Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern Expert Pick and Prediction – October 26, 2023
GEORGIA STATE VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – October 26, 2023 — With James Madison ineligible to win the Sun Belt Conference, the East Division might come down to these two Peach State rivals. Quietly, Georgia State has earned a 6-1 record, upsetting Sun Belt favorites Coastal Carolina and Marshall along the way. The Panthers need two wins to match their all-time school record for wins, and they’re looking for their fourth straight win over Georgia Southern.
For their part, the Eagles have put themselves a game away from bowl eligibility. Georgia Southern’s handled the switch to Davis Brin at quarterback this season just fine, winning all four games in Statesboro and never scoring less than 34 points. 34 also happens to be the magic number for Georgia Southern in this series: they’re 3-0 against Georgia State when they score at least 34 and 0-6 when they come up short.
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That could be a serious issue for the Panthers, who own the second-weakest pass defense in the Sun Belt. Of course, the weakest by yards is James Madison, which shut down Brin and the Eagles in a 41-13 rout. But the Dukes’ yardage mostly comes in garbage time because they get ahead and teams have to throw. That’s not the case with Georgia State; the Panthers genuinely have issues stopping the pass.
What’s Georgia State’s best defense here? The ground game. Last year, the Panthers won for two reasons: they forced five turnovers and got off 54 rushing plays. If Marcus Carroll can hit 100 yards for the fourth time in five games, the Panthers have a real edge.
(6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
(5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS)
When: Thursday, October 26th at 7:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Allen E. Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.
Public Bets: 68% on Georgia State
Public Money: 84% on Georgia State
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of October 23rd, 2023.
Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern In-Season Trends
The second quarter has really been when Georgia Southern starts to roll. In wins over Coastal Carolina and Louisiana-Monroe, the Eagles outscored their opponents by a combined 45-14, giving themselves the edge they needed to pull away. Because of that, they’ve hit the first half total in six straight games at Paulson Stadium.
Georgia State’s also a team that tends to start strong.
In 10 of their past 12 games, the Panthers have gone to the locker room with the lead. Georgia State’s also been a cover machine when it gets outside of Atlanta. In their past six true road games, the Panthers are 6-0 ATS and have won the game outright four times. You’ve got to go back to Oct. 19 of last season at Appalachian State for the last time the Panthers didn’t cover away from home.
This is going to be great evening for football in eastern Georgia. Temperatures will sit in the mid 60s with winds blowing at just five miles per hour, so weather won’t affect anything here.
If you’ve never seen Georgia Southern play, you should know the Eagles throw the ball a ton. Brin ranks second in the nation in passing attempts, behind only Hawai’i’s Braedyn Schager.
When Brin’s been good, he’s been very good, going for 13 touchdowns against four interceptions in the Eagles’ five wins. When he’s been poor, things melt down quickly. In Georgia Southern’s two defeats, Brin’s thrown one touchdown and seven interceptions.
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Last season, Jameyst Williams and Tucker Gregg ran all over Georgia Southern, as the Panthers rolled up 522 yards. Both have graduated, but Marcus Carroll has stepped into the role. He’s averaged five yards per carry and ranks second in the Sun Belt with 852 yards on the year, and he’s scored 10 touchdowns to fuel the Georgia State offense.
Which Brin are we going to get here? Georgia State forced five turnovers last season to grab a win, and Brin has thrown four interceptions the past two weeks. But the Panthers’ secondary isn’t as opportunistic as it was last season, intercepting just six passes in 2023.
Last year, Georgia State won because it forced five Eagle turnovers. If the defense isn’t forcing mistakes, it’s hard to see the Panthers keeping Georgia Southern out of the end zone. The total’s going to be tough to reach, but strangely, the first half total is lower even though these are first-half teams. That’s where opportunity exists.
Georgia Southern -1.5
Over 29.5 First Half