The South Alabama Jaguars are coming off their biggest win in school history. How will they respond today against a familiar thorn in their side? South Alabama pulled off the impossible, defeating Mississippi State 21-20 for the biggest upset of college football in Week 1. The Jaguars do not get a creampuff to relax against this week. To the untrained college football fan, I think they take a look at Georgia Southern and think, okay, South Alabama just beat Mississippi State, so surely they should be able to beat Georgia Southern.
Firstly, Georgia Southern are not a bad team, they are a very good team in the Sun Belt. They would be able to give some of the top teams a run for their money, if they played A+ football with no mistakes. Remember Georgia Tech from a couple of years ago? That deadly triple-option offense which almost brought Florida State to the brink of disaster. It is the offense most closely related to this Georgia Southern team.
You might be thinking well why not just compare them to Navy or Air Force? While they do run the same triple-option attack, the Eagles have the ability to throw the ball down the field as well. It’s similar to what Georgia Tech was capable of doing. Navy and Air Force are strictly run, they will mix in a few passes over the course of a game, but defenses just need to zero in on the rushing attack. With the Eagles, there is an extra kink to worry about, because they do have a quality passing offense to add to the equation. The linebackers and safeties bite too much on the play fake, and they will be watching the ball sail over their heads for a touchdown.
The Jags clearly came prepared to play Mississippi State. They aren’t even a favorite to win their conference, let alone play good enough football to down a SEC opponent. A couple of games always seem to unfold this way in Week 1. It makes sense, as a result of the amount of time teams have to prepare for the team they’re playing. The Jaguars made the most of that extra time. They’re going to have to change gears in a hurry to play a much different Georgia Southern offense. The Jags are not getting any respect in this one, coming in as 13.5 underdogs to the Eagles.
Georgia Southern Eagles vs. South Alabama Jaguars NCAAF Betting Odds:
Georgia Southern -13.5(-110)
vs. South Alabama +13.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Georgia Southern vs. South Alabama Pick:
Georgia Southern opened their season up against Savannah State, who offered no resistance in a 54-0 win in favor of the Eagles. Savannah State’s heads were spinning trying to defend Georgia Southern. They passed for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception through the air. Savannah State got gashed on the ground, where the Eagles are at their best. Georgia Southern had five different runners hit pay dirt, for a whopping total of six touchdowns scored on the ground.
This is more of the same for the Eagles, a team that rolled the scoreboard up a year ago as well. Demarcus Godfrey led the way, rushing for 124 yards and a massive average of 9 yards per attempt. This is more of the same for Georgia Southern, a team that ranked in the top 5 in yards per game rushing in 2015.
They scored over 40 points in eight of thirteen last season, including an average of 35.6 points scored per game. They brought Georgia to overtime, but fell by a score of 23-17. The Eagles torched South Alabama last season, a 55-17 route, which amounted to something similar on offense. As a team, they ran for 489 yards and six touchdowns rushing. The South Alabama defense put together a perfect game plan to slow Mississippi State down, but now they get a dose of Georgia Southern. The Jaguars were last in the Sun Belt, and near the back of college football against the run in 2015.
South Alabama football players were the big men on campus this past week. They surely enjoyed the spotlight nationally and on campus after beating the Bulldogs. I am sure they did some partying as well. They were preparing for Georgia Southern somewhere in there too, but were they really all into it? Or were they still basking in the moment? The line in this game tells you a lot. The odds makers are giving South Alabama 13.5 points at home, after beating Mississippi State? If it seems fishy, it’s because it is pretty fishy. I see Georgia Southern running the table and coming out of Alabama with a 42-20 victory.