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Georgia State vs. South Alabama Prediction, Game Preview

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Georgia State at South Alabama prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Panthers and Jaguars.


Georgia State at South Alabama Game Preview

When: Saturday, October 29 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Broadcast: ESPN3

Time is running out for 2-5 Georgia State and 3-4 South Alabama if they have any hopes of participating in the postseason. It continues to be a curious season for the Jaguars, which have lost the last two games to dip below .500. They’ve been good enough to defeat Mississippi State and San Diego State, and hold a fourth quarter lead on first place Troy this past weekend, get they still need three more wins to qualify for a second-ever bowl game. The Panthers, too, hung tough with Troy as well as Wisconsin, but they’ve only defeated one FBS program, lowly Texas State, so far this fall.

What To Know About Georgia State

When the Panthers have competed this season, it’s been because of the play of the defense. The offense is still operating at an FCS level, averaging less than 20 points a game versus FBS competition. The D, though, has played surprisingly well for coordinator Jesse Minter. With Alonzo McGee setting the tone from inside linebacker, Georgia State is allowing 5.1 yards per play, tied for No. 28 nationally, while leading the Sun Belt in pass efficiency defense. In seven games, the Panthers have only given up five touchdown passes.

What to Know About South Alabama

The Jaguars don’t do one thing especially well, which explains the sub-.500 record. The offense features quality targets in the passing game, such as tight end Gerald Everett and receivers Josh Magee and Kevin Kutchera. But the line has surrendered 21 sacks and the ground game has been no help, hindering the potential of the passing attack. The defense plays with a bend-don’t-break mindset, and defensive end Randy Allen is headed toward a spot on the all-league team. But the unit still needs to improve at limiting big plays.

Advantages

Offense: South Alabama. Georgia State is generally feeble, while the Jags display a little more pop in the passing game.

Defense: Georgia State. This continues to be the calling card of the Panthers, which have given up an average of just 19 points over the last five games.

Special Teams: Push. Not much to see here, with the possible exception of USA kick returner Xavier Johnson.

Coaching: South Alabama. Jaguar head coach Joey Jones often puts his team in a position to win, regardless of the opponent.

Intangibles: South Alabama. The Jaguars are home, just a win away from reaching .500 and looking for revenge following last year’s loss in the Georgia Dome.

Matchup To Watch

Allen vs. Georgia State offensive tackles Hunter Atkinson and Sebastian Willer

Allen is a force coming off the edge, easily the Jaguars’ biggest threat to punish Panther QB Conner Manning this weekend. But Atkinson and Willer are the key cogs in an O-line that’s only allowed nine sacks all season.

Georgia State at South Alabama Betting Odds

Spread: South Alabama -3.5
Over/Under: No line as of post

Georgia State at South Alabama Prediction

The Panthers are a scrappy bunch on defense, but the road has not been kind to them in 2016. Georgia State is winless away from Atlanta, a trend that’ll continue in Mobile. Now, GSU can hang with South Alabama, which lacks the offensive consistency to pull into the clear. However, the inability to sustain drives and get into the end zone will lead to little more than a moral victory and the brink of postseason elimination for the Panthers.

Georgia State at South Alabama Score Prediction: South Alabama 26, Georgia State 20

MORE: No. 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 9

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