It’s a Sun Belt matchup between a team coming off an upset win against one that has yet to pick up a victory on the year. The South Alabama Jaguars are on the road as they take on the Georgia Southern Eagles Saturday afternoon. South Alabama snapped a two-game losing skid with a 24-19 home win over Arkansas State last Saturday. Georgia Southern lost their ninth in a row this season as they were defeated 27-6 on the road by Appalachian State last Thursday. The Eagles have won all three meetings between the schools, including a 24-9 win at home in the last meeting on September 10, 2016.
South Alabama Jaguars Look to Build Off Upset
South Alabama managed to get back in the win column as they stunned Arkansas State at home last week. The Jaguars evened their conference record at 3-3 with the win and created a logjam in the Sun Belt. South Alabama took a 10-0 lead after the first quarter and came up with key plays late to preserve the win. The Jaguars forced turnovers on the final two Arkansas State drives, including one at their own one yard line to get the win. South Alabama was outgained 365-340 in the contest, gave up 23 first downs while picking up 18 but controlled time of possession by a 33:00 to 27:00 margin. The Jaguars won the turnover battle as they forced six takeaways while recording only one giveaway.
The Jaguars are 61st in the FBS in passing offense with 234.8 yards per contest and 119th with 111.6 yards per game. South Alabama is 116th as they average 21.5 points per game and 49th as they allow 24.4 points per contest. Cole Garvin has completed 92 of 167 passes for 1,120 yards with six touchdowns against five interceptions while adding two scores on the ground. Dallas Davis is 88 of 157 for 1,228 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Xavier Johnson leads the Jaguars with 82 carries for 445 yards and six scores. Tra Minter is the second back in the system with 99 carries for 332 yards and a touchdown. Malik Harris is third on the team with 24 receptions for 277 yards plus three scores on the year. Sam Harris (team-high 38 receptions, 526 yards, two TD) and Jamarius Way (37 catches, team-high 650 yards, three TD) also are key pieces in the passing game. Gavin Patterson has hit 24 of 25 extra points and 15 of 18 field goals with a long of 47.
Georgia Southern Eagles Still Seeking First Win
Georgia Southern remained winless as they were handled easily by Appalachian State on the road. The Eagles dropped to 0-5 in the Sun Belt and are out of the cellar solely because Coastal Carolina is 0-6 in conference play. Georgia Southern led 3-0 after the opening quarter but saw things unravel the rest of the way as they were outscored 27-3 the rest of the way. The Eagles were outgained 414-191 in the contest, gave up 19 first downs while allowing 15 and dropped the time of possession battle 31:25 to 28:35 in the contest. Georgia Southern’s inability to put the ball in the end zone proved costly.
The Eagles are still a run-oriented offense: they are 127th in the FBS in passing offense with 103.4 yards per contest and 41st in rushing with 191.8 yards per game. Georgia Southern stands 126th in the nation in scoring offense with 16.3 points per game and are a dismal 118th in scoring defense by allowing 37.1 points a contest. Shai Werts is 66 of 113 passing for 690 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions while adding 487 rushing yards plus a score on the ground. Kado Brown is 14 of 26 for 234 yards with two picks plus 98 rushing yards and two scores. Wesley Fields leads the Eagles with 125 carries for 531 yards and three scores. L.A. Ramsby contributes 99 carries for 394 yards and a pair of touchdowns. When Georgia Southern goes to the air, Obe Fortune is second on the team with 15 catches for 189 yards plus a score. Myles Campbell (15 catches, 109 yards, TD) and Malik Henry (team-high 16 grabs, 196 yards) are other options. Tyler Bass is 14 of 15 on extra points and 11 of 14 on field goal attempts with a long of 48.
- Jaguars are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game
- Jaguars are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS win
- Jaguars are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
Georgia Southern has yet to pick up a win this season as their offense has been dismal and their defense isn’t much better. South Alabama is coming off their biggest win of the season as they took down Arkansas State. The Jaguars are a tough team that plays very good defense, which has helped keep them in games. Playing on the road won’t be a major issue here for South Alabama given Georgia Southern’s woes: give the points and take the Jaguars in this contest.