Start Time: 12 p.m. EST, Nov. 28
Location: Center Parc Stadium; Atlanta, GA
Weather: 62 degrees at kickoff, 7 MPH winds
Records: Georgia Southern (6-3, 4-2 Sun Belt); Georgia State (4-4, 3-4 Sun Belt)
Betting Line: Georgia Southern -2; O/U 53
Georgia Southern Outlook
Coming off of a game against Army where Georgia Southern had several chances to win, the Eagles will look to get right against its secondary rival in Georgia State.
With Wesley Kennedy III being out for this game due to his run in with the law, quarterback Shai Werts will need to play his absolute best he has all season while playing with the b-team of running backs.
Logan Wright has done a fairly admirable job stepping in for the injured J.D. King, but the loss of Kennedy is huge for this squad that has seriously struggled at times on offense outside of games against the doldrums of the FBS ranks.
Presumably, some combination of Matt LaRoche and Gerald Green will provide the speed on the edge in the absence of Kennedy.
From a playcalling perspective, I believe Bob DeBesse’s job should hinge on how the Eagles close the season with games against State, FAU and App State. The team waivers between being explosive and almost seeming disinterested at times, so if GS finds a way to go 0-3 over this stretch, it should solely fall on DeBesse and head coach Chad Lunsford’s shoulders.
Defensively, I have no idea what to expect from this unit on a week-to-week basis at this point. Defensive tackle C.J. Wright was one of the four players arrested along with Kennedy, so Southern will miss his presence up front.
The pass rush has done a respectable job making opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable, but the secondary is a mystery. Some games they play like the Legion of Boom, and others they are letting teams with 1 or no wins throw the ball with ease.
You’d have more success flipping a coin on whether Southern’s pass defense shows up weekly rather than trying to make heads or tails of their performance.
Georgia State Outlook
Speaking of inconsistency, Georgia State will look to win two games in a row for the first time all season after trading wins and losses between each contest this year.
Cornelious Brown IV (Quad) has done a decent job taking the reigns from the graduated Dan Ellington, although Brown has a tendency to turn the ball over more than any Panthers fan would like to see.
Brown has thrown for 13 touchdowns to 8 interceptions this season, including most recently a zero touchdown, 3 pick performance against South Alabama.
If there was a team he may be able to scorch through the air, it would be Southern, as the Eagles sometimes forget teams are allowed to throw the ball further than 10 yards down the field at a time.
The running game for this Panthers team rotates on a weekly basis as to who inherits the touch volume, as Destin Coates, Tucker Gregg, and Jamyest Williams have each led State in rushing in various games this year.
Defensively this State team is still pretty rough to stomach, allowing 34 points and 431 yards per game as a unit.
I think while both teams are highly inconsistent, I have to pick the team with the better defense statistically.
Southern has yet to win a conference game this year by more than a touchdown, so I think this will be a close one for sure.
Final Score: Georgia Southern 31, Georgia State 28