South Alabama vs. Georgia Southern

South Alabama vs. Georgia Southern | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Written by on October 27, 2020

The first college football game in Week 9 is Thursday night from the Sun Belt Conference as West Division-leading South Alabama visits Georgia Southern on national TV. The host Eagles are favored on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet South Alabama at Georgia Southern NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

Last year, Georgia Southern also played at South Alabama on a Thursday and won 20-17 in double overtime. Tyler Bass kicked a 37-yard field goal in the second overtime after the Georgia Southern forced a turnover. Bass, who kicked a 46-yard field goal to put Georgia Southern up 10-7 at halftime, missed a 32-yarder on the first possession of overtime. However, Ty Phillips blocked a 45-yard attempt by South Alabama’s Frankie Onate to force a second overtime. On the Jaguars’ first play, Ricky Wade Jr., strip-sacked Cephus Johnson, and Raymond Johnson III recovered. The Eagles gained six yards on three running plays before Bass’ winner.

Georgia Southern leads the all-time series 6-0. GS has outscored South Alabama by a combined 227-62 (37.8-10.3) with South Alabama having yet to top the 20-point mark against the Eagles. The Jaguars have only scored six touchdowns in the series.

Why Bet on South Alabama? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

South Alabama (3-2) was a 38-14 winner over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. Kawaan Baker caught three touchdown passes and had 154 yards receiving. Baker’s first score capped a 17-point first quarter for the Jaguars and he later added touchdowns of 16 and five yards in the second half as South earned its second consecutive victory.  Desmond Trotter was 8-of-12 passing for 184 yards while Carlos Davis gained 58 yards on 17 carries as well.

Three long plays — a 95-yard Devin Rockette interception return, a 50-yard field goal from Diego Guajardo and an 80-yard Trotter-to-Baker connection — gave the Jaguars a 17-0 lead at the end of the first period. Both teams ran 61 plays overall, with the Jags outgaining the Warhawks by 415-380 margin. South’s offense converted on 11-of-17 third- and fourth-down attempts, with ULM successful on just 4-of-13 conversions in the contest.

It marks the first time since beginning Sun Belt Conference play in 2012 that the Jaguars have started league action 2-0. The Jaguars are now above .500 overall for the first time since defeating nationally-ranked San Diego State on Oct. 1, 2016. It’s the first occasion that USA has won consecutive conference outings since defeating Troy and the Warhawks on Oct. 11 and 21, 2017.

Baker was named the Sun Belt’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week. With 27 catches for 443 yards and six touchdowns this year, Baker ranks among the top five in the Sun Belt in both receptions and receiving yards per contest while also standing second with 124 all-purpose yards per game and sixth in scoring.

For this one, South is on the road for the first time since beginning the year at Southern Mississippi on Sept. 3. With a win at USM to open the campaign, the Jaguars are looking for multiple road victories in a season for the first time since 2015. The Jaguars’ last win in the state of Georgia was on Nov. 30, 2013, when they claimed a 38-17 decision at Georgia State in their final SBC road contest that fall.

Why Bet on Georgia Southern? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

The Eagles (3-2) lost to ranked Coastal Carolina 28-14 on Saturday. Fred Payton threw for 252 yards and three scores, and Coastal Carolina scored two touchdowns in 1:55 in the fourth quarter to pull away.

With the score deadlocked at 14-14, Payton connected with CJ Marable for a 24-yard touchdown pass and a seven-point Coastal Carolina cushion with 8:53 to go in the contest. Georgia Southern signaled for a fair catch outside the 10-yard line and got the ball at the 11 on the ensuing kickoff, and after forcing a 3-and-out, the Chanticleers’ Jaivon Heiligh returned the Eagle punt 40 yards to the GS 20-yard line. Reese White took it the rest of the way on the next play, a 20-yard run, and a 28-14 advantage for the Chants.

Georgia Southern held the Chanticleers to two rushing yards in the first half, and Coastal held the Eagles to 76 total yards in the second stanza. Wesley Kennedy III leads the Eagles with seven plays of 20 yards or more, two rushes, two passes, two kickoff returns and a punt return.

The Eagles are 10-2 all-time on ESPN, 2-0 at home.  Georgia Southern has won nine of its 14 games all-time played on Thursday, including its past four (Texas State and App State in 2018 and South Alabama and App State in 2019). The Eagles have scored eight non-offensive touchdowns over the past two seasons: two via punt return and interception return, and one via blocked punt recovery, fumble return, blocked field goal return and kickoff return.

This will be the first home ESPN broadcast at Allen E. Paulson Stadium since the 1989 FCS national championship game against Stephen F. Austin. Jaguars defensive line coach Harland Bower, who is in his third season at South Alabama, was a defensive lineman for the Eagles from 2006-2009 and served as a team captain his senior year.

Georgia Southern is 9-5 all-time in games played on Thursdays, 4-2 at home and 5-3 on the road. Georgia Southern has played six teams from the state of Alabama with a modern-era record of 20-8 against non-Power 5 opponents.

Game Trends

  • Jaguars are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog.
  • Jaguars are 3-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Jaguars are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
  • Eagles are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
Expert Prediction

Georgia Southern 32, South Alabama 24

 
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