Peach State Rivalry: Georgia Southern +14 the College Football Pick vs. Georgia

Swinging Johnson

Friday, November 20, 2015 8:25 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 8:25 PM GMT

The Peach State welcomes two of its own as the Sun Belt’s Georgia Southern travels to Athens to take on the Bulldogs. The college football odds are making Georgia double digit favorites.

Georgia Southern (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS)
The Eagles are amongst the best of the lil’ ol’ Sun Belt Conference and have a record of 7-2 to prove it. They will be traveling to meet the big dogs of the Peach State when they make their pilgrimage to Athens this Saturday. Southern has won their last two games but more importantly covered what the college football odds makers were hanging in those pair of games as well. When this offense gets it in gear it is formidable as evidenced by their scoring average of 46.2 points per game in their seven straight up victories this season. They thumped Troy on the road in their last outing by the score of 45-10 and were only 4 ½ point favorites thus not making anyone sweat who included the Eagles in their college football picks last week.

Their offense is directed primarily by quarterback Kevin Ellison though he does platoon a bit with Favian Upshaw. This is an offense not engineered through the air but focuses almost exclusively on the ground-and-pound. The two quarterbacks combined average just over 10 passes per game which means running backs Matt Breida and LA Ramsby have shouldered the bulk of the offensive workload. The two tailbacks have combined for over 1800 yards rushing but when you factor in Wesley Fields, Chaz Thornton and the pair of mobile quarterbacks in Ellison and Upshaw that number balloons to a grand total of 3410 yards on the ground versus only 577 passing yards.

 

Georgia (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS)
The Bulldogs had arguably their biggest win of the season last week when they defeated the Auburn Tigers 20-13 in their own backyard. Georgia’s offense, like their opponents this week, is predicated around the running game. They average 202 yards rushing per game which put them 32nd in the nation but their passing attack has been more like a mild affront with only 183 yards through the air on average. The offense is scoring exactly 28 points per game which ties them for 67th among all D-1 FBS colleges but it is their defense that has done the job for the Bulldogs this year limiting the opposition to just 17.9 points per game, good for 14th in the country.

Greyson Lambert is the man under center and he has completed 118-of-186 passing attempts with 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season. Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are the men carrying the rock and have combined for 12 touchdowns and well over 1500 yards on the ground. Senior Malcolm Mitchell has proven to be Lambert’s favorite target with 637 receiving yards and four trips into the endzone.

 

College Football Pick
The irony here is that both teams are heavy on the run while both defenses have virtually identical numbers defending it. Georgia Southern and Georgia allow an average of 138.9 and 139.6 yards which rank them 35th and 36th in the nation respectively. While the Bulldogs have indeed played a higher caliber of opponent it cannot go unheeded that the Eagles do shut down the run with great aplomb.

This is the game circled on the calendar for Georgia Southern. They understand full well that the last time they faced the Bulldogs three years ago they lost by 31 points in Athens and thought he faces have changed it will not go that way with this year’s edition. Georgia Southern is a fundamentally sound team on defense and I see this as a grind-it-out, run first attack on both sides. The Eagles can hang with this group of Bulldogs and I feel the two touchdown head start is too delicious to pass up.

College Football Pick: Georgia Southern +13 ½ (but by the hook to make it +14) at Heritage

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