Start Time: 2:30 PM CT, Saturday, November 14
Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, Alabama
Streaming: WatchESPN.com, WatchESPN app
Records: Troy: 3-6 (2-3 Sun Belt). Georgia Southern: 6-2 (4-1)
Betting Line: Georgia Southern -6.5, Over/Under 56.5
Troy Outlook, Jacob:
The Troy Trojans, winners of two of their last three, now find themselves sitting right smack in the middle of the Sun Belt Conference standings after a 1-5 start to the season. Troy has found life since a home loss to Idaho back in October and the team has played like one of the best in the conference ever since.
Now, Neal Brown and his red-hot Trojans welcome one of the Sunbelt's elite in the Georgia Southern Eagles. The visitors come in at 6-2 and Troy has the opportunity to show just how real these last three weeks were.
For the Trojans, the success has largely been a product of an offensive explosion. Quarterback Brandon Silvers seems to gain more and more confidence with every passing week, and it has shown on the scoreboard for Troy. The Trojan offense has scored 145 points in their last three games and it shows no sign of slowing down. Silvers is doing an incredible job of getting the ball to his receivers and is finding ways to make big plays happen.
Things might be just a bit different this week for Troy, as relying solely on offensive production will not be an adequate formula for success against Georgia Southern.
The Eagles currently lead all of college football in rushing yards per game with 386 per week. Conversely, Troy is fairly effective against the run, only allowing 181.4 rushing yards per game. One side will have to break on Saturday, and unfortunately, that will likely be the Troy defense.
In order to stop such a potent offense, the Trojans will have to play their best defensive game of the season this Saturday. If Neal Brown can find a way to
stop slow down the Eagle offense, and the Trojans put a number on the scoreboard similar to what we have seen these last few weeks, we could very well see an upset this Saturday.
Jacob's Prediction: Troy 31-27
Georgia Southern Outlook, Haisten:
I was assigned to Troy in my early days at this site and thus got a close-up view of Larry Blakeney's final year leading the program. No knock on his incredible legacy, but he'd clearly hung on a year too long and led a team with no direction.
When Troy hired Neal Brown, I started counting down to Troy's resurgence.
Brown was a great hire and the blip in performance we're starting to see could easily be the start of a major upswing as the young coach makes his mark at the program.
All that said, they're not quite there yet. Silvers is a strong quarterback that will help the offense put up points. He's got a healthy touchdown to interception ratio of 14 to 5, which can't be said for a lot of Sun Belt quarterbacks, and will be especially dangerous if he can keep the ball out of the hands of Antonio Glover and the Eagles' pick-happy defense.
It won't be enough though as Georgia Southern will run all over the field at will. Matt Breida, LA Ramsby, Wesley Fields, Kevin Ellison and their 386.2 rush yards per game will be too much for the Troy D.
We'll see how Troy defensive lineman Garrett Peek feels about this quote midway through the third quarter:
"As a D-lineman, that's what we love," Troy's Garrett Peek said. "We love all the physical games, the contact and everything. Not crazy about the spread teams. We have to do a lot more running that way.
"Teams like Georgia Southern, we look forward to those games."
Georgia Southern also received good news from the injury department this week. After a 16-day break the Eagles look to have senior cornerback Matt Dobson back, and possibly even top receiving target BJ Johnson. Both are greatly needed and could make the difference in this contest. Case in point: Johnson hasn't played since the Idaho game in late September and is still the team's leading receiver with 133 yards and eight catches.
Haisten's Prediction: Georgia Southern 42, Troy 28