Georgia State Panthers Picks for Week 14 in Doc's Specialization Series
Can the Georgia State Panthers bookend their regular season with impressive
wins? That is the question heading into Saturday's
in-state rivalry matchup against the Georgia Southern Eagles
. Georgia State kicked off its 2019 campaign by upsetting Tennessee and now
has the opportunity to topple a squad that owns a victory over then-No. 20
Appalachian State (now No. 25).
In between, it has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the Panthers. They started 2-0 with defeats of the Volunteers and Furman and found themselves at 6-2 through eight contests despite falling to Texas State in triple-overtime and getting blown out by Western Michigan. Senior quarterback Dan Ellington suffered a torn ACL during a setback against Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 9…but he has actually continued to play! With Ellington less than 100 percent, Georgia State endured a 56-27 loss to App State but rebounded to beat South Alabama 28-15 last weekend. Thus, the team is 7-4 overall (4-3 in the Sun Belt Conference) and will be going bowling regardless of Saturday's result.
With one more regular-season game to go followed by the bowl festivities, we continue to track the Panthers throughout their 10th year as a football program. There will be a selection on each game at the end of the weekly article, and we'll be using the Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for every pick, which will allow readers to follow along and document the results.
Ellington was initially ruled out against Appalachian State for obvious reasons but made a surprise appearance in the loss. Despite modest numbers at best against the Mountaineers while splitting time under center with Cornelious Brown, there was no doubt Ellington would suit up against South Alabama. That is exactly what Ellington did, and he did enough lead the Panthers past a struggling Jaguars squad. Understandably, the Olive Branch, Miss. native is less than 100 percent in terms of his ability to run the football-which had been a big part of his repertoire. He kept it himself just four times for a total of 12 yards. Through the air, however, Ellington completed 21 of 27 attempts for 208 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Ellington's running services were hardly required, and not only because of the passing attack. Georgia State still racked up 176 yards on the ground, thanks mostly to 128 yards from Tra Barnett. Both Barnett and Destin Coates scored rushing touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers had no trouble putting the clamps down on a South Alabama offense that ranks last in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring and last in yards. The Jaguars are seventh in the conference in rushing (167.4 ypg), however, and were limited to a mere 108 on 39 carries (2.8 ypc). Georgia State forced two turnovers, an interception by Devin Rockette and a fumble recovery by Victor Heyward.
- Georgia State is 2-9-2 ATS in its last 13 on the road
- Georgia State is 5-12-2 ATS in its last 19 against the Sun Belt Conference
- Georgia State is 2-7-2 ATS in its last 11 against teams with winning records
- Georgia State is 0-8-1 ATS in its last nine on the road against teams with winning home records
- Georgia Southern is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 at home
Georgia State at Georgia Southern College Football Odds
As of Wednesday evening, the spread had done nothing in terms of movement.
Georgia State opened at
+7.5 across the board
, and that number has not wavered. The total has not done much of anything
since opening at either 58 or 58.5 depending on the book. You can get it
now at either 57.5 or 58.
Georgia State at Georgia Southern College Football Picks
Georgia Southern has been all over the place to an even greater extent than Georgia State this year. The Eagles tested themselves against stiff nonconference competition in the form of now-No. 2 LSU and now-No. 8 Minnesota, and their performance against the Golden Gophers was one of their best-especially in hindsight. Southern lost 35-32 after leading 32-28 with less than a minute remaining. This club wrapped up October with a Halloween upset of Appalachian State, but so far this month it has fallen to both Troy and Arkansas State in addition to a victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
The Panthers are one of the most run-heavy teams in the nation, averaging 259.9 yards per game in that department (second in the Sun Belt) compared to 72.7 passing yards per contest (last in the conference). This will be a tough test for a Georgia State run defense that ranks seventh in the Belt, allowing an average of 205.5 rushing yards. Junior quarterback Shai Werts finished with 175 rushing yards against Arkansas State, and he also flashed his arm to the tune of 151 passing yards. That rarely seen passing prowess could come in handy against a Panthers team that is eighth in the conference in passing defense (253.3 yards per game).
Georgia Southern dominated this matchup 35-14 on the road in 2018. A much-improved Georgia State group should be more competitive this time around, but even if Ellington was 100 percent the visitors would still be overmatched from a talent standpoint.
Pick: Georgia Southern -7.5 for 4 units
Season: 5-4 record, up 4 units
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