Patrick Westrick, Stadium Journey

Keep an eye on these five players in Saturday's Home Opener

Here are five players to watch for the game against Savannah State..

Last Saturday, we witnessed a great game from the Golden Eagles. It was a huge win to start what could be a great season. Look, there’s no shame in saying there was some serious worry after that first half. The fact of the matter is the Eagles mostly got dominated. Two huge bookend touchdowns to end the first half and start the second got the Golden Eagles back in the game, and the rest is history. Now is not the time to look back at the victory over the Wildcats, though. Now is the time to look forward to the Savannah State Tigers this Saturday. Basically everyone expects the Eagles to roll, but here are five players I’m looking at to be important pieces to a Golden Eagle victory on Saturday.

5. Parker Adamson-

http://www.scout.com/player/162493-parker-adamson?s=358

It’s a little odd to see the backup QB on a list of important players, but the fact of the matter is Adamson is a very important player for the Golden Eagles Saturday. Unless something wild happens, the Golden Eagles should be up pretty big, pretty quick. It’s going to be important to have depth players come in and hold the lead that it’s safe to assume the starters will quickly build. Adamson will need to come in and manage the game well for the Eagles to avoid any unnecessary snaps for Nicky Gunz.

4. Tez Parks-

http://www.scout.com/player/162103-tez-parks?s=358

Sticking with the same line of thinking as Parker Adamson on this one. If Ito touches the ball more than 15 times my head might explode. Shoot, I would think George Payne’s touches should be limited as well. There’s really no reason to risk either of those guys to injury. They’ll both be major parts of this team’s success this season, so Tez will need to come in and carry the rock a good bit for the Golden Eagles in this one.

3. Xavier Thigpen-

http://www.scout.com/player/175785-xavier-thigpen?s=358

Savannah State gave up 4 sacks last week. Against Georgia Southern. Paw Paw is going to eat like it’s the early bird special at Shoney’s. I’m going to pencil him in for multiple sacks and a forced fumble. Even though a Golden Eagle win is almost a foregone conclusion, it’s still important to come out and show you mean business. Paw Paw should get the defense rolling early.

2. Jacob Fleming/Wil Freeman-

http://www.scout.com/player/169238-jacob-fleming?s=358

http://www.scout.com/player/153450-wil-freeman?s=358

Bit of a cop out to put two guys in one, but it’s really all about the importance of the position here. Hate to beat a dead horse, but in a game where the Eagles are expected to roll, one of the most important things in this game is to get out healthy. The worst nightmare of any Golden Eagle fan would be to see Nick Mullens get caught from the blind-side, so it will be up to these two to make sure Mullens stays upright and avoids even the slightest of chances that anything goes wrong.

1. Every Player’s Brain- Wow. Caught you off guard with that one. At the end of the day, these guys need to stay healthy. The biggest part of staying healthy is playing smart and realizing the situation. This is not Kentucky. Nor is it LSU. Nor is it one of your big conference opponents like La Tech or Marshall. I don’t want this to come off as disrespect for Savannah State, because that’s not how it’s meant. The fact is, though, the Eagles should roll in this one. Don’t try to create extra yards and get yourself hurt. Don’t do anything to put yourself in harm’s way. Play smart. Get the win. Move on to next week. The game plan really should be that simple this week.

What should be your main takeaway from this column? Writing five players to watch against a team that just lost 54-0 to Georgia Southern last week is tough. The number one player isn’t even a player. At the end of the day, this game is going to be all about getting out to an early lead and getting the starters out as quickly as possible. Go to the game, tailgate, and have a good time. Go in and watch the Eagles dominate. This should be just as much about showing this team some love for a great performance last week as it is about watching the game this week. Have fun. Get buck. It’s the home opener. 


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