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GSUs Breida makes a name for himself
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The question, of course, is: Who scored the Georgia Southern Eagles’ first touchdown in FBS play?
That is something for Matt Breida to reflect on once his football playing days are long behind him. Now, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound speedster’s only concern is getting better. It’s something he works on daily.
“I try to do something every day that will make me better,” Breida said. “I have to be patient, but I have to be working hard whether it’s on the practice field, watching film, being in the weight room or studying the playbook. You can’t sit still because someone will pass you up.”
All week leading up to its season opener with North Carolina State last Saturday, Georgia Southern was being treated as the proverbial sacrificial lamb being led to slaughter.
Oddsmakers had established the Wolfpack as a three-touchdown-plus favorite.
However, it turned out the lamb had some bite. Plenty of bite, actually, and the first bite was taken by Breida who stunned the Pack and its followers with a 61-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game.
That dash by the former high school standout sprinter not only gave the Eagles a quick 7-0 lead in a game it eventually lost, 24-23, but it also established Breida as the answer to the trivia question.
While Breida’s name isn’t as familiar as some of his better-known teammates, a 61-yard run against an ACC team will certainly make people sit up and take notice.
It’s doubtful Savannah State will be overlooking Breida when they meet at 6 p.m. on Saturday at new look Paulson Stadium. Nor will future opponents.
Nor will the Eagles be overlooking the Tigers, a team they beat 77-9 last year, Breida said.
Georgia Southern will be heavily favored to hand Savannah State a similar thrashing. The Tigers, an FCS team from the MEAC, opened their season last Saturday with a 61-7 loss at Middle Tennessee State, and have won only three games the three previous seasons.
“We have treat them like any other game,” Breida said. “We can’t treat this game lightly. There’s a lot of pride on the line.
“This game is more about what we can do to get back on the winning track,” Breida said. “The mood in the locker room after the game last Saturday wasn’t good. We knew we could have won, but for our mistakes.
“We’ve got to work on correcting those and continue doing what we do best. If we do that everything will take care of itself.”
Breida finished with 87 yards on 10 carries against the Wolfpack and running mate Alfred Ramsby added 36 on 15 attempts while quarterback Kevin Ellison had 116 for the Eagles, who had 246 yards on the ground.
“Our offensive line did a great job,” Breida said. “The OL opened it up (on his scoring run) and all I had to do was run. It was a play we had worked on all week. It was a designed option.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t disappoint our fans this Saturday. It’s going to be a special night with all the changes.”
Brieda played in all 11 of the Eagles’ games last year, primarily on special teams and as a kick returner. He had one rushing attempt for 15 yards, and he had a 43-yard kick return against Appalachian State.