Time and Date: 3:30 PM ET - November 25
Broadcast Network: ESPNU
Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium - Boone, NC
Records: Georgia Southern 6-5 (3-4 Sun Belt), Appalachian State 7-4 (5-2 Sun Belt)
Line: Appalachian State -9
Point Total: O/U 63.5
All-Time Series: Appalachian State is 20-16-1 all-time against Georgia Southern, with the Eagles having won last season in Statesboro, 51-48.
Georgia Southern Outlook
Following last week’s letdown against a middling Old Dominion squad, Georgia Southern seems to have waved the white flag on the 2023 season.
After defeating the Georgia State Panthers just before Halloween, the Eagles have dropped three straight, with most of the losses showing the team’s non-competitiveness.
Davis Brin continues to be a quarterback albatross hanging around the neck of what has the bones of a pretty good offense. Brin’s lack of good decision-making and execution of throws, particularly down the field, are second-to-everyone forcing the Eagles to throw little lollipop passes around the line of scrimmage, as offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis refuses to establish the run even when it’s working.
This year’s version of Southern lacks any real consistency or mental fortitude, having quit on defense in multiple games this season, much to the chagrin of baby boomers on Twitter who hate hearing what’s been evident to most fans since the James Madison blowout.
To make matters even worse, Southern is currently 1-4 in road contests this season, with its lone victory away from Paulson Stadium coming against a now 4-7 MAC team.
App State and Ball State don’t really compare.
I’m not one of the people on social media ready to pull the ripcord on head coach Clay Helton just yet, but if serious changes are not made this offseason both in coaching and recruiting, he may not survive as Eagles head coach beyond 2024.
This season has been nothing short of an utter failure following a 6-2 start and 3-1 conference record following the win over the Panthers.
Appalachian State Outlook
While Georgia Southern has crumbled after a hot start, Appalachian State has pulled its team together and overcome a rocky beginning to the season.
Sitting at 3-4 after the first seven games, the Mountaineers could have done what the Eagles did and packed it in, potentially leading to head coach Shawn Clark’s departure following a disappointing 6-6 campaign in 2022.
Instead, App has turned a corner and ripped off their last four in a row, culminating in 26-23 upset of JMU last week and spoiling the Dukes’ undefeated season.
Joey Aguilar has been a large part of the team’s success throughout the year, with 29 touchdowns to just 8 picks as the team around him has improved following its rough start. Aguilar’s biggest asset is that he is a great decision maker, not throwing the team out of games.
Defensively, the Mountaineers have been on fire as of late, allowing 300 or more yards just twice during the winning streak. This has been a stark departure from earlier in the season, when teams like Coastal Carolina and ODU were ripping off game-winning drives at the end of regulation.
One major surprise this season has been the step back running back Nate Noel has taken in the offensive scheme, battling injuries and having not crossed the 100-yard threshold in a game since the end of September.
Whether the injury still lingers is up for debate or not, but look for the talented tailback to reach the century mark against a porous Georgia Southern defensive unit tomorrow.
I would like to tell everyone that this will be a close, hard fought game between two heated rivals, but that simply won’t be the case. Appalachian State has title game aspirations and everything to play for, while Georgia Southern is poorly coached and talentless in key positions and is eyeing the Lysol Toilet Bowl for mid-December.
I don’t think this one is particularly close, either.
Final Score: Appalachian State 41, Georgia Southern 17