In the biggest game of the week, SMU traveled to Memphis and lost in a shootout 54-48. The Tigers now control their destiny in the AAC West division with wins over Navy, SMU and Tulane. In addition, the Sun Belt conference race tightened up with Georgia Southern beating App State on Halloween night. App State was a huge favorite heading into the game but Georgia Southern dominated from the opening kickoff. The Sun Belt East champion may now be decided on November 30th when Georgia State travels to Statesboro to take on Georgia Southern. Below you will find a few of my early leans for Week 11 action.
Georgia Southern at Troy
Spread: Georgia Southern - 3
The Eagles have won four straight games including their season defining win over App State last week. The offense has really started to play well during the winning streak. They average almost 270 yards rushing per game which will be key when playing a team with a high powered offense like Troy. The Trojans are lightning up the scoreboard averaging 35 points per game. The problem for Troy has been their defense which has struggled for much of the season. Over the past two games they have allowed 581 rushing yards and 88 points in loses to Georgia State and Coastal Carolina. I think Georgia Southern controls the game with their rushing attack and they capture a big road win.
I like Georgia Southern to win and cover the small spread
North Texas at Louisiana Tech
Spread: Louisiana Tech - 5.5
The Bulldogs have won seven games in a row and are getting healthy after having a bye last week. This is the first game of a tough stretch that will define their season. Louisiana Tech is really starting to roll on offense scoring at least 42 points over the past three games. North Texas had high expectations entering the season and they are currently 4-5 and fighting to get bowl eligible. Mason Fine has had a great season with 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions and the Mean Green offense has scored over 30 points five times. I think both teams will score, but the Bulldogs have the better defense which will be the difference in the game.
Look for Louisiana Tech to win and cover the 5.5 points
Georgia State at Louisiana Monroe
Spread: Georgia State - 2.5
The Panthers are 6-2 and riding a four game winning streak. Quarterback Dan Ellington has been great with 18 touchdowns and only four interceptions, but I think the key has been the emergence of running back Tra Barnett. He has rushed for over 100 yards in four consecutive games and had 242 yards in in the win over Troy. ULM has a great offense as well led by quarterback Caleb Evans who had 363 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in the loss to Arkansas State last week. Their defense however has been brutal, allowing over 38 points per game and almost 500 yards of total offense. This game could turn into a shootout with two high powered offenses. I think Georgia State will be able to control the pace of the game due to their elite rushing attack which will be the key to the game. The Panthers will bend but won’t break and escape with a victory.
I favor Georgia State in this matchup
UAB at Southern Miss
Spread: UAB + 6
The Blazers lost to Tennessee last week by the score of 30-7. UAB turned the ball over four times and didn’t score until the 4th quarter when the game was already out of hand. Overall the defense played well, only giving up 302 yards of total offense to the Volunteers. Southern Miss had a bye week and defeated Rice by double digits in their previous game. The Golden Eagles have a talented offense, but they need better play out of quarterback Jack Abraham who has thrown five interceptions over the past two games. Both teams are in the thick of the conference race and neither team can afford another loss. I think this will be a competitive game and I favor Southern Miss to win on their home turf, but I think UAB will keep this game close. Keep an eye on the availability of Blazers quarterback Tyler Johnston who left the Tennessee game with a knee injury. If he is unable to play Saturday, it would be a huge loss for UAB.
I like UAB to cover the 6 point spread