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Getting to know Georgia Southern

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NC State's season-opener against Georgia Southern in a couple weeks will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. You probably remember that GSU beat Florida last season (without completing a pass) and that the Eagles look like bizarro blue Alabama, but they are much more than a Florida-beating, bizarro blue Alabama.  Here's a first glance:

Georgia Southern University
Founded: 1906
Location: Statesboro, Ga.
Enrollment: 20,517
Fun Fact: When GSU was founded, it was called the First District Agricultural & Mechanical School. No idea why they opted to change that name.

Georgia Southern Football
FBS, Sun Belt Conference
First Game:
All-Time Record:
356-200-9 (.638)
Head Coach:
Willie Fritz (first year at GSU; 176-67-1 career record)
Fun Facts:
Georgia Southern's football program was put to a halt in 1941 because of World War II and would not be revived until the early 1980s. Former Georgia defensive coordinator Erk Russell led that revival as the head coach, and the Eagles were successful immediately, winning the first of their six FCS national titles in 1985. While still at Georgia, Russell came up with the motto "get after their asses," which he brought to GSU; it's still embraced by the school today. Since the program's return, GSU has twice as many national titles as losing seasons.
Bonus Non-Football Fun Fact: GSU has a live eagle mascot named Freedom, because #Merica.
All-Name Team: Sophomore safety Vegas Harley, junior linebacker Deshawntee Gallon, senior wide receiver Kentrellis Showers, junior wide receiver Sam O'Babatunde, sophomore linebacker Russell Wilson
Returning Starters: 7 on offense, 5 on defense
Base Offense: Spread option
Base Defense: 4-3