STATESBORO, Ga. (School Release) - For the third-straight season under Head Coach Jeff Monken, Georgia Southern advanced to the FCS Playoffs and will face Central Arkansas on Dec. 1 at Allen E. Paulson Stadium, where the Eagles are 32-3 all-time in the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPN3.
The sixth-ranked Eagles advanced to the playoffs for the 19th time in their program's 31-year history after securing the Southern Conference's automatic bid. The current streak of playoff appearances is the longest since Georgia Southern (8-3) advanced to six-straight playoffs from 1997-2002.
The automatic qualifier from the Southland Conference, Central Arkansas (9-2) won the bid after finishing the conference slate with a 6-1 record, including a 24-20 win over fellow playoff qualifier Sam Houston State. Led by quarterback Wynrick Smothers, the eighth-ranked Bears average over 400 yards per game of total offense.
"They throw the ball very effectively, and they beat Sam Houston State," Monken said after watching Sunday's selection show with the team in Bishop Field House. "Being able to knock them off says a lot for their program."
The two teams have met only once on the football field. The two squads squared off for the final regular season game of the 2006 season at Paulson Stadium. Central Arkansas won that contest in overtime 34-31 after James Paul hit a game-winning 25-yard field goal.
A year ago GSU reached the semifinals for the second-straight season after defeating Old Dominion and Maine at home before falling to North Dakota State on the road.
Playoff tickets for season ticket holders got on sale starting at 5:00 p.m. today. The Georgia Southern Ticket Office will also be open this week for phone orders Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Tickets for the general public go on sale Nov. 25 at midnight.