North Carolina (ACC) at Georgia State (Sun Belt)
Date/time: Saturday, Sept. 10, 12:00 p.m. EST
Location: Center Parc Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Records: UNC 2-0 (0-0) GSU 0-1 (0-0)
DraftKings Line: UNC -7.0 as of 9/8/22*
Point Total: O/U 64.5*
Previous meetings: UNC leads series 1-0; last game UNC beat GSU 59-17
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Last week’s North Carolina-App State shootout is a very early contender for game of the year. Georgia State, meanwhile, played a solid game against South Carolina but could not scrape together an upset.
As the Panthers will try for revenge after a 59-17 trampling last season at the hands of UNC and their first win of the season, the Tar Heels aim for their second 3-0 start in the past three years.
A Quick Look at GSU
Last week the Panthers gave the South Carolina Gamecocks two-and-a-half good quarters of football before special teams miscues ruined any hope of an upset.
But despite the poor showing in the third-phase, GSU shined when rushing the ball and played a defensively sound game, providing a sound team identity moving forward.
RB Jamyest Williams led both teams that game in both rushing yards (76) and carries (13) but not far behind him in touches were QB Darren Grainger (11 carries for 43 yards) RB Tucker Gregg (11 carries for 24 yards).
Williams was used as the primary runner in the offense while Gregg returned to his natural role as the and-goal back.
Grainger’s game, while not stellar on the ground, was woeful in the air. He completed just 7 of his 29 attempts, but did manage a few good-looking deep passes.
DB Quavian White stood out defensively. He picked off the Gamecocks’ QB twice and recorded one of the Panthers’ three sacks.
A Quick Look at South Carolina
Despite the departure of last year’s QB Sam Howell, the Tar Heels have continued their absolute air dominance. Drake Maye has taken the reins and averaged 323 passing yards over the first two games with an average of extra 65.5 added yards on the ground. He shares the love fairly well, four receivers have at least seven catches, two have exactly 100 yards on the season and a third has 99.
Maye has found TE Bryson Nesbit and WR Josh Downs in the end zone more than any other, but their joint-lead of two is followed by five receivers with one score on the season.
UNC’s defense at times appears porous (they allowed 61 points to App State and 24 points to Florida A&M) and hasn’t made up for it via sacks, picks, or fumbles.
Despite slowing down South Carolina and Spencer Rattler, GSU’s secondary will not be able to repeat that performance. Through two games Maye has proven he can and will slice through the air at will bar nothing.
Some regression is to be expected from UNC’s gun show last week because GSU won’t match the “go-go-go” pace like App State did, but he should easily pass for 250+ yards.
Like last week against South Carolina, GSU isn’t likely to pull out the win. But should they hang around for a half and clean up the special teams errors, they will look like a really good 0-2 team.
Drake Maye might face his toughest secondary yet, but he is still going to pass all over the Panthers en route to a third victory of the year