The Georgia Southern Eagles (6-2, 4-1) will travel to face the Troy Trojans (3-6, 2-3) in a Sun Belt Conference matchup Saturday afternoon. Georgia Southern won the only matchup between the two teams with a 42-10 romp as a 24 point favorite on October 30, 2014.
Georgia Southern won for the sixth time in seven games and bounced back from their loss to Appalachian State by rolling Texas State 37-13 last week. Troy won for the second time in the last three games with a 51-14 romp over Louisiana Monroe. Kickoff from Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, Alabama is scheduled for 3:30 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3. Georgia Southern is currently a 6.5 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 56.5 points.
Georgia Southern led 14-6 at the half but poured it on afterwards as they outscored Texas State 23-7 the rest of the way. The Eagles outgained the Bobcats 534-213, picked up 22 first downs to 13 for Texas State and dominated the time of possession battle 37:13 to 22:47 in the game. Those numbers helped Georgia Southern overcome the three turnovers in the game; they forced a pair of Texas State turnovers. The run game did the damage for the Eagles, as has been the trend all season long; Georgia Southern ran for 503 yards in the game.
The Eagles are a full bore run-oriented offense as they are last in the FBS when it comes to throwing the ball (61.5 yards) and they lead the nation on the ground with 385.6 yards per contest. Georgia Southern is tied for 10th in scoring offense as they average 36.5 points while ranking 56th in scoring defense as they give up 24.4 points per contest. Georgia Southern has run the ball 336 times while throwing it just 70 times: Kevin Ellison (28 of 61, 384 yards, TD, 3 INT, 438 rushing yards, 6 TD) is the starter at quarterback with Favian Upshaw (9 of 28, 108 yards, 5 INT, 270 rushing yards, 2 TD) is the backup. The Eagles average a staggering 7 yards per rush and have scored 35 touchdowns on the ground; Matt Breida leads FBS running backs with a 9.5 yard per carry average as he has 122 carries for 1,158 yards and 13 scores. Wesley Fields (69 carries, 503 yards, 6 TD) and LA Ramsby (94 carries, 504 yards, 8 TD) are doing their part when they get the rock as well. Bj Johnson is second on the Eagles with eight receptions for 133 yards while Ryan Longoria currently leads the team with nine catches for 88 yards. Alex Hanks has kicked 31 of 32 extra points and eight of 10 field goal attempts this season. Younghoe Koo is four of four on extra points and has hit all three field goal attempts.
Troy jumped to a 27-14 lead after one quarter and cruised from there as they held Louisiana Monroe off the board the rest of the way to earn the blowout win. The Trojans outgained the WarHawks 493-376 in a game that saw both teams finish with 20 first downs. Troy lost the time of possession battle 31:28 to 28:32 but took advantage of forcing six Louisiana Monroe turnovers in the contest. The Trojans scored on a fumble return as part of their first quarter blitz and added an interception return for a score in the second quarter.
The Trojans have struggled offensively as they average 234.1 yards per game (56th in the nation) through the air and 128 yards per contest (115th in the nation) on the ground. Troy is tied for 61st in the nation in scoring offense as they average 29.2 points per game while they are allowing 27.4 points per game on the year, which leaves them tied for 74th in the nation in scoring defense. Brandon Silvers has completed 148 of 232 passes for 1,640 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions; Dontreal Pruitt (20 of 31, 160 yards, 2 INT, 105 rushing yards, TD) started against Mississippi State. Dallas Tidwell started against Idaho; he’s 22 of 50 passing for 262 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Brandon Burks leads the Trojans on the ground as he has run the ball 148 times for 783 yards and six scores; Andre Flakes is next in line with 59 carries for 228 yards plus three scores. Teddy Ruben leads the team with 47 receptions for 606 yards and six scores; Jarvis Bentley (18 grabs, 223 yards, TD), Emmanuel Thompson (22 grabs, 232 yards, 3 TD), John Johnson (18 receptions, 212 yards) and Bryan Holmes (18 catches, 269 yards, 3 TD) are good secondary options. Two kickers have combined to kick 30 of 31 extra points and 13 of 16 field goal attempts this season with a long of 44 yards.
Georgia Southern is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 after picking up more than 450 yards of offense, 4-1 ATS in their last five against teams with a losing record, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 after a straight up win by at least 20 points and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 after an ATS win.
Troy has played better of late but they will have their work cut out for them dealing with the tough ground game that Georgia Southern brings to the table. When the nation’s best run game is your opposition, it makes life difficult, even playing at home, no matter how good a team you are. Troy is improving but they aren’t at the level of the Eagles; Georgia Southern should win this game by double figures.