clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Georgia Southern vs. #25 James Madison: How To Watch, Betting Info, Preview, Prediction

The Dukes look ready to make a run at the Sun Belt East, while the Eagles look ready for the season to be over.

James Madison v Appalachian State Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Time and Date: 4:00 PM ET - October 15

Broadcast Network: ESPN+

Location: Paulson Stadium - Statesboro, GA

Records: Georgia Southern 3-3 (0-2), James Madison 5-0 (3-0)

Line: James Madison -12.5*

Point Total: O/U 67*

All-Time Series: Georgia Southern leads the series 7-1. The Eagles last won in Statesboro 24-17 in 1992.

*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

Georgia Southern Outlook

Georgia Southern’s 2022 football campaign will continue limping along while it faces off with Sun Belt powerhouse and newly ranked James Madison in Paulson Stadium this weekend.

Oh goody.

The Eagles now sport the 12th worst defense in all of FBS football following last week’s sputtering effort against Georgia State, and is now giving up an average of 454 total yards per game this season.

It is truly remarkable how through 2021 and 2022, the Eagles have run two different defensive schemes (3-4 and 4-2-5) under two different coordinators (Scot Sloan, Will Harris) and have yet to show an ounce of improvement on that side of the ball. As I outlined in my preview of Southern/State from last week, they essentially do nothing well statistically.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina
Georgia Southern’s defense has been a joke this season.
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

When you compound that with the rate at which quarterback Kyle Vantrease has given the ball away this season, averaging nearly 2 interceptions per game, you have the perfect recipe for a mediocre football team that got lucky with its early draw and will continue falling to Earth as the season rolls along.

Despite Vantrease’s miscues, the Eagles don’t seem keen on either switching to another quarterback or running the football at an increased rate to take some of the heat off of their signal-caller.

It seems that both sides of the ball will die at the hands of throwing the football this season.

#25 James Madison

To say JMU has been a surprise the season has been an understatement.

Behind dual-threat quarterback Todd Centeio, the Dukes have started the season undefeated, powered by 17 total touchdowns to just 1 interception from its signal-caller with a stifling defense to boot.

Having already come back down 28-3 against perennial contender Appalachian State earlier this season, no one outside of diehard fans of the team could have expected JMU would perform like this in its transition to the FBS.

NCAA Football: James Madison at Appalachian State
Todd Centeio has powered a lethal JMU offense with both his arm and legs this season.
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

James Madison en route to its top-25 ranking currently boasts the third-best total defense in all of college football, surrendering just 228.4 yards per game. In the Sun Belt preview podcast, I forecasted that the Dukes may sneakily be the third-best team in the Eastern division, but they have blown past my wildest expectations and may prove to be the best with a meeting against Coastal Carolina on the docket for the season finale.

In short, these teams couldn’t be more opposite at this point in the year, which means this probably will get ugly in a hurry.


Vegas has this game handicapped at -12.5 for James Madison having moved from -10 earlier in the week. I’m still a bit flummoxed as to how JMU is not a 17-point favorite, but either way I am comfortable putting a second mortgage on James Madison.

Georgia Southern has just been bad since the Ball State win.

Final Score: James Madison 42, Georgia Southern 21