Appalachian State at Georgia Southern prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Mountaineers and Eagles.
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Game Preview
When: Thursday, October 27 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, GA
Appalachian State continues its push toward a possible first-ever Sun Belt title this Thursday in Statesboro. The Mountaineers have won four straight, most recently over Idaho, despite being without the services of two of their premier players, injured running back Marcus Cox and linebacker John Law. Georgia Southern sits a game in the loss column behind App State, Troy and Arkansas State. But with an upset this week, the Eagles will join the mix of contenders entering the home stretch. GSU is back at Paulson Stadium for the first time in well over a month following four straight road games.
What To Know About Appalachian State
While it’s rarely flashy, the Mountaineers’ blueprint for success has been effective so far this fall. Scott Satterfield’s team plays sound defense, allowing a league-low 19 points per game, and runs the ball consistently. Even as Cox has been on the shelf, sophomore Jalin Moore has stepped up with what will probably wind up being a 1,000-yard season on the ground. Plus, in Taylor Lamb Appalachian State boasts a seasoned quarterback coming off one of his sharpest outings of 2016, going 18-of-23 for 220 yards.
What to Know About Georgia Southern
Even with a first-year coach on board, Tyson Summers, opponents know what they’re going to get form the Eagles—an unrelenting ground game. Georgia Southern ranks No. 10 nationally in rushing, averaging more than 50 carries per game. A lot of Eagles will get involved, including quarterback Kevin Ellison and complementary backs Wesley Fields and Matt Breida. The surprise in Statesboro has been the play of a defense that’s only had a rough time with ranked Western Michigan and Georgia Tech of the ACC. Otherwise, the defense is excelling at forcing punts, led by linebacker Ironhead Gallon.
Offense: Appalachian State. While both squads can run the ball, the Mountaineers are better equipped to mix in passing options on play-action with Lamb and wideout Shaedon Meadors.
Defense: Appalachian State. It’s closer than expected, but the Mountaineers’ edge in run defense will be especially important in this matchup.
Special Teams: Georgia Southern. Younghoe Koo among the nation’s most accurate placekicks, hitting all 13 of his field goal attempts, including a 53-yarder.
Coaching: Appalachian State. Satterfield now in his fourth season, while Summers is a rookie head coach.
Intangibles: Georgia Southern. After more than a month trekking the nation, the Eagles are ecstatic to be playing a game in friendly territory.
Matchup To Watch
Appalachian State linebackers Eric Boggs and Kennan Gilchrist vs. Kevin Ellison
The Mountaineers have a short week to prepare for the ground assault of Georgia Southern. The key, as is always the case when facing option offenses, is remain disciplined and maintain gap integrity, which falls largely on Boggs and Gilchrist, especially if Law is still less than full strength.
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Betting Odds
Spread: App State -5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Prediction
The game of the week in the Sun Belt Conference ought to be as competitive as the numbers indicate. Plus, Georgia Southern is going to be energized by a return to home. However, Appalachian State is still the more complete team in this matchup, from the better overall defensive personnel to their potential for offensive diversity. It won’t be easy, but the Mountaineers will get out of Statesboro with their perfect league mark intact.
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Score Prediction: Appalachian State 28, Georgia Southern 22