Start Time: 7 p.m. EST, Sept. 10
Location: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
TV/Streaming: American Sports Network/ESPN3.com
Records: Georgia Southern (1-0, 0-0 Sun Belt), South Alabama (1-0, 0-0)
Weather: 85 degrees at kickoff, partly cloudy, 8 mph winds
Betting Line: Georgia Southern -13.5, Over/Under of 58
South Alabama Outlook
While every SEC team save for Alabama and Georgia may have looked like hot garbage last weekend, no one expected the South Alabama Jaguars to go to Starkville and pick up a win. But the Jags did just that.
Mississippi State kicker Westin Graves was 2-3 on the day when he lined up for a 28-yarder to seal the win over the Sun Belt opponent.
Ironically, it was a #CLANGA that finally did the Bulldogs in, as Graves clanked a ball off the left upright.
Thanks in large part to quarterback Dallas Davis, who threw for 285 yards and a pair of scores, the Jags picked up their first-ever victory over a school from the Southeastern Conference.
Last season, the Jaguars made their inaugural trip to Allen E. Paulson Stadium and were trounced by the Eagles to the tune of 55-17. Despite last season’s outcome, expect Saturday’s contest to be a lot closer.
Georgia Southern Outlook
For the third time in four seasons, the Eagles scheduled an overmatched Savannah State team and took care of business.
While GS was hanging 54 points on the Tigers, fans turned their attention to more pressing matters, like being overly critical of the mascot’s new headgear, or longing for the original blue-and-white uniforms to return.
Naturally, the Eagles got it done on the field, as GS came out running a hybrid of the triple option and zone read schemes fans have become accustomed to seeing over the last couple of years.
By halftime, Georgia Southern had racked up 166 yards on the ground, and surprisingly threw the ball well with quarterbacks Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw, who combined to go nine of 11 for 109 yards.
A focal point of this week’s contest will be seeing how the Eagle defense stacks up against a conference opponent who just knocked off an SEC squad. The offense will succeed as it typically does, but the defense will ultimately decide the victor.
Although I consider a line of -13.5 to be a bit high, I expect Georgia Southern to come out and pick up the win in a relatively low-scoring affair. Let’s just hope the Eagles aren’t forced to attempt any game-winning field goals.