South Alabama looks to get their first Sun Belt win on Thursday night playing host to a Georgia Southern team that has lost four of their last five games.
Georgia Southern is 2-4 on the season and 1-2 in Sun Belt play. They fired their head coach after a 1-3 start and the team looks to lean on a run game that ranks seventh in the nation averaging 253.2 rushing yards per game.
After a 3-0 start South Alabama has lost their last two games, which were their first two Sun Belt games of the season. The team has given up 53 points in their last two games and they need to get back to playing good D, as the Jaguars do not rank in the top 103 in the nation in passing and rushing yards per game.
Last season at Georgia Southern the Eagles beat the Jaguars 24-17.
Turning It Around Does Not WorkWhile Georgia Southern is mostly about the run, only ranking 125th in passing yards per game, they tried to turn it around with more passing in the last game but it did not work in a 27-24 road loss to Troy. They only rushed for 82 yards while passing for 219 yards but threw three interceptions and were only 3/15 on third down. The Eagles look to even their conference4 record with a win this Thursday night.
Justin Tomlin (458 yards 0 TD 4 INT) passed for nearly half of his season’s yards in the last game with 210 but was picked off three times. The Jaguars have six players that have rushed at least 115 yards led by Logan Wright (475 yards 5 TD) and Gerald Green (375 yards 5 TD). Both players are averaging over six yards per carry but in the loss to Troy Green Led the team with 33 rushing yards but only carried the rock five times while Wright had nine carries for -1 yard. In the game before the loss to Troy, Georgia Southern beat Arkansas State 59-33 where they rushed for over 500 yards. South Alabama has a great pass defense and while their run defense ranks a decent 56th in the nation they gave up 213 rushing yards in their last game.
Can’t Hold OnIn their last game South Alabama was on the road and lost to Texas State 33-31 in four overtimes where they allowed the Bobcats to come back and force OT after being down 24-10 in the middle of the fourth quarter. While the Jaguars had a balanced offense and forced three turnovers they had three turnovers, gave up 213 rushing yards, and were penalized 13 times for 125 yards.
Jake Bentley (927 yards 4 TD 2 INT) leads the Jaguars and he passed for 189 yards with two TD and a pick in the last game. The two TD he passed for in the game were his first since the season opener. Kareem Walker (208 yards 4 TD) leads three players with at least 132 rushing yards but he has not played in the last three games and is listed as questionable for the Georgia Southern game. Freshman A.J. Phillips saw his first action of the season in the last game rushing for 74 yards with two TD but only averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Jalen Tolbert has 460 receiving yards to lead South Alabama while no other player has over 153 receiving yards. The Jaguars may want to air it out in this game, as the Georgia Southern pass defense ranks third to last in the nation in pass defense while ranking in the middle of the pack in run defense.
The South Alabama Jaguars are:
- 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss
- 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games
- 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a home favorite
The Georgia Southern Eagles are:
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games