The New Mexico State Aggies (0-5, 0-1) will try again for their first win of the season as they take on the Georgia Southern Eagles (4-1, 2-0) in a Sun Belt Conference matchup Saturday evening. Georgia Southern took the last meeting, 36-28, on the road on October 4, 2014 in the most recent matchup. New Mexico State covered the line as a 17.5 point underdog.
New Mexico State found themselves pulverized 52-3 by #13 Ole Miss on the road last week. Georgia Southern won their fourth straight game as they defeated Louisiana-Monroe 51-31 on the road two weeks ago; they are coming off a bye last week. This game is slated for a 6:00 pm ET kickoff from Allen E. Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Georgia and can be seen on ESPN3. Georgia Southern is currently a 30.5 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 65 points.
New Mexico State tied the game at 3 in the first quarter but they failed to score again as the Rebels reeled off 49 points in a row to close it out. The Aggies were outgained 665-239 in the contest and failed to capitalize on three Rebels turnovers; New Mexico State committed a pair of turnovers. New Mexico State dominated time of possession as they held the ball for 36:46 but they were blitzed nonetheless; none of Ole Miss’s seven touchdown drives took more than 2:55 and their field goal drive took 3:35. When you give up scores that quickly, it’s impossible to hang in; regardless of how long the Aggies have the ball in a contest.
The Aggies are 74th in the nation in passing offense (223 yards) and 81st in rushing offense (162 yards) per game on the season. New Mexico State is scoring 24 points per contest while they are dreadful in the scoring defense department; they are tied for 125th in the nation by allowing 47 points per game. Three quarterbacks have seen action for New Mexico State this season; they’ve combined to complete 53.1 percent of their throws for 1,115 yards with seven touchdowns and seven picks. Larry Rose III leads the Aggies in the ground game with 80 carries for 605 yards and six scores; no one else has more than 71 yards on the season. Teldrick Morgan leads New Mexico State with 21 receptions for 297 yards and two touchdowns while Tyrain Taylor has 18 catches for a team leading 316 yards plus three scores. Parker Davidson has had problems splitting the uprights as he is 10 of 15 on extra points and six of nine on field goals this season.
Georgia Southern rolled to a 31-10 halftime advantage of Louisiana-Monroe and coasted to an easy win on the road. The Eagles nearly doubled up the Warhawks in total offense, 503-279, and forced three turnovers while committing only one of their own. Georgia Southern scored on a blocked punt to open the scoring and it helped offset a pick six in the fourth quarter that helped Louisiana-Monroe narrow the Eagles’ advantage to 31-24. The Eagles rebounded after that and put up three touchdowns over the final 11 minutes.
The Eagles are a full bore run-oriented offense as they are 127th in the nation when it comes to throwing the ball (62.4 yards) and they lead the nation on the ground with 377.4 yards per contest. Georgia Southern is tied for 9th in scoring offense as they average 46 points while ranking 63rd in scoring defense as they give up 25 points per contest. Georgia Southern has run the ball 277 times while throwing it just 62 times: Kevin Ellison (19 of 40, 233 yards, 2 INT, 226 rushing yards, 4 TD) is the starter at quarterback with Favian Upshaw (6 of 22, 79 yards, 4 INT, 220 rushing yards) is the backup. The Eagles average 6.8 yards per rush and have scored 23 touchdowns on the ground; Matt Breida leads FBS running backs with a 10.3 yard per carry average as he has 72 carries for 738 yards and 10 scores. Wesley Fields (51 carries, 300 yards, 4 TD) and LA Ramsby (57 carries, 292 yards, 4 TD) are doing their part when they get the rock as well. Bj Johnson leads the Eagles with eight receptions for 133 yards while Ryan Longoria is next in line with seven catches. Alex Hanks has kicked 22 of 23 extra points and eight of nine field goal attempts this season.
Georgia Southern is 4-0 ATS in their last four in October, 7-1 ATS in their last eight after scoring at least 40 points, 6-1 ATS in their last seven at home, 12-2 ATS in their last 14 on grass, 5-1 ATS in their last six after an ATS win and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 after a straight up win. New Mexico State is 5-18 ATS in their last 23 on the road, 1-6 ATS in their last seven on grass, 1-7 ATS in their last eight after an ATS loss and 0-4 ATS in their last four after being held under 20 points.
The Eagles are an extremely tough run offense and that will make life difficult for New Mexico State to try and contend with. The Aggies have been gashed by the run repeatedly this season and they aren’t a strong offense that can keep the ball away from Georgia Southern. The Eagles should have another strong day on the ground and cruise to an easy victory while leaving New Mexico State 0-6 on the year.