Start Time: Saturday, October 7th, 6:30 PM ET
Announcers: Jeff McCarragher (play-by-play) and Tyoka Jackson (analyst)
Location: Brooks Stadium
Series: First ever meeting
Odds: Coastal Carolina (PK) 49 total
Georgia State Outlook
Ever since their program launched, GSU has had a very difficult time establishing a rushing attack and this year is not any different. The Panthers rank in the triple-digits in each S&P+ rushing metric and Shawn Elliott’s club is just brutal when they go to the ground. Taz Bateman and Glenn Smith are averaging 3.1 and 2.9 yards per carry, respectively, as this is a one dimensional offense. It’s obvious the staff has made a concerted effort to establish a ground game but GSU is struggling with it at the moment.
The Panthers have played two players at quarterback this season and both have done some positive things. Conner Manning is a very good passer from the pocket while Aaron Winchester gives the offense a run-pass option. The passing game has been good to start the season and Penny Hart is a big reason why. The sophomore receiver has 23 catches for 233 yards and he's one of the best pass catchers in the Group of Five.
The defense in Atlanta has been able to stop the run, but they are giving up their fair share of big plays. Opponents have had their way through the air against the Panthers. Turnover margin has been a big weakness of this team as GSU sits at minus-six in just three games. The secondary leads the way for the Panthers and safety Bryan Williams leads the squad in tackles and has two interceptions.
Coastal Carolina Outlook
Coastal Carolina comes into this match-up with Georgia State on the back of a tough 51-43 score fest in Monroe a week ago. The offense wasn't really a problem for the Chanticleers against the Warhawks, though. Once again it was defense and turnovers that hurt Coastal. Three total turnovers (two picks and one fumble) came back to haunt Coastal Carolina as it seems to be the trend in 2017.
The Chanticleers outgained the Warhawks 441-334 in total yards last Saturday and also held the ball 33:21 compared to 26:39 for ULM. Quarterback Tyler Keane went 18 of 31 passing for 329 yards and four touchdowns. He also added two interceptions to his stat line. Running back Osharmar Abercrombie was held to just 51 yards on 13 carries as the Chanticleers relied more on passing the ball for the first time this season.
Coming into this match-up with Georgia State, I feel this game is a toss up. Georgia State has not done anything special this year and neither has CCU. Georgia State is only averaging 12.7 points per game while the CCU defense is giving up a harsh 40.3 points per game. If their is any game for the GSU offense to get rolling it could be here against Coastal Carolina.
This may easily end up as a game that whoever commits the fewest turnovers or who has the ball last walks out as with the victory. GSU gives up 24.3 points per game while CCU averages 28.5 so that stat line is really close to par. This game being in Conway will help CCU to a certain extent. Georgia State gives up a nice chunk of yards through the air so look for CCU to possibly lean heavy on the passing game once again. This is a super tough game to pick, but Coastal will win a Sun Belt game at some point and this looks to be their best bet over the next month.
It’s a match-up of two squads expected to finish near the bottom of the Sun Belt in 2017 so both need to take advantage when wins are available. This is very winnable for both squads and this should be an excellent game for four quarters. Both teams have had turnover issues all season and whoever gets that fixed will have the upper hand.
Aikman Chambers: Coastal Carolina 33, Georgia State 31
Adam Luckett: Coastal Carolina 31, Georgia State 21