Texas State vs. Georgia State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday’s matchup between the Bobcats and Panthers.
Texas State vs. Georgia State Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 8 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Four winless teams remain in the FBS, a fraternity Georgia State hopes to escape this week in its return from a grueling month-long road swing. The Panthers have fought hard, especially on defense, but they bowed to the superior talent of Air Force, Wisconsin and Appalachian State. A visit from Texas State affords GSU a realistic shot to break through with a much-needed victory. The Bobcats evened their mark Saturday, but needed a visit from FCS Incarnate Word to do so. Tyler Jones threw for a school-record 475 yards and five scores in what head coach Everett Withers hopes will be a catapult into the start of Sun Belt play.
What To Know About Texas State
The defense in San Marcos is flawed, and the ground game plays a secondary roll. But when Jones and his receivers are clicking, the Bobcats are a very dangerous team. The junior has twice carved up subpar defenses for more than 400 yards through the air, including the opener with Ohio. Jones will liberally spread the ball around, with eight different receivers catching a touchdown pass so far this year. And he’ll have the luxury of playing indoors on a carpet, though Georgia State presents an underrated challenge on defense.
What to Know About Georgia State
The Panthers are experiencing all kinds of problems moving the chains, norming just 13.8 points per game. But a blue-collar defense has kept the team competitive, even in the Week 3 trip to Madison to play the Badgers. Georgia State CB Jerome Smith and S Bobby Baker will make Jones earn his connections against a D that’s allowed just two touchdown passes and stands No. 13 nationally in pass efficiency defense. While teams have been able to run the ball on GSU, that’s an area where Texas State is struggling at just two yards per carry.
Offense: Texas State. Jones is arguably the best player on the field and a substantial upgrade over Georgia State’s Conner Manning.
Defense: Georgia State. Panthers are No. 4 in the league in yards per play allowed, impressive considering its last three opponents.
Special Teams: Texas State. Georgia State special teams in disarray, while Bobcats confident in P Lumi Kaba and a placekicking tandem that’s made 4-of-5 this fall.
Coaching: Texas State. Withers proved himself in two years at James Madison, and coordinator Brett Elliott is an up-and-comer overseeing the up-tempo attack.
Intangibles: Georgia State. Back in the dome after a month on the road, the Panthers will be motivated to earn that first victory of 2016.
Matchup To Watch
Jones vs. the Georgia State secondary
Jones can wing it all over the Georgia Dome. Georgia State, though, has been sticky in coverage. Something has to give this weekend when the quarterback faces an underrated defensive backfield headed by Smith and Baker.
Spread: Georgia State -10.5
Over/Under: No line (as of posting)
Texas State vs. Georgia State Prediction
The Panthers can’t score. The Bobcats are laboring to stop anyone. It’ll be a battle of contrasting styles and strengths this Saturday in Atlanta. Georgia State will be determined to finally crack the win column, especially at home. But Jones will be the best player in the building, throwing two touchdown passes to match the total the Panthers have allowed all season. And playing at a deficit will be a problem for a GSU squad that ranks last nationally with only six red-zone trips in four games.
Texas State vs. Georgia State Score Prediction: Texas State 27, Georgia State 21