Georgia Southern, McKinnon overpower Central Arkansas
Statesboro, GA (Sports Network) - For Georgia Southern quarterback Jerick McKinnon, guiding the FCS' No. 1-ranked rushing offense isn't as easy as it looks.
But on Saturday, in his team's FCS second-round playoff matchup, he really did make it look easy.
McKinnon rushed for a career-high 316 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries as fifth-seeded Georgia Southern posted a 24-16 victory over Central Arkansas.
He also threw for one touchdown.
The Eagles (9-3), from the Southern Conference, will travel to No. 4 seed Old Dominion (11-1) for a quarterfinal-round game next weekend. It will be a rematch of last season's second-round shootout in Statesboro, when the Eagles won, 55-48.
McKinnon was 17 rushing yards short of former Georgia Southern standout Adrian Peterson's school and FCS playoff records set in 1999 and just five yards short of the SoCon single-game rushing record set by Wofford's Eric Breitenstein earlier this season.
The Eagles rushed for 404 yards and controlled the game clock for 38 minutes.
Central Arkansas (9-3) got off to a slow start and trailed 24-9 at halftime. McKinnon accounted for all three of his touchdowns - 57- and 6-yard runs and his 32-yard pass to Darreion Robinson - and Alex Hanks kicked a 40-yard field goal to help Georgia Southern stretch its lead.
The Bears scored the only touchdown in the second half on Jackie Hinton's 19- yard run.
Central Arkansas quarterback Wynrick Smothers completed just 16-of-41 passes for 251 yards. However, he led the Bears with 79 rushing yards on 12 carries.
The Bears finished with 394 yards of offense, but converted just 3-of-12 third down attempts.
Georgia Southern B-back Dominique Swope rushed for 64 yards on 17 carries.
GSU is now 33-3 all-time at home in the playoffs.
12/01 19:01:30 ET