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Georgia State vs Georgia Southern: How To Watch, Betting Info, Preview, Prediction

Heated or not, this rivalry game has potential to be a barn burner.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 28 Georgia Southern at Georgia State Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Time and Date: 2:00 PM ET - October 8

Broadcast Network: ESPN3

Location: Center Parc Stadium - Atlanta, GA

Records: Georgia State 1-4 (0-1) Georgia Southern 3-2 (0-1)

Line: Georgia State -2.5*

Point Total: O/U 66.5*

All-Time Series: Georgia State leads the series 5-3. The Panthers won on the road 21-14 last season.

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

A Look at State

Georgia State has had a really consistent offensive game plan throughout the season: run often, find the occasional deep cork downfield. This has led to mixed success, the Panthers have hung around with better opponents but only just last week got their first win, and luckily for them Southern will let them play that type of game.

Tucker Gregg and either Jamyest Williams or Marcus Carroll will rush with relative ease (the latter two can never seem to simultaneously have a good game) and Darren Grainger will find Jamari Thrash and Robert Lewis for high yardage and scoring respectively.

But the defense needs to hold, especially the secondary. Kyle Vantrese and the recently-modernized Eagles offense like to pass the ball and do it well, and will have no problem doing so. The Panthers have, excluding last week’s game against Army, allowed an average of 295 passing yards per game.

Quavian White became GSU’s all-time interception leader after passing teammate and former All-Sun Belt First Teamer Antavious Lane, and White is joint-second in the Sun Belt for interceptions. However outside of White, who sits 19th, there are no Panthers ranked in the top-25 for passes defended in the conference.

A Look at Southern

As good as Georgia Southern’s offense has been this year, the defense for the Eagles has been just as poor.

GS currently sports the 11th best total offense and 25th best scoring offense in FBS this season, which is nice, but the defense has been absolutely putrid. Look no further than Coastal Carolina’s multiple second-half scoring drives to win the game last week to see what I’m talking about.

For context, here are Southern’s defensive stats and their respective ranks:

Georgia Southern Defense

Defensive Statistic Stat FBS Rank
Defensive Statistic Stat FBS Rank
Points Per Game 28.2 PPG 84th
Total Defense 440.8 YPG 115th
Passing Defense 238.8 YPG 79th
Rush Defense 202 YPG 122nd
Turnovers Forced 6 Total 84th
Sacks 5 Total T-121st

Put simply, they are equally bad stopping the pass as the run, they don’t force turnovers and they don’t get to the quarterback at a high clip. They do absolutely nothing well.

This then puts the onus on quarterback Kyle Vantrease and company to have to score 35+ on any given night in order to secure a victory. As I stated on this week’s Underdog Dynasty podcast (rate and subscribe on iTunes!), this means I cannot in good conscience pick them to win another game this year with no real cupcakes left on the schedule unless a drastic change or improvement happens.

I am not sure whether the blame falls directly on the “talent” left over by Chad Lunsford’s tenure, or whether it is compounded by some of the questionable schemes Georgia Southern has ran this season under first year defensive coordinator Will Harris. Either way, the entire unit needs to be jettisoned heading into 2023.

Offensively, I hope Vantrease and company are up to the task of scoring five or more touchdowns each week, because this porous defense is going to be the reason the Eagles don’t win as many games as they should this season.


Brian Stone: From a gambling perspective, both these defenses are bad while the offenses are fairly potent. The over of 66.5 is high, but both Coastal and Southern scored a combined 64 last week and neither offense started the game strong.

I will pick State to win this game, mostly because the Eagles defense is simply that much of a liability.

Final Score: Georgia State 42, Georgia Southern 38

Zeke Palermo: This game will be high-scoring affair and I’m comfortable hammering over 66.5 and frankly -2.5 for State is fairly free as well. I think State will win just because it matches up so well with Southern so its safe to rely on a field goal difference.

Final score: Is it cheating to pick the same score? GSU 42, GS 38