Time and Date: 3:30 PM ET - October 22
Broadcast Network: ESPN+
Location: S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, VA
Records: Old Dominion 3-3 (2-0), Georgia Southern 4-3 (1-2)
Line: Old Dominion -2.5*
Point Total: O/U 66*
All-Time Series: Georgia Southern leads the series 2-0. The Eagles last won in Norfolk 49-35 in 2012.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Georgia Southern Outlook
Coming off of last week’s huge upset of a then-ranked James Madison team at home, Georgia Southern will look to build on that momentum facing off with Old Dominion this Saturday.
With a Sun Belt record passing performance behind him, its as important as ever that quarterback Kyle Vantrease take care of the football and continue pushing the ball down the field to his compliment of receivers in this one, as Southern needs all of the points it can muster on a weekly basis.
While the Eagles picked up the victory and forced four turnovers in its win over the Dukes, the defense is still brutal to behold. As a team, Southern is surrendering 486 total yards per game, good for 126th in the country through 7 games.
And it won’t be able to force four turnovers weekly either.
The one plus, however, is that the Monarchs’ stop unit has not been much better statistically, meaning that there may be a plethora of points scored by both teams in this one. It could come down to who possess the ball last, as so many other Eagle contests have gone this season.
GS may also want to look into running the ball a bit more than it did last week, with ODU giving up 173 yards per game to opposing offenses to help keep the Eagles’ weak defense off of the field for as long as possible.
Old Dominion Outlook
Speaking of huge upsets, the Monarchs are coming off of one of their very own.
ODU crushed Sun Belt East contender Coastal Carolina last week 49-21, behind a massive rushing performance by running back Blake Watson, who went for a school-record 259 yards and three scores in the victory.
All season on the Sun Belt podcast, my co-host and I have talked about the Monarchs’ need for a secondary offensive weapon besides standout receiver Ali Jennings III, and it may have found one in Watson, who matched his yearly rushing total for the season in the win over the Chanticleers.
Both Watson and Jennings along with quarterback Hayden Wolff should see ample opportunities to rack up yards and points facing off against the swiss cheese defense of the Eagles.
Defensively, Old Dominion aren’t markedly better than the Eagles, giving up 451 yards per game, good for 118th in the FBS. Georgia Southern’s run defense is bad while ODU’s achilles’ heel lies within its secondary, making this an intriguing game for both squads.
ODU now sits firmly in control of the east division, but has some challenging opponents coming down the pipe in future weeks in Southern, Appalachian State and James Madison as it looks to make a bid for the conference title game.
With both of these defenses being less than stellar more than halfway through the season, I think this game will be a coin flip. Both the offenses have shown that it can put up points in bunches if needed to, and Georgia Southern overs are 4-3 so far this season.
I think you take the over and avoid the spreads if you want a winner.
Final Score: Old Dominion 45, Georgia Southern 42