Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#159 Georgia Southern vs.
#160 Arkansas
Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 4:00pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

It’s a non-conference matchup on the gridiron when the Sun Belt travels to face the SEC in the Razorback State. The Georgia Southern Eagles are on the road as they travel to face the #20 Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday afternoon. Georgia Southern was trounced 38-6 on the road by Florida Atlantic in their most recent contest last Saturday. Arkansas earned a 40-21 victory over #15 Texas in a battle of old Southwest Conference foes at home last Saturday in their previous game. This marks the first time that these teams have met on the gridiron with both teams as FBS opponents.

Georgia Southern Eagles Trying to Bounce Back

Georgia Southern started their season with a less than inspiring win over Gardner-Webb. The Eagles were then blasted by Florida Atlantic in their last game so they look to bounce back and move back over the .500 mark here. Against Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern played well for the better part of a half before things came apart. The Eagles led 6-0 with under two minutes to play in the first half before giving up 10 points in the final 1:45 to trail by four at intermission. Georgia Southern never recovered as they were outscored 28-0 in the second half to turn the game into a rout. The Eagles were outgained 528-257 in total offense, lost the first down battle 27-17 and the time of possession by a 33:38 to 26:22 margin. Georgia Southern turned the ball over twice while failing to generate a takeaway in the contest.

The Eagles enter this week just 121st in passing offense with 126.5 yards per game through the air while they are a solid 16th in rushing offense with an average of 252 yards per contest. Georgia Southern is 114th in the FBS in scoring offense (18 points per game) and 106th in scoring defense by allowing an average of 31.5 points per contest. Cam Ransom is 20 of 34 passing for 188 yards with one touchdown against no interceptions while adding 50 yards on the ground. Amare Jones (four of seven, 45 yards, 28 carries, 119 yards) and Sam Kenerson (two of three, 20 yards, INT, 35 rushing yards) have seen action as well. Logan Wright is the lead back on the ground with 30 carries for 206 yards plus two scores while Gerald Green (12 carries, 73 yards, TD) also sees work along with Jones. Green leads the team with seven catches for 73 yards. Jones (33 yards) and Beau Johnson (27 yards) each have four catches. Britton Williams is three of four on extra-point attempts and three of three on field goal attempts with a long of 49 this season.

Georgia Southern loves the triple-option in an effort to try and keep opposing defenses on the field. The Eagles are averaging 4.9 yards per carry on the year but the Arkansas defense has been stout against the ground game. Arkansas is allowing 109 yards per contest and just 2.7 yards per carry. If the Eagles fall behind by double digits and the run game is thwarted, Georgia Southern is going to be in some serious trouble, especially on the road.

Arkansas Razorbacks Try to Avoid Letdown

Arkansas has had success in their contests against former Southwest Conference foes as they dropped Rice before downing #15 Texas at home. The Razorbacks now try to avoid a letdown in this contest after reaching 2-0 for the first time since 2016. Against Texas, Arkansas dominated the game, leading 7-0 after the opening quarter, 16-0 at the half and 33-7 after three quarters. The Razorbacks gave up a couple of fourth quarter touchdowns but the game was well in hand by that point in time. Arkansas held a commanding 471-256 edge in total offense, held a 21-15 edge in first downs and controlled the clock by a 31:03 to 28:57 margin. Each team turned the ball over once but Arkansas outrushed Texas 333-138 while limiting the Longhorns to 3.4 yards per carry.

The Razorbacks enter this game 117th in the nation in passing offense as they average 133 yards per game through the air but they are a stellar ninth in rushing offense by racking up 289 yards per contest on the ground this season. Arkansas is 35th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 39 points per game while they are 52nd in scoring defense as they give up 19 points a contest this year. KJ Jefferson has completed 26 of 40 passes for 266 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He is second on the team in rushing with 162 yards and two scores this season. Trelon Smith is the leading ground gainer with 34 carries for 177 yards and two scores. Raheim Sanders (15 carries, 94 yards, TD), AJ Green (seven catches, 67 yards, TD) and Dominique Johnson (10 carries, 60 yards, two TD) are also in the mix. Trelon Burks leads the team with 10 receptions for 79 yards while Tyson Morris (four grabs, team-high 87 yards, TD) is the only other player with more than 25 receiving yards. Cam Little has hit all nine extra point attempts and five of five field goal tries with a long of 44 this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Georgia Southern had their struggles when it came to coming up with a win over a FCS foe in Gardner-Webb in the season opener. The Eagles then were hammered over the final 32 minutes of their game against Florida Atlantic as they gave up 38 unanswered points. Now Georgia Southern has to go on the road and deal with an Arkansas team that is coming off a marquee win as they dropped Texas and ran all over the Longhorns. While the Eagles have done a decent job against the run, they’ve been scorched through the air, giving up 348.5 yards per game and eight scores in two games. Arkansas was fined $100,000 for their fans storming the field last week but you won’t see that being an issue here. The Razorbacks’ fans expect to win this one and the team complies with a one-sided triumph.

Prediction: Arkansas Razorbacks -23.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Georgia Southern has split their two games this season in regards to the total but the total has gone over in five of their last eight contests. The Eagles were porous defensively last week against Florida Atlantic and now will face a very tough Arkansas squad. We’ve seen the Razorbacks go over the total in both their games this season and in six of their last 10 contests dating back to last year. The over is 5-0 in the Razorbacks’ last five after picking up at least 450 yards of offense and 4-0 in their last four after a straight up victory. Given the way Arkansas has put up points and  yards in their first two games, you have to think this one winds up over the total.

Prediction: Over 52.5

Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

Chris Kubala has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well. as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.