Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#323 Army -4.5 vs.
#324 Georgia State 57
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:00pm EDT
Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#323 Army West Point
#324 Georgia State University
3-3
4-2
2-4
3-1-2
2-3-1
4-2
26
35
20
37

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The Army Black Knights will head on the road to Georgia state Stadium on Saturday evening in hopes of snapping a two-game losing streak versus the Georgia State Panthers.

The Black Knights have winnable schedule down the stretch, but it is becoming harder and harder to envision Army running the table. With three of the next four contests coming on the road, changing the current narrative is not going to be any easy task. Can the Black Knights get back on the right track on the road against Georgia State on Saturday night?

Army out-rushed for second straight game

Since a strong 3-1 start to the season that included a near-upset of then No.7-ranked Michigan, Army has lost back-to-back games in disappointing fashion. One week after ending their 15-game home winning streak versus Tulane, Army mustered just eight points and 208 yards of total offense in the team’s 17-8 defeat versus Western Kentucky last week. The Hilltoppers dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 38 minutes and wearing out the Black Knights’ defense with a relentless rushing attack, racking up 225 yards on the ground against Army’s defense. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. completed 5-of-12 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, but the Black Knights were unable to get their triple-option offense going, as no runner finished with more than 41 yards in the loss.

Army has been headed in the wrong direction over the past two weeks, especially in the trenches. Head coach Jeff Monken has married himself to the run throughout his career, so when an opponent is more physical than his team at the line of scrimmage, it doesn’t sit well. Prior to the loss to Tulane, it had been 16 games since Army had been out-rushed, but they’ve now gained less rushing yards than their opponent in back-to-back games. The last two weeks have seen Monken desperately ditch the run game for a more balanced attack, but it hasn’t worked.

Army comes in averaging 26.5 points per game and allowing 20.7 points on defense. They should have an easier time moving the ball on the ground this week though, against a Georgia State team giving up nearly 200 rushing yards per game. They will be challenged with stopping the run as well, as the Panthers actually enter the week averaging more rushing yards per game than the Black Knights (253.5 to 250.7).

Georgia State's defense steps up in win vs. Coastal Carolina

Georgia State improved to 4-2 and 2-1 in the Sun Belt after pulling off a tough 31-21 road win versus Coastal Carolina last week. Quarterback Dan Ellington threw for 122 yards and a touchdown, while adding 128 rushing yards on 19 carries to help the Panthers win their second straight contest. Two other Georgia State players, Tra Bennett and Seth Paige, each ran for over 100 yards as well, as the Panthers ran for 350 yards on the ground as a team to escape with a road win in conference play. The victory marked the first time since 2017 that Georgia State was able to win back-to-back conference games.

With four wins through their first six games, it appears that Georgia State is going to be headed to a bowl game once again this year. ESPN’s most recent predictions has the Panthers playing in either the Cure Bowl or the Camellia Bowl.

Georgia State’s front seven took a big step forward last week, handling Coastal Carolina’s pistol option and holding the Chanticleers to just 4-for-14 on third down conversions. The defense also forced four fumbles in that game, which will be a major point of emphasis once again this week against an run-heavy Army attack. The Panthers come in allowing 37.5 points and 452.8 yards of total offense per game, including 199.8 yards per game on the ground.

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Georgia State opened the season with an impressive road win at Tennessee before coming back down to earth towards the end of September. Fast forward a couple of weeks and the Panthers appear to be on the up-and-up following back-to-back Sun Belt victories. However, Army comes into this game with some desperation after getting out-rushed back-to-back contests (both losses). The Black Knights enter the week favored by a touchdown, but it is really going to depend which Army team decides to show up on Saturday. I have a feeling Monken will have his troops ready to bounce back after an embarrassing offensive performance last week. Take Army to cover the number on the road in this spot on Saturday evening. 

Prediction: Army Black Knights -6

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It’s hard to know what to make of this Army defense. They have failed to stop the run in each of the past two weeks, which is starting to become a growing concern for the Black Knights. Georgia State has also had its fair share of troubles keeping teams from achieving big gains on the ground this year, so both teams should find success moving the ball on the ground this week. Meanwhile, Georgia State comes in allowing 37.5 points per contest and nearly 200 rushing yards per game (199.8), so look for this game to go over the projected total on Saturday night.

Prediction: Over 56.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.