Is the season over yet? That is what Georgia Southern is asking themselves. It’s been an ugly year for the Eagles, as they hope to grab at least one win before the curtain closes on the 2017 season. Georgia Southern enter with a record of 0-8. Kent State even have a win on their resume. Their best chance for a win was probably against New Hampshire, a 22-12 losing effort in Week 2.
It came following their 41-7 loss to Auburn, so they were a bit worn down and didn’t get up to play New Hampshire. The way it’s looking now, they probably should have taken them more seriously, because it’s going to be the only game they were favored in this season. The Eagles have been unable to recapture the success they had in 2015. Ever since their 58-27 win over Bowling Green in the GoDaddy Bowl, they’ve been heading down a slippery slope.
Georgia Southern went 9-4, and then regressed to 5-7 the following year in 2016. They’ve about hit the bottom of the barrel in 2017, as they are still seeking their first win. The Eagles had a vaunted rushing attack in 2015, a unit that ranked at the top of the FBS in rushing yardage. Because of roster turnover and a talent decline, Georgia Southern seen a steep decline in production. They came into 2017 without a competent quarterback to run their triple-option, and it’s November and they’re still looking for traction with Shai Werts.
Georgia Southern has a nice 1-2 punch going with Favian Upshaw and Kevin Ellison. Both are gone, leaving Werts the lone option for the Eagles. Werts is no where near the runner either of Upshaw or Ellison were, and he is having a tough time grasping the passing game in this offense. Will there be a coaching change in the offseason?
Well, they fired Tyson Summers back in October, and nothing has changed with their intern head coach. So, yes, their head coaching search is going on at the moment. Meanwhile, their football program continues to spin out of control while they look for a boss to steer the ship for them next year. Appalachian State will look to reach another bowl with a win tonight. It will make for their third straight appearance since becoming a bowl eligible team in the FBS. Head below for our free Georgia Southern vs. Appalachian State pick.
Georgia Southern Eagles vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers Betting Odds:
Georgia Southern +17.5(-110)
vs. Appalachian State -17.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Georgia Southern vs. Appalachian State Pick:
The triple-option can either work really well, or not work at all. The 2015 version of the Georgia Southern triple-option was nearly impossible to stop. They were atop the FBS in rushing. Flash forward two years, and you can see what happens when there is a lot of roster turnover, especially an offense like this.
The Eagles are averaging just 308 yards per game. It puts them at 123rd in the nation. They’re 23rd in rushing, but that’s all they do. They have virtually zero passing game with Werts. Georgia Southern are passing for 106.4 yards per game, 127th out of 130 teams. Werts has thrown 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
The question for Georgia Southern is whether they’re going to opt for a triple-option coach, or go with something more traditional. If they stick with the option, this current group must get much better at running it. It’s not as bad as Kent State, but the next worse. Appalachian State are allowing 25.9 points per game, 64th in the FBS Conversely, Georgia Southern are surrendering 38.4 points per game, 124th. So, offensively and defensively they haven’t found their stroke.
Appalachian State have been getting excellent production out of quarterback Taylor Lamb. Lamb has tossed 19 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns rushing. Lamb has plenty of experience, as he closes up his five-year career as a Mountaineer. I think this line of 17.5 is too short. Maybe 21 or 22 but they’re giving Georgia Southern too much credit on the road in this one. Appalachian State should get the cover by a score of around 40-17.