Start Time: 5 p.m. EST, Nov. 17
Location: Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC
Records: Georgia Southern (7-3, 4-2 Sun Belt), Coastal Carolina (5-5, 2-4 Sun Belt)
Weather: 59 degrees at kickoff
Betting Line: Georgia Southern -7, O/U 53.5
Georgia Southern Outlook
This week will show what this Georgia Southern team is made of without a shot at the Sun Belt title on the table with two conference games left to play. Outside of its trip to Clemson, the Eagles have played some atrocious football this season on the road, and will look to try to break out of its two-game funk when it heads back to South Carolina to face the Chanticleers.
The past few weeks have taken a turn for the worst as GS has failed to do much of anything against ULM and Troy in losses. While the defense has been getting shredded through the air against the Warhawks and Trojans, the offense for the Eagles has been just as bad, and is currently averaging 23 points per game and just 120 rushing yards per game in its previous two contests.
Outside of the first quarter against Troy, offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse has called a poor seven quarters of football in those two games, and it is on the team and the play caller himself to try and salvage this year a bit as it gets closer to bowl season and the Eagles look to get an invite.
Up front, the lines on both sides of the ball simply have to play better. The offensive line has been one of the major issues in the two games that ended in defeat, keeping the playmakers on this Southern team from getting anything going on the ground and forcing GS to go to the air more than it is comfortable.
On defense, the line has not done a great job of stopping the run or getting penetration on passing plays and as a result, the pass defense is having to cover receivers longer than it is comfortable.
If the Eagles want a chance to win this one, it will need a heroic effort by the team’s backfield to overcome the line play and play calling to pick up the win.
Coastal Carolina Outlook
It’s been a tumultuous season in Conway as Coastal came screaming out of the gate with a 3-1 record to start the year, but has gone 2-4 since, and is scrambling to become bowl eligible before the season is out.
On the plus side, starting quarterback Kilton Anderson should be back for this game, having thrown 6 touchdowns to 2 interceptions while missing three games with injury.
Its struggles were evident lately, as the Chants have been bad in a pair of losses against Appalachian State and Arkansas State and were outscored by a combined score of 67-23 in its last two games.
The defense for Coastal has been one of the issues with earning wins and is currently allowing nearly 450 yards per game to opposing teams this season. If the team from Conway wants a chance in this one, the defense will need to attack the run early and grind out some time of possession with its own running game by way of Marcus Outlow (661 yards and 8 touchdowns) and CJ Marable (634 yards and 6 scores) to keep the Eagles off of the field.
It may also want to take some shots downfield in the passing game if the previous two games are any indication of how Southern intends to defend the pass the rest of the year.
Even with this one being a touchdown in favor of the Eagles, I think there are other factors in play here that Vegas is overlooking.
One being that Chanticleers offensive coordinator Jamey Chadwell was up for the head coaching job at Southern when the team ended up hiring the disaster named Tyson Summers, and Chadwell may or may not have had a revenge game at play when the Chants handily defeated Southern last season when the Eagles were coming off a two-game winning streak.
I think with how poorly Southern has played over the previous two weeks and how bad it has been on the road, they can’t be penciled in for a win in any of its next two games. I think Chadwell calls his best game of the season and Coastal is energized by having its starter under center, and Coastal wins by a 24-21 final score.