Georgia Southern vs. Georgia State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Eagles and Panthers.
Georgia Southern vs. Georgia State Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 19 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Despite being separated by only 200 miles, Georgia Southern and Georgia State are meeting for just the third time. It’s also the first time without Trent Miles on the sideline of the Panthers. The fourth-year coach, who carried a 9-38 record, was sacked on Sunday and replaced on an interim basis by wide receivers coach Tim Lappano. While Georgia State is playing for pride, Georgia Southern can still become bowl-eligible with wins in its final two games. However, it’s going to take an about-face for an Eagle program that’s disappointed in 2016 and will carry a three-game losing streak into the Georgia Dome.
What To Know About Georgia Southern
If the Eagles are going to finish 2016 strong, they’ll need their quarterback to be healthy. Once a position of great depth, injuries to Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw forced Tyson Summers to give the ball to true freshman Seth Shuman. The impact to the team’s trademark ground game was devastating. Ellison and Upshaw are both listed on this week’s depth chart, and the team is hopeful they’ll be available to run the point. Defensively, Georgia Southern has been pushed around for at least 400 yards in each of the last seven contests.
What to Know About Georgia State
While there’s no single reason that led to Miles’ ouster, an inability to crank up the offense was certainly a factor. The administration will almost certainly want to bring in a replacement who can develop quarterbacks and put more points on the board. The Panthers are one of just nine FBS schools averaging fewer than 20 points per game. The defense, conversely, has played pretty well, despite having to spend far too much time on the field. Inside linebacker Alonzo McGee, cornerback Chandon Sullivan and safety Bobby Baker are the cornerstones of a secondary that’s allowed just five touchdown passes, but will be asked to contribute more in run defense this week.
Offense: Georgia Southern. Neither team is skilled in the passing game, but the Eagles can usually count on a ground game averaging a league-high 223 yards per game.
Defense: Georgia State. Kudos to Jesse Minter, the coordinator of a defense that ranks 20th in the country in yards per play allowed.
Special Teams: Georgia Southern. The Eagles will enjoy a huge edge here, led by the deft placekicking skills of Younghoe Koo.
Coaching: Georgia Southern. A couple of head coaching novices, Summers and Lappano, square off Saturday. For Lappano, this is the first head gig of his 35-year coaching career.
Intangibles: Georgia State. The Panthers wanted Lappano to succeed Miles, and they’re eager to have this back over the next two games.
Matchup To Watch
Georgia Southern RBs Matt Breida and Wesley Fields vs. McGee
The Eagles must get back to running the ball with authority after manufacturing just 52 yards last week. But evading McGee and picking up yards after contact will hinge on more than just the moves of Breida and Fields in space. Georgia Southern desperately needs a healthy quarterback who has the system down pat and the instincts to perfectly time the pitch on option plays.
Georgia Southern vs. Georgia State Betting Odds
Spread: Georgia Southern -2.5
Georgia Southern vs. Georgia State Prediction
Motivational interim coach. Visitor struggling with its defense and quarterback health. Sounds like the recipe for an upset in the Georgia Dome. Georgia State is going to perform with maximum intensity, to support Lappano and to release the frustration that’s built up this season. The Panthers will have some success through the air with Conner Manning, who threw for 422 yards and three scores last week, while the D takes advantage of a Georgia Southern offense that’s just not the same when Ellison and Upshaw are less than 100%.
Georgia Southern vs. Georgia State Score Prediction: Georgia State 27, Georgia Southern 24