Time and Date: 4 PM ET - November 5, 2022
Broadcast Network: ESPN+
Location: Paulson Stadium - Statesboro, GA
Records: South Alabama 6-2 (3-1), Georgia Southern 5-3 (2-2)
Line: South Alabama -4*
Point Total: O/U 61.5*
All-Time Series: Georgia Southern leads the all-time series 7-1. The Jaguars last won in Mobile 41-14 in 2021.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Georgia Southern Outlook
Georgia Southern comes into this year’s contest against west contender South Alabama fresh off of a bye week, but the rest did not come without a cost.
One of the team’s most explosive receivers, Amare Jones, is done for the season after suffering an internal injury in the 28-23 win over Old Dominion a few weeks ago, leaving the Eagles with a need for another pass catcher to step up in his absence.
Without Jones, the Eagles will need greater contributions from receivers such as Jeremy Singleton and Marcus Sanders Jr. if Southern wants a chance to win against a stingy South Alabama defense this week.
Kyle Vantrease remains the Sun Belt passing leader despite having a week off, and is averaging 338 yards passing per game this season, with 18 touchdowns to 12 picks thrown. He was not asked to do as much in the victory over ODU, but was efficient in the times he did throw the football.
GS may want to lean on the arm of Vantrease in this one, considering the Jags are surrendering just 86 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses, and it looks like wideouts Khaleb Hood and Derwin Burgess will have busy days if Southern wants to stay in this one.
South Alabama Outlook
The Jaguars come into this game fresh off of a 31-3 shellacking of Sun Belt west doormat Arkansas State, and will look to gain ground on division leader Troy with a win here. South Al did the opposite of what it attempted in the 10-6 loss to the Trojans some weeks ago in the win over the Red Wolves, letting running back La’Damian Webb tote the ball 28 times for 162 yards and three scores.
The Jaguars may want to employ a similar strategy this week, although the Eagles defense is as exploitable on the ground as it is through the air, giving up 270 yards passing versus 211 yards rushing per contest.
The best course of action for USA would be to give Webb carries early and often, keep the Georgia Southern offense off the field as much as possible, and limit the number of drives Vantrease and company see during the game. This contest turning into a shootout does not inherently favor the Jaguars and quarterback Carter Bradley, just ask James Madison.
South Alabama should key in on the pass early and often with its stout rush defense, and attempt the same strategy as UAB did against Georgia Southern by dropping 6 to 7 players into coverage to make passing yards difficult to come by.
I have picked against Georgia Southern in its last two games thinking they were poor stylistically, but I actually think South Alabama’s offense may be a good matchup for the Eagles’ high-flying offense.
I could see a fair amount of points in this one, with the final looking similar to Southern’s contest against JMU from earlier this season.
Final Score: Georgia Southern 34, South Alabama 31