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NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Arkansas

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Georgia Southern vs. #14 BYU: Preview and Prediction

The Eagles are up against a monumental task in a matchup with the ranked Cougars.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Start Time: 4 p.m. EST, Nov. 20

Location: Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.

Weather: 61 degrees and sunny, 6 mph winds

Records: Georgia Southern 3-7, #14 BYU 8-2

Betting Line: BYU -20; O/U 57.5

TV: ESPN+


Georgia Southern Outlook

This one is going to be a doozy. Georgia Southern welcomes in the highest FBS-ranked team ever to play in Paulson Stadium this Saturday against #14 BYU.

The Eagles got themselves their third win of the season last Saturday against Texas State on the road, but even with home field, Southern has a monumentally tough task ahead of them when the 14th ranked team in the country travels to Statesboro this Saturday.

Last week’s victory was good for a number of reasons, as the Eagles were able to outlast the Bobcats in an sloppily played game between both teams. GS was able to more accurately evaluate young quarterback Cam Ransom in the victory, albeit in limited action due to a shoulder injury that unfortunately knocked him out of the game.

As of this writing, it is unknown as to whether Ransom will be able to play in this contest, but as bright as the future looks for the freshman QB, it won’t matter to the scoreboard in this one. The Eagles simply don’t have the coaching or enough solid players on defense to withstand BYU’s offensive attack and Southern has struggled to score points all year on offense.

If Ransom is truly injured, it is best to keep him out of harm’s way and let him rest up. The worst outcome is putting him out on the field at less than 100 percent and having his shoulder be injured even further in a game that the Eagles are outclassed from the jump.

Outside of Ransom, running back Jalen White stepped up against Texas State last week, rushing for 82 yards and two scores in the victory. The sophomore back from Daleville, Al may be pressed into further action against the Cougars as Southern’s running back group has been bitten by the injury bug all season.

BYU Outlook

With No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson becoming a Jet after the 2021 NFL Draft, BYU has handed the keys to the offense to quarterback Jaren Hall this season, and the sophomore has not disappointed.

Hall has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards with 16 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions this season, and should see plenty of open throwing lanes against a team in Georgia Southern that has only picked off opposing passers 5 times all season. One of those interceptions came in a key play last week against Texas State, but it was also the Eagles’ first INT in 5 weeks.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Washington State
Jaren Hall has played well as Zach Wilson’s successor at the quarterback position for BYU.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Leading rusher Tyler Allgeier has also been solid for Brigham Young, racking up 1,167 yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns at 5.7 yards per carry this year. Georgia Southern’s run defense has been vastly better than its pass defense, but Allgeier should still be able to find running room.

Defensively, the Cougars have had more success against opposing rushers, but who knows what Georgia Southern’s game plan is heading into this game. If Ransom can’t play, it may be better to run the ball and play it safely than to let Justin Tomlin throw a backbreaking interception in a key spot on the field for the umpteenth time this season.

Prediction

I think BYU -20 is free money. Georgia Southern showed last week that it hasn’t given up this year, but they are simply overmatched by the Cougars in every facet of the sport imaginable.

Final Score: BYU 49, Georgia Southern 17

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