Georgia State vs. Idaho prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Panthers and Vandals on Saturday in Moscow, ID.
Georgia State vs. Idaho Game Preview
When: Saturday, Dec. 3 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Kibbie Dome, Moscow, Idaho
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
The Panthers (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt) had lost three straight contests before notching a win in their last appearance on Nov. 19 against Georgia Southern. In that 30-24 win, quarterback Conner Manning went 21-of-39 passing for 318 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Athletic director Charlie Cobb is hopeful of having new head coach in place by Dec. 15, and some of the reported candidates for the gig include Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Trent Miles was fired with two games remaining in the season after going 9-38, so Tim Lappano is running the show in the interim.
Meanwhile, the Vandals (7-4, 5-2) enter this contest as one of the hotter teams in the Group of Five, having won five of their last six games. Their latest victory was a 38-31 win over South Alabama last Saturday, as running back Isaiah Saunders had 23 carries for 142 yards and three touchdowns.
Next year, Georgia State will move its home games from the Georgia Dome to Turner Field, which could give the Panthers a home field advantage that it has been lacking.
What To Know About Georgia State
Cobb said the pool of candidates that he is interested in bringing in have various backgrounds as head coaches or coordinators. Ultimately, he wants someone who will bring energy to the program. And that is certainly needed for a team that has struggled throughout 2016. Manning has thrown for 2,418 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions this fall, with Robert Davis being the top receiver. He has 58 catches for 856 yards and five scores. Meanwhile, Kyler Neal is the top running back, logging just 268 yards and two scores on 60 carries. The defense will need to be rebuilt next season, but the offense will return several notable players, including Manning, tight end Ari Werts, a nice crop of running backs and receiver Penny Hart.
What to Know About Idaho
It’s been a real nice season for Paul Petrino’s Vandals, as they are headed to a bowl game for the first time since 2009. The Vandals have played in two bowl games in the program’s history, and both were the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise (1998 and 2009). Matt Linehan paces the Vandals offense at quarterback, as he’s thrown for 2,677 yards with 12 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. His favorite target is Deon Watson, who has hauled in 35 catches for 538 yards and a score. Aaron Duckworth paces the ground attack having carried the ball 130 times for 576 yards and four scores.
Offense: Idaho. Georgia State is averaging a paltry 87.3 yards per game on the ground.
Defense: Even. Idaho is much worse against the pass, while Georgia State struggles against the run.
Special Teams: Idaho. Austin Rehkow is 23-of-25 on field goals, so he has been excellent this year.
Coaching: Idaho. The Georgia State head-coaching situation needs to get settled.
Intangibles: Idaho. The Vandals are the much better squad.
Matchup To Watch
Kicker vs. Kicker
Idaho has one of the better kickers in the Group of Five with Rehkow. Meanwhile, Rogier Ten Lohuis is just 8-of-15 on the year for Georgia State. If it’s a close game, the Panthers could be in trouble because there is a real disadvantage in this aspect of special teams.
Spread: Idaho -6.5
Georgia State vs. Idaho Prediction
Georgia State has struggled all season, and Idaho is just overall a much better football team that will be rewarded with a bowl game. Expect the Vandals to dominate on the ground, setting the tone for a long day for the Panthers defense. Idaho records a fairly easy win and will officially find out its bowl opponent after the contest, although the result of this game will not change the probability that the Vandals are likely headed to the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson. Could Air Force be the opponent?
Georgia State vs. Idaho Final Score Prediction: Idaho 30, Georgia State 20