Louisiana-Monroe vs. Georgia State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Warhawks and Panthers.
Louisiana-Monroe vs. Georgia State Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 12 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
For all intents and purposes, this next month will be about pride and crafting a 2017 runway for both Louisiana-Monroe and Georgia State. The Panthers have dropped the last two games to guarantee a sixth straight losing season. And that’s a bitter pill for a young program that appeared in the Cure Bowl last December. And while the Warhawks staved off postseason elimination with this past Saturday’s impressive 42-35 win over South Alabama, they’ll need to win out, including next week at Appalachian State, to even be considered for a bowl berth. At a minimum, Matt Viator wants to use November as a launch into his second year in Monroe.
What To Know About Louisiana-Monroe
Viator has been saddled in his first season with one of the worst defensive units in the FBS and a crushing injury last month to his most important player, sophomore quarterback Garrett Smith. Losing Smith hurt, though it is allowing the program to build depth at the position. Against South Alabama, for instance, true freshman Caleb Evans got the start and responded by throwing three touchdown passes and making plays with his feet. Evans’ arm also helped create space for fellow newcomer Thomas Koufie, who rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
What to Know About Georgia State
ULM has been hamstrung by poor defensive play. In Atlanta, the problem has been offense. The Panthers average just 19 points per game, unable to mount drives or pop off long plays on the ground or through the air. And it’s unfortunate, too, since the defense has played well enough to warrant a winning record in 2016. While Georgia State can be beaten between the tackles, defensive backs Chandon Sullivan, Bobby Baker and Bryan Williams headline a secondary that leads the Sun Belt in pass defense and is tied for second nationally with five touchdown passes allowed.
Offense: Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks flashed some pop a week ago with Evans pitching the ball to a veteran receiving corps and Koufie shouldering a bigger load on the ground.
Defense: Georgia State. ULM is a defensive sieve, while the Panthers have quietly been stingy all year long.
Special Teams: Push. Neither team will be seeking a pay raise and contract extension for its special teams coach.
Coaching: Georgia State. Viator has a sound track record, but Georgia State’s Trent Miles has more experience at this level of the game.
Intangibles: Georgia State. The Panthers have been a far more competitive team in the Dome. The Warhawks are 0-5 this season outside of Malone Stadium.
Matchup To Watch
Evans vs. the Georgia State defensive backfield
Evans played very well last week in the win over South Alabama. But the Georgia State secondary represents a sudden step up in weight class. The Panthers do an excellent job of keeping the ball in front of them, ranking in the top 10 nationally in fewest yards per attempt and pass efficiency D.
Louisiana-Monroe at Georgia State Betting Odds
Spread: Georgia State -13
Over/Under: No line as of post
Louisiana-Monroe at Georgia State Prediction
This is a bad matchup for Louisiana-Monroe. Not only does it hit the road, where it’s winless, but it’ll send a true freshman quarterback out against the league’s toughest secondary. The result will be a bunch of punts and a couple of picks that tilt the field. And while Georgia State is undeveloped offensively, it won’t be as pronounced against the Warhawk defense. With a little more time than usual, quarterback Conner Manning will enjoy a rare good day, with help from receivers Robert Davis and Todd Boyd.
Louisiana-Monroe at Georgia State Score Prediction: Georgia State 28, Louisiana-Monroe 17