Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Eagles and Red Wolves.
Georgia Southern at Arkansas State Game Preview
When: Wednesday, October 5 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR
Georgia Southern and Arkansas State were idle last weekend, a respite to recharge and hopefully rebound from losses. In the case of the Red Wolves, four losses. The defending league champs were easily the Sun Belt’s biggest disappointment of September, slipping to 0-4 for the first time since 2001 following a home loss to FCS Central Arkansas. Georgia Southern stumbled into the bye week, too, losing at Western Michigan, 49-31. This will be the second of four straight road games for the Eagles, which are off to a fast 2-0 start in conference play.
What To Know About Georgia Southern
After being dragged into a track meet by Western Michigan, the Eagles want to recapture their usual formula for success—a clock-controlling ground game and sound defensive play. Georgia Southern has a myriad of options in the rushing attack, from shifty quarterbacks Favian Upshaw and Kevin Ellison to backs Matt Breida, Wesley Fields and L.A. Ramsby. On defense, linebacker Ironhead Gallon spurs a unit that leads the league in total defense, scoring defense and third-down stops, despite the rough outing in Kalamazoo two weeks ago.
What to Know About Arkansas State
Very little has gone right for the Red Wolves, which fell to Toledo, Auburn and Utah State leading up to the Central Arkansas loss. They’re having a particularly tough time at the line of scrimmage, a bad sign with Georgia Southern coming to town. ASU is averaging just 80 yards rushing per game, compared to 239 for opponents. Plus, the inability to make third-down stops is forcing the defense to stay on the field for extended periods of time. Considered a strength before the season began, the defense is frequently too gassed to make stops and get the ball backs in the hands of quarterback Justice Hansen.
Offense: Georgia Southern. It’s a one-dimensional offense, but a very potent singular dimension.
Defense: Georgia Southern. The Red Wolves possess the talent to improve, but their execution needs a lot of work.
Special Teams: Push. Neither team was sharp on special teams during September.
Coaching: Arkansas State. Rough start, no doubt, but Blake Anderson has had a two-year head start on Georgia Southern rookie head coach Tyson Summers.
Intangibles: Arkansas State. If the defending Sun Belt champs aren’t fired up after starting 0-4, Anderson has lost this team for 2016.
Matchup To Watch
Breida vs. Arkansas State LBs Quanterio Heath, Kyle Wilson and Xavier Woodson-Luster
It’s been an unusually slow start for Breida, who has yet to race for 100 yards in a game. But Summers would love to turn Breida loose Wednesday, and he has the pickup speed to jet through the secondary if the Arkansas State linebackers don’t impede his progress before he gets past the second level.
Georgia Southern at Arkansas State Betting Odds
Spread: Georgia Southern -7
Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas State Prediction
A week away from the field served Arkansas State well. It was a chance to clear the head and refocus, yet it won’t be enough to offset the relentless Georgia Southern ground game. The Eagles will also be rested, and determined to play ball-control by pounding it at least 60 times on the ground. They’ll liberally rotate the backs and the quarterbacks, hitting the Red Wolves with fresh sets of legs. And facing an uphill climb will result in costly ASU turnovers for a third game in a row.
Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas State Score Prediction: Georgia Southern 34, Arkansas State 23