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There will be Sun Belt Conference football action this Thursday night as the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers play host to the Georgia State Panthers. The Panthers come in at 3-0 as they hope to avenge a 41-24 home loss to Coastal Carolina last season. The Chanticleers are 2-1 on the season and have won two straight games after an opening-week loss at UCLA. The opening kick is slated for 7:30 PM EST.
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Panthers on the ProwlThe Georgia State Panthers rolled toa 41-25 victory over Charlotte on the road last Saturday night to improve to 3-0 for the first time in school history. They now hit the road once again with a chance to gain a semblance of revenge over Coastal Carolina after losing 41-24 to the Chanticleers at home last season.
"I'm really proud of our football team for the first 3-0 start in school history," head coach Shawn Elliott said.
"I thought our throwing game was really on point tonight," he continued. "We took advantage of some things we saw. We've got some really special receivers who made some plays, and Darren made some great throws. We couldn't really get our ground game going, but our passing game really took over."
Georgia State was led by the combo of quarterback Darren Grainger and wide receiver Robert Lewis. Granger finished the night 27-of-33 for 466 yards passing and three touchdowns. He missed the school record for passing yards by just five yards. Grainger also added 23 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown. Lewis had a career night at receiver for the Panthers. He had 220 yards receiving in the game to break the school record for receiving yards in a game. He caught two touchdown passes in the win. For the game, the Panthers had 568 yards of total offense and were an impressive 9-of-15 on third down conversions.
Defensively, the Panthers were led by Gavin Pringle who had three tackles, one sack and an interception in the game. Georgia State held Charlotte to 356 yards of total offense including just 88 yards on the ground. They had ten tackles for loss including four sacks in the game while also forcing two turnovers in the win.
The Panthers come into this matchup equipped to go toe-to-toe with the Chanticleers after being outgunned by their offense a season ago. Georgia State is 17th in the country in total offense this season. They are 36th on the ground and 19th through the air. On the defensive end, Georgia State ranks 48th in total defense this season. The Panthers are 14th against the run but have struggled against the pass, ranking just 101st in the country.
Georgia State has been good with the ball thus far. They are ranked fifth in the nation in turnover differential with a +2 thus far. The Panthers have struggled with penalties, however, ranking 80th in the nation in penalties per game.
Injury Report: Georgia State has not reported any injuries heading into this week.
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CC Riding HighThe Coastal Carolina Chanticleers improved to 2-1 after a runaway 66-7 win over Duquesne last Saturday. The home win was the Chanticleers' 20th home win out of their last 22 home games. After losing their opening game against UCLA on the road, Coastal Carolina has now won two straight games. The 66 points are tied for the third most in school history.
“A very complete game tonight,” CC head coach Tim Beck said after the game. “I think we were able to put together a pretty good game tonight.”
Quarterback Grayson McCall was efficient for the high-powered Chanticleers' offense. He went 12-of-16 passing for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Jared Brown led the Chanticleers with 66 yards receiving and added 62 yards in punt returns. Running back Braydon Bennett had 58 yards on the ground to lead the rushing attack. Overall, the Chanticleers had 471 yards of total offense in the game.
On the defensive end, Coastal Carolina held Duquesne to 217 yards of total offense. Tobias Fletcher had the play of the game for the defense with a school-record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half. Overall, Coastal's defense had three interceptions and five tackles for loss. In addition to the three interceptions, the Chanticleers recovered a fumble as well.
Coastal Carolina finished 2022 at 9-4, including 6-2 in the SunBelt Conference. Hopes are high that their success will continue this season, particularly with the return of quarterback Grayson McCall for his third season. Thus far, Coastal ranks 64th in total offense in the nation. They are just 105th rushing the football but a far more impressive 32nd in the country through the air. On the defensive end, the Chanticleers are ranked 88th in the nation through three games. They have the 95th-best run defense and the 70th ranked pass defense.
Coastal Carolina is ranked 33rd in the country in turnover differential at +.5 through their first three games. They have been far more efficient in terms of committing penalties thus far, ranking an impressive 14th in the nation in penalties per game.
Injury Report: Coastal Carolina has not reported any injuries heading into this week.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Panthers in this spot given the points. They come into this matchup a perfect 3-0 and off to the best start in school history. They also come in with one of the best offenses in the country and have done a good job protecting the football this season. The key to this game will be the Panthers' ability to run the ball against a Coastal Carolina defense that ranks just 95th in the country at stopping the run. Coastal has had a hard time running the ball this season so Georgia State can take some chances and play more nickel and dime looks against McCall and the Chanticleers' passing attack. I expect Georgia State to control the tempo as the team is more capable of utilizing both their run game and passing game together in this game while Coastal will be far more reliant on their passing attack. This looks like a field goal game to me and the near touchdown line is more than enough to swing my money toward the Panthers.
Take Georgia State +6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
While Georgia State is 19th in the country in points per game, Coastal Carolina is ranked 66th at just over 21 points per contest. That number is more significant considering the Chanticleers just scored 66 points against Duquesne. I expect Georgia State to control the clock more in this game with their ground attack to keep McCall and the Chanticleers' passing attack off the field. With a better defense, better ball protection, and the ability to run the ball, the Panthers will control the pace and tempo and keep this game under the total.
Take the under.