What: Georgia Southern at South Alabama, a Sun Belt Conference game with a lot potentially riding on the outcome.
When: 7:30pm EST, 6:30pm CDT
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL.
How to Watch: ESPN3 is pretty much your only option, here. You can watch it on a computer through espn3.com, or use the WatchESPN app on a variety of mobile platforms or other devices.
How to Listen:
What to be watching for:
South Alabama comes into this game fresh off a 35-3 home loss to Mississippi State. The score is a bit deceptive, since South Alabama had some opportunities that they failed to take advantage of. Check out Brian's game recap for a bit more information on it. They are led by Senior QB Brandon Bridge, who is just over 50% on the year for completion percentage, and has thrown for 364 yards. He has some big-play receivers in Shavarez Smith, Danny Woodson, and Marvin Shinn who may be able to take advantage of an undersized Eagle secondary that has given up some big plays in the passing game.
Georgia Southern is still stinging (no pun intended) from a very close loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. There were things to be happy about for Eagles fans in that game, though. Georgia Southern moved the ball on the ground and through the air very well against Georgia Tech in the second half. The Eagles appear to have discovered a fantastic balance of running and throwing the ball with sophomores Kevin Ellison (QB) and Matt Breida (RB) providing a good bit of the punch on the ground, while seniors Kentrellis Showers and Zach Walker are the home-run threats through the air. BJ Johnson at WR and Alfred Ramsby at RB are no slouches, either. On the negative side for Georgia Southern, TE/H-back Nardo Govan's injury at the end of the Georgia Tech game was season-ending. Kevin Ellison appears to be a go after nagging shoulder injuries forced him from the game on the last few drives.
The Eagles rank 2nd in the nation in rushing yards and 8th in overall points/game, though they are 79th in passing yards/game. The option has given South Alabama fits in the past, and Georgia Southern's offense is liable to be no exception. Meanwhile, South Alabama's offense ranks 79th in passing, 102nd in rushing, and 123rd overall. These stats can be a bit misleading, however. South Alabama has only played two games, while Georgia Southern had a walk-in-the-park victory against Savannah State that added a fair bit of cushioning to those stats.
On the defensive side of the ball, South Alabama is 58th in the nation, allowing an average of 24 points/game. Georgia Southern is 66th in the nation while allowing only a single point more for a 25 points/game average. The opening line on this game was South Alabama by four points, but Kevin Ellison's status being upgraded to probably and a lot of money bet on the Eagles appears to have swung the line to Georgia Southern being a 3 point favorite on the road as of Friday morning. ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Eagles a 63.2% chance of pulling out the victory.
It should be a fun night in Mobile. The Jaguars will likely attempt to take advantage of Georgia Southern's secondary, while the Eagles will want to exploit South Alabama's rushing defense and issues with the option.