MONROE, La. (AP) — J.D. King ran for a career-high 196 yards and a score, Rashad Byrd had a tackle at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds, and Georgia Southern held on for a 35-30 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night.
Wesley Kennedy III had 64 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 14 carries for Georgia Southern. NaJee Thompson blocked two punts, the second of which was covered in the end zone by Byrd to give the Eagles a 35-17 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter. Thompson became just the second player (James Williams, 1993) in program history to block two punts in the same game.
Colby Suits completed 31 of his career-high 54 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns for ULM (0-4, 0-2 Sun Belt), and added seven carries for 51 yards. Josh Johnson had two touchdowns rushing and another receiving.
Following Byrd's touchdown, Suits led a 13-play, 73-yard drive capped by Johnson's 2-yard scoring reception with 29 seconds left in the third quarter. After a punt by Georgia Southern (2-1, 1-1), the Warhawks drove 80 yards in eight plays to trim the deficit to 35-30 on Johnson's second 2-yard rushing TD with 4:59 to play.
The Eagles went three-and-out and ULM took over at its own 27 with 2:42 left. Suits converted a pair of third downs and ran for 7 yards on a fourth-and-6 to make it first-and-goal from the 9 and, two plays later, Byrd stopped a scrambling Suits at the 1 and time ran out.
Attendance at 30,427-seat Malone Stadium was limited to 25% capacity and there was no on-campus tailgating or RV parking due to COVID-19 restrictions.