Football Center about the start to Georgia Southern’s season and you’ll get a similar answer.

“We have not played well and there’s nobody more disappointed than the people in this building,” said head coach Chad Lunsford.

There’s good reason for disappointment; the Eagles lost 38-6 to the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday in a performance that dropped the team to 1-1 and left Georgia Southern fans bewildered.

Eagles’ players took their share of the blame in a Monday press conference, saying that the team’s effort and communication need to be a lot better.

“I’ve seen the stuff we’ve been beat on and we’ve stopped it (in practice),” said running back Amare Jones. “We’ve scored on it in practice. We’re just beating ourselves.”

“We all have to get on the same page,” Lunsford said. “I know I heard Birdsong up here talking to y’all and he kept saying ‘same page, same page’ and I think that’s the big piece, making sure we don’t have miscommunications on the back end. Unfortunately the last two games, that’s what’s happened. We’ve had some miscommunications and given up some plays.”

Lunsford confirmed that redshirt junior Justin Tomlin will take the first snaps of the Eagles’ game against the No. 20 Arkansas Razorbacks, wo are coming off a 40-21 win against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. It will be the third different quarterback to start a game in as many weeks for the Eagles.

The move came in part because true freshman Cam Ransom rolled his right ankle early in the second quarter against FAU. Although he was able to come back in before halftime and finish the game, Ransom did not look like himself for the rest of the afternoon.

Ransom wore a walking boot around the team facility Monday morning after not practicing on Sunday. It is not yet known whether Ransom will be available for the Arkansas game.

“Cam is going to be a really good player for us,” Lunsford said. “We’ll see what he looks like tomorrow.”

The status of running back J.D. King is also up in the air for Saturday. Once thought to be good to go for opening day, King had more fluid in his injured left knee than originally thought, which requires more rehab.

Lunsford said that King is making solid progress, but that King is more likely to sit out than to play.

“We were able to get him out there a little bit last night. We wanted to be a little bit more careful with him, we don’t want to put him in a situation where we mess it up and we miss an opportunity for him to play this year.”

Despite the less-than-ideal start to the season, Eagles players are confident that they’re a talented team on the verge of figuring it out.

“We can definitely perform at a higher level than what we’ve been showing,” Jones said. “It kind of makes you mad when you know that you can perform better than what you’re putting on.”

“The criticism is hard but we wouldn’t want it any way else,” said senior defensive back Justin Birdsong. “I think it’s good that our fans want us to have a good season and hold us to a high standard. We want that for ourselves.”

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