Time and Date: 7 PM ET - November 11
Broadcast Network: NFL Network
Location: Joan C. Edwards Stadium - Huntington, WV
Records: Georgia Southern 6-3 (3-2 Sun Belt), Marshall 4-5 (1-4 Sun Belt)
Line: Georgia Southern -2
Point Total: O/U 56.5
All-Time Series: Marshall is 5-2 all-time against Georgia Southern, with the Herd having won last season in Statesboro, 23-10.
Georgia Southern Outlook
What happens when the stoppable force meets the moveable object? That’s what we’ll find out this Saturday when Georgia Southern meets Marshall.
The Eagles are coming off of a road walloping at the hands of Texas State from last week, having given up mid-second quarter when the Bobcats ripped off a couple of touchdowns.
I’d say this is a must-win game for Southern, who still holds a tiebreaker win over Coastal Carolina in the East division, but we’ve seen time and time again that “must win” doesn’t mean much to this Georgia Southern football program.
Last week gave the Eagles prime position and a one-game advantage in the East division and they threw the towel in after a couple of bad drives, as Davis Brin imploded for the umpteenth time this year.
Brin now sports an 18:13 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and will almost certainly surpass the 16 picks thrown by last season’s quarterback Kyle VanTrease when all is said and done.
The only player who seems to come and give effort on a weekly basis is running back Jalen White, who is up to 914 yards rushing and 10 TD’s this season. Offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis should prioritize the run game for the rest of this year, unless he simply enjoys seeing his quarterback fling passes into double and triple coverage.
If Georgia Southern drops this game to a floundering Marshall team coming off five consecutive losses, go ahead and start J.C. French or anyone else over Brin moving forward.
The worst that could happen under a non-Davis Brin quarterback is the team underperforming in the Meineke Car Care Bowl or something.
If we want to talk about teams that have simply taken their ball and gone home, look no further than the Herd, who began their season 4-0 but have now lost their last five in a row and have not scored more than 9 points in a game since October 14th.
Much like Southern, the quarterback position is killing Marshall, as Cam Fancher is simply not the answer either long term or in the interim. Fancher has thrown 8 touchdowns to 11 interceptions this year and has not tossed more than one touchdown in a game since the NC State contest in week 5.
This, in turn, is crushing dynamic tailback Rasheen Ali’s chances of being, well, dynamic.
Ali has topped 100 yards rushing in a game just 3 times this entire season as teams can simply stack the box and dare Fancher to try and throw.
The Herd defense also seems to be reeling after the loss of defensive coordinator Lance Guidry in the offseason to Miami (FL). Outside of pass rusher Owen Porter, the entire unit has been mediocre, surrendering 175 rushing yards per game, ranking 109th in the country this season.
Marshall should see a ton of Jalen White coming right at them in this one, but who knows what kind of gameplan Georgia Southern will implement. It may be 74 called screen passes like the Eagles attempted against James Madison.
Here, my dear readers, I leave you with a simple betting pick. Take the under.
Georgia Southern is averaging 24 points per game on the road this season, but if you eliminate the win over Ball State that number reduces to 17 PPG. Meanwhile, Marshall hasn’t scored more than 9 points in a game in nearly a month. This doesn’t have to be hard.
Ultimately, I think the Eagles win an ugly game with two underwhelming passers, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
Final Score: Georgia Southern 21, Marshall 16