Georgia Southern key: finishing games

An important part of Georgia Southern’s season will be learning to finish games.

Coach Jeff Monken said Southern had chances to win even more than the 10 games they were victorious in last season, but they couldn’t finish some of them well. Though they outscored opponents 120-44 in the fourth quarter last year, three of the Eagles’ four losses came down to scores in the final quarter.

The Eagles were knocked out of the semifinals of the FCS playoffs by North Dakota State 23-20 when they gave up a touchdown with 3:05 left. They also gave up a fourth-quarter touchdown in a three-point loss to Appalachian State earlier in the season, and a 37-yard field goal with 35 seconds in a two-point loss to The Citadel.

Monken said improving in that area is the biggest challenge the team faces this season.

He said it’s not an issue of endurance — he said the team always is in good condition — or maturity.

“We just didn’t make plays when we needed to,” he said. “Ten guys can be doing what they are supposed to be doing and one guy can make a mistake, and it costs everybody.”