STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Saturday evening, fans finally got the chance to see the Georgia Southern Eagles back in action at this year’s spring game underneath the leadership of new head coach, Clay Helton.

Before being named the Georgia Southern’s head football coach, Helton coached the USC Trojans for seven seasons and compiled a 46-24 record, including a Rose Bowl in 2016 and a conference championship in 2020.

Questions lingered about whether the former 2010 USC quarterbacks coach (Helton) could help Georgia Southern with their passing game. The Eagle’s offense answered that question during the spring game, where they threw three passing touchdowns on 63 attempts.

“Good execution by the first offense, which I was hoping for,” Helton said during the postgame press conference. “Really, the second half of this camp, the offense has kind of hit their stride and got a little swagger about them and gained confidence.”

Kyle Vantrease, the transfer quarterback from the University of Buffalo, led the offense for the Eagles, completing 16 of his 25 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown.

“The most important thing next is bonding over the summer,” Vantrease said during his postgame interview. “Because a team that’s connected is going to be a dangerous team.”

Defensively, the Eagles managed to get three sacks but failed to force a turnover. However, players believe improvements will come with time, and spring practice helped them get off to a good start.

“It felt like a [real] game,” Tyler Bride, a defensive back for the Eagles, said. “We competed each and every day [of spring practice]. Sometimes they had our number, [and] sometimes we had their number. But at end of the day, we got both better, and I can’t wait for the fall.”

Also, Saturday morning, the Georgia Southern broke ground on their new $12.3 million indoor practice facility. The administration expects to complete the structure to be complete by the beginning of 2023.