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The Troy Trojans will put their undefeated conference record on the line on Saturday afternoon when they head on the road to Allen E. Paulson Stadium for a Sun Belt Conference showdown against the Georgia Southern Eagles.
Troy enters with a 5-0 record in conference play, but they come in with a slim one-game lead over the Eagles in the Sun Belt East Division standings. Can Georgia Southern take control of their destiny with a victory at home on Saturday?
Troy can control fate with win over Georgia Southern
The Trojans won their second consecutive game to remain undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play, defeating Louisiana Lafayette 26-16 at home last week. Troy carried a 23-3 lead into halftime and withstood a second-half rally by the Ragin’ Cajuns thanks to a big day from a couple of their skill players on offense. Damion Willis had 10 catches for 213 yards and B.J. Smith set a school record with his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game, ending with 103 yards and a score to help keep the Trojans atop the Sun Belt East Division standings. Troy’s defense showed up in a big way, limiting the Ragin’ Cajuns to just 270 yards of total offense and forcing three turnovers on the day to help the Trojans pull out the win.
— Troy Trojans Football 7x⚔️ (@TroyTrojansFB) November 6, 2018
Troy comes into the week with a 7-2 overall record and a 5-0 mark in conference play, while outscoring opponents by 10.5 points per game so far this year. The Trojans are averaging 33.3 points and 414.7 yards of total offense per game — 49 percent of which comes on the ground. On defense, the Trojans are allowing just 22.8 points and 362 yards of total offense per contest.
Triple-option offense stalls versus UL-Monroe
One week after Georgia Southern extended its winning streak to five games with an upset over Appalachian State, the Golden Eagles suffered a disappointing 44-25 blowout loss on the road against a .500-Louisiana Monroe team. Georgia Southern got nearly nothing going on offense, scoring just one offensive touchdown in the lopsided defeat. The Eagles racked up just 216 yards of total offense on the day, while averaging just 3.0 yards per carry on the ground to snap their five-game winning streak. Georgia Southern got a defensive touchdown and a touchdown on special teams in the second half to make the game closer on the scoreboard, but it was an overall embarrassing effort for a team that came into the week with an undefeated conference record.
Shai Werts Named Finalist for SC Football Hall of Fame Blanchard-Rogers Trophy https://t.co/WGpTnHQtka
— Georgia Southern Football (@GSAthletics_FB) November 7, 2018
Georgia Southern is 7-2 with 4-1 mark Sun Belt play through their first nine games of the regular season. Already in contention for a bowl game, the Eagles could take control of the Sun Belt East division with a victory on Saturday. They come in scoring 30.7 points per game, while allowing 21.4 points per game on the defensive side of the ball. The triple option is back at Georgia Southern this season and 79 percent of their total offense has come on the ground so far this year. The Eagles are averaging 334.4 yards of total offense per game — 260 of which have come on the ground.
- Eagles are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Eagles are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
- Eagles are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
- Under is 11-3 in Trojans last 14 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Under is 13-5-1 in Trojans last 19 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Trojans have failed to cover the spread in each of the last four meetings between these schools. With so much on the line for the Eagles, it is hard not to side with the home team here. This game is basically a pick’em with the spread moving towards the Trojans as the week progresses. That isn’t going to stop me from taking the Eagles at home here — even if they are coming off of a disappointing road loss on the road against Louisiana Monroe. Buy on bad news and take the Eagles to cover the spread at home in this battle for the Sun Belt East division on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Pick: Georgia Southern +1
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams combine to allow just 44.2 points per game this year and the total for this one was pegged at 48.5. It’s already moved down a point since then and with good reason. The Trojans have gone over the projected total just five times in their last 19 road games and the Eagles have stayed under the projected total in four of their last five games versus a team with a winning record. Look for this game to stay under the projected total as these two teams battle it out for the top spot in the division on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Under 45
Half-Time Side Pick
Troy has struggled in their recent trips to Georgia Southern and the Eagles are fresh off of their first conference defeat of the season against Louisiana Monroe last week. Typically, I like to buy on bad news and Troy’s ability to stop the run concerns me in this game. Shai Werts has been solid with the ball in his hands this year and has yet to throw an interception. He attempted a season-high 15 passes last week and should come into this game with some added confidence throwing the football. Take Georgia Southern to come out on top in the first half of this game on Saturday.
Prediction: Georgia Southern PK
Half-Time Total Bet
Expect Georgia Southern to pound the rock as they try to maintain time of possession in this game. Troy has been more vulnerable on the road this season, as evidenced by their 22-16 loss to Liberty a few weeks ago. Considering the magnitude of this game for both teams, I’m expecting this one to be a lower scoring affair, so take the under in the first half of this game at Allen E. Paulson Stadium on Saturday.
Prediction: Under 22.5