Georgia Southern Eagles (0-8 SU, 2-5-1 ATS, 5-3 O/U) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (5-4 SU, 2-7 ATS, 5-4 O/U)
NCAAF: Thursday, November 9, 2017, Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, North Carolina, 7:30 pm ET
Spread: Appalachian State -16.5; Over/Under: 54.5
It’s a clash between Sun Belt Conference foes up in the Tar Heel State. The Georgia Southern Eagles look to pick up a conference win as they travel to face the Appalachian State Mountaineers Thursday night. Georgia Southern remained winless on the season as they fell 21-17 at home to Georgia State last Saturday. Appalachian State dropped their second in a row with a 52-45 shootout loss to Louisiana Monroe on the road last Saturday. The Mountaineers hold a 2-1 edge in the all-time regular season series, including a 34-10 road win in the last matchup on October 27, 2016.
Georgia Southern Eagles Still Searching for First Win
Georgia Southern battled but came up short in their in-state rivalry game with Georgia State. With the loss, the Eagles dropped to 0-8 overall and are 0-4 in Sun Belt play on the year. Georgia Southern held the lead late in the game but fumbled the ball to set up Georgia State at their 31 yard line. Six plays later, the Panthers were in the end zone with the winning score with 2:31 to play. The Eagles moved to the Georgia State 17 but time expired before they could put up the winning score. Georgia Southern was outgained 368-336 despite holding a 19-15 edge in first downs and a 33:33 to 26:27 advantage in time of possession. Turnovers were the key in the game as the Eagles committed three while only forcing one takeaway.
The Eagles are still a run-oriented offense: they are 127th in the FBS in passing offense with 106.4 yards per contest and 33rd in rushing with 201.9 yards per game. Georgia Southern stands 122nd in the nation in scoring offense with 17.6 points per game and are a dismal 124th in scoring defense by allowing 38.4 points a contest. Shai Werts is 61 of 104 passing for 650 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions while adding 453 rushing yards plus a score on the ground. Kado Brown is 9 of 18 for 194 yards with two picks plus 88 rushing yards and two scores. Wesley Fields leads the Eagles with 117 carries for 494 yards and three scores. L.A. Ramsby contributes 90 carries for 377 yards and a pair of touchdowns. When Georgia Southern goes to the air, Obe Fortune has a team high 15 catches for 189 yards plus a score. Myles Campbell (13 catches, 94 yards, TD) and Malik Henry (12 grabs, 151 yards) are other options. Tyler Bass is 14 of 15 on extra points and nine of 12 on field goal attempts with a long of 48.
Appalachian State Mountaineers Try to Pick Up Win
Appalachian State has lost two in a row, both close games, to drop to 5-4 overall on the season. The Mountaineers are 4-1 in the Sun Belt, tied with Troy and Georgia State for second in the conference: Arkansas State is 4-0. Appalachian State rallied from a 21-3 deficit to lead 38-35 after three quarters: they tied the game at 45 in the final minute before allowing the winning score with 23 seconds to play. The Mountaineers lost the total yardage battle 569-508, dropped the first down clash 28-25 and saw Louisiana Monroe hold a slim 30:43 to 29:17 advantage in time of possession. Both teams turned the ball over once but it was another close loss for Appalachian State.
The Mountaineers are 57th in the FBS with 240.1 passing yards per game and tied for 47th in rushing with 182.7 yards per game. The Mountaineers are tied for 45th in scoring offense with 31.3 points per game and rank 64th in scoring defense with 25.9 points per game. Taylor Lamb is 159 of 263 passing for 2,096 yards with 19 touchdowns and four picks. He adds 366 rushing yards and three scores. Zac Thomas is six of 10 passing for 33 yards while adding 32 yards on the ground. Jalin Moore leads the team with 112 carries for 563 yards and three scores. Terrence Upshaw has 68 carries for 314 yards plus four scores on the ground. Thomas Hennigan has a team-leading 38 receptions for 406 yards plus three scores. Malik Williams (16 receptions, 146 yards), Ike Lewis (35 grabs, team-high 494 yards, six TD) and Jalen Virgil (17 receptions, 339 yards, 3 TD) are solid options in the passing game. Michael Rubino has booted 21 of 23 extra points and nine of 15 field goal attempts with a long of 46. Chandler Staton is 11 of 11 on extra points and three of three field goal attempts with a long of 40.
- Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game
- Eagles are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf
- No Key Trends
Appalachian State is scuffling as they edged struggling Coastal Carolina at home by eight before losing in double overtime to Massachusetts and then in the final minute to Louisiana Monroe. They catch a break here as the Eagles aren’t going to pile up points and yards in a hurry against anyone. Georgia Southern still relies on the option game with the passing attack being a secondary option at best. The Eagles will try to grind the clock but they can’t keep up with the Mountaineers’ explosive offense. Look for Appalachian State to get back in the win column as they prevail here.
Pick: Appalachian State Mountaineers -16.5
Georgia Southern has battled all season long but it’s been a tough road for them. The Eagles just don’t have the weapons they did a season ago and they lack experience at some of the key skill positions. Appalachian State has to be better in clutch situations: they allowed Massachusetts to tie the game in the closing seconds before losing in double overtime and then gave up the winning score with 23 seconds to play in regulation to Louisiana Monroe. They’re still in the thick of the Sun Belt race but can ill afford a slip up here.
The over is 7-1 in the Eagles’ last 8 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game, 5-1 in their last six games overall, 5-1 in their last six games on Thursday and 5-1 in their last six after a straight up loss. Appalachian State has seen the over go 4-0 in their last 4 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game, 5-0 in their last 5 games following a straight up loss and 4-1 in their last five games overall. Look for this to be over as Appalachian State’s offense is too much to keep it under the total.