I'm not one to make light of the misfortune of others. No seriously, I'm not, stop laughing. That said, the sad truth is Georgia State and Troy are two of the worst teams suiting up to play an FBS football schedule this fall, and my task is to preview this weekend's matchup between the two.
Prep for the fun, contrarians of college football.
Plenty is at stake this weekend, namely a spot in the standings other than dead last. These squads rank Nos. 2 and 3 in the ol' ESPN Bottom 10. Thank goodness for 0-7 SMU. However, if the Mustangs manage to spring the upset against 1-7 Tulsa, we could be looking at a new #1. Motivation, people!
Start Time: 3:00 p.m. ET, Nov. 8
Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, Alabama
TV: It's your laptop.
Records: Troy (1-8, 1-4 Sun Belt). GSU (1-8, 0-6)
Live Stats: Track them here
Betting Odds: Troy -7. Over/Under of 64
Troy Outlook: As I've written before, it's no fun watching Troy's coach of more than two decades go out on what may be his worst season. Since announcing his retirement in early October, Larry Blakeney's team seems to be prepping for a work stoppage too. They scored 41 points to claim a win against New Mexico State before stumbling to a combined 37 points in the next three games. Meanwhile, the defense surrendered 122 in the trio of contests.
Starting quarterback Brandon Silvers has missed action recently with a sore back. Against Georgia Southern last week, Silvers was 3 of 7 passing for 10 yards, which somehow is possible. His backup, junior college transfer Dontreal Pruitt, hasn't looked much better in relief. This week we may see action from third stringer Dallas Tidwell.
Troy is 110th nationally in total offense with an average of 333 yards a game and just 18 touchdowns on the season. Aside from wide receiver/kick returner Chandler Worthy there isn't much to write home about.
The Trojans are 121st nationally in total defense. Only four teams sit below them, one of which is, you guessed it, Georgia State at 124. Oy.
Georgia State Outlook:
It's been that kind of year for Georgia State.
Nothing this week could be worse than what the Panthers saw last time out: Snow. Georgia State, a Dome team known for its passing attack, faced a winter wonderland in Boone and came home with a 44-0 defeat to Appalachian State.
If you need an illustration of how bad it was, check this out:
The Mountaineers lined up for a 30-yard field goal to end the first half. GSU head coach Trent Miles decided to ice the kicker, almost literally. Miles called three timeouts in a row, telling his players before they finally lined up, "watch for the fake."
App's kicker ran off to the side before the snap, basically saying "he's right, this is a fake." Yes, App then ran the fake into the end zone.
Back on dry land, they should be more potent against Troy. State actually sports more passing yards (2,584) and touchdowns (16) than any other Sun Belt team. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle is a potent passer with dangerous receivers, his main weakness being a Brett Favre problem (10 interceptions) and 25 sacks.
It's nearing desperation time for Miles, who sits at 1-20 in his two years roaming the Panther sidelines. This likely is his last shot at a win in 2014 as only Clemson and Texas State remain.
Prediction: While Troy still has Idaho on the schedule, this game could decide last place in the Sun Belt. If my fantasy football experience is any indication, staying out of last place can be just as much motivation as claiming first (never wasting $40 on that scam again, but I digress).
I see Troy coming out victorious. The defense is a little better, Troy runs it a little better and I think the motivation is there for them a little more. Trojans win and cover.
We'll see you Saturday. Right? Guys?