STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Shai Werts rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns to lead Georgia Southern's potent running game in a 37-6 defeat of South Carolina State Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

The Eagles racked up 319 yards and five touchdowns on the ground out of 348 yards total offense.

Wesley Fields and Monteo Garrett also scored rushing TDs.

Tomarcio Reese made 10 tackles for a Georgia Southern defense that held SC State to 2.9 yards per play and forced two turnovers.

Garrett and Werts staked Georgia Southern to a 13-0 lead, scoring successive touchdowns in the final three minutes of the first quarter. Werts added two more TDs in the fourth quarter on runs of 13 and 14 yards.

Tyrece Nick scored the lone points for the Bulldogs with a 2-yard run. SC State has not beaten Georgia Southern in eight meetings.

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