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Georgia Southern at Troy Preview: Eagles Seeking Revenge

Georgia Southern heads into Troy looking to pick up another conference win and seeking retribution for the loss last season.

Troy v Georgia Southern Photo by Chris Thelen/Getty Images

Date and Time: Nov. 9, 3:30 pm EST

Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium; Troy, AL

TV: ESPN+

Spread: Georgia Southern -3, O/U 55.5

Weather: 60 Degrees, 5 MPH Winds


Georgia Southern Outlook

Following last week’s defeat of then No. 20 Appalachian State, Georgia Southern will hit the road once more to take on Troy, and a Trojans team reeling off of a two-game losing streak.

For the second year in a row, the script at this point in the season has been the same for the Eagles. A slow start to the year, rounding into form with some hard fought conference wins and then defeating a ranked App State team. You love to see it.

Fans of Southern are hoping this year is different from 2018 in one or two major ways though. After defeating App last season, the Eagles laid a stinker against UL Monroe in the very next game, and essentially had their conference title game hopes squashed by Troy in a 35-21 home defeat the following week.

GS looks to be rounding into form this year, with the run defense looking stingy last week against the Mountaineers and the secondary forcing receivers to make catches that are almost always contested.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Appalachian State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles will once again need to bring their ‘A Game’ defensively, as Trojans quarterback Kaleb Barker can undoubtedly sling it. As long as the secondary can contain the passing attack of Troy, the Eagles should stand a decent chance of coming away with the victory in this one.

Offensively, the key the last few weeks has been simple: Get Wesley Kennedy III the ball in space and everyone else get out of the way.

Kennedy over his last two contests has compiled just 19 carries for a whopping 288 yards and four touchdowns, and also added a punt return for a touchdown. The all-purpose back has been the spark this team needed following a rocky 1-3 start to the season.

Most importantly, Georgia Southern currently controls its own destiny in the Sun Belt East, and will need to win out with some tough tests ahead in order to get a (presumable) rematch with Louisiana in the conference championship game.

The Eagles absolutely cannot afford to not no-show games like it did against ULM last season.


Troy Outlook

It is always tough to break in a new head coach and suffer the ups-and-downs that come with that process.

The Trojans are going through some growing pains right now, and the defense has not helped the transition from Neal Brown to Chip Lindsey at all.

Troy is currently surrendering 32.6 points per game to opponents, and 417 yards per game against opposing offenses.

Barker and the offense can only cover up so many offensive deficiencies, and losing running back B.J. Smith for the season has forced the Troy signal-caller to put the ball in the air almost 38 times per game.

NCAA Football: Troy at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

DK Billingsley has been fine on the ground this season with 77 yards per game, but he’s also been game-scripted out a lot with Troy’s porous pass defense giving up points almost every time they are on the field.

Barker has been the lone bright spot on a team that has lost its last two consecutive games coming into this one, throwing for 21 touchdowns to just 6 picks through eight contests.

If Troy wants to find a way to win in this one, the Trojans will need Barker to score quickly and the defense has to get some stops. In the last two weeks alone, Troy has given up a combined 88 points in losses to Coastal Carolina and Georgia State.

Prediction

I think Georgia Southern gets a measure of revenge for last season’s loss at home to Troy, avoids the obvious letdown spot and really grinds the Trojans defense down in this one by limiting the time Barker gets on offense.

Final Score: Georgia Southern 38, Troy 24