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UL Monroe at Georgia Southern: Preview and Prediction

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The Warhawks look to get bowl eligible, while the Eagles are scrambling after last week’s blowout loss.

Louisiana Monroe v Georgia Southern Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images

Date and Time: Nov. 16, 3 pm EST

Location: Allen E. Paulson Stadium; Statesboro, GA

TV: ESPN+

Spread: Georgia Southern -7, O/U 57.5

Weather: 48 Degrees, 20 percent chance of rain


Georgia Southern Outlook

After last week’s atrocious showing against Troy, Georgia Southern must win every week from here on out if it even wants an outside chance of making the Sun Belt title game while also praying for another Appalachian State loss.

The Eagles got absolutely smoked defensively last week, giving up 330 yards and 3 passing touchdowns to Trojan quarterback Kaleb Barker in an embarrassing performance for Southern.

Georgia Southern defensive coordinator Scot Sloan decided to go with a soft zone pass defense for most of the game, while the front seven and secondary spent more time watching receivers run free across the field instead of putting up any real resistance.

Teams have found major success against Georgia Southern’s defense when going up-tempo, and when the weather hasn’t been cold and/or raining, Southern’s defense hasn’t presented many answers in games that took place in normal weather.

Offensively, Southern didn’t look much better behind some ineffective play calling by Bob DeBesse and even worse offensive line play. If the Eagles keep playing like they did last week, it might as well throw the towel in on the season.

Wesley Kennedy III needs to be fed the ball more often, especially with Shai Werts and JD King struggling to carve out yards on the ground, and DeBesse only going to the air when absolutely necessary.

Kennedy touched the ball just 10 times last week, turning that into 75 yards and a score, and is averaging 8.7 yards per carry this season after missing the first four games due to suspension. It’s extremely frustrating to see a player of his caliber frozen out from getting the ball, especially when the offense needs every bit of help it can get.

It is pretty concerning that it took getting beat down last week in order for the staff to realize this team has problems that need to be fixed if the Eagles want to do anything outside of just making a bowl game this season.


UL Monroe Outlook

This Warhawks team essentially begins and ends with the arm and legs of quarterback Caleb Evans. Evans, a true dual-threat quarterback, has totaled over 2,700 yards this season between his rushing and passing statistics, and has compiled 24 total touchdowns.

As was the case in UL Monroe’s win over Georgia State last week, Evans will look to anchor this offense that is averaging nearly 450 yards per game to go along with 30.6 points per contest.

Monroe stumbled in a pair of losses to App State and Arkansas State, giving up 52 and 48 points in consecutive conference losses before righting the ship with a win over the Panthers of Georgia State last week.

Running back Josh Johnson has been the leading rusher for the Warhawks this year, racking up over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns so far this season through the team’s first nine contests.

When Evans decides to air it out, he usually looks for tight end Josh Pederson, who has hauled in a team-high seven receiving scores this year on 33 catches.

Look for ULM to take advantage of a porous Georgia Southern secondary and linebacking core, as Sloan and company refuse to play man-to-man defense and have shown zero ability to keep up with fast-paced offenses.

Prediction

Even though this game is in Statesboro, I think the Eagles being 7 point favorites is a joke. Outside of the win over a lowly New Mexico State team, Southern hasn’t beaten an FBS foe by more than 3 points this season. Maybe sprinkle a little money on the ULM money line if you’re feeling dangerous.

Final Score: Georgia Southern 28, UL Monroe 27