Troy Trojans (1-7 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (6-2 SU, 7-1 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date and Time: Thursday, October 30, 7:30pm EST
Where: Paulson Stadium – Stateboro, Georgia
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TRO +25.5 / GSU -25.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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Tune into ESPN at 7:30pm on Thursday night and check out a week 10 Sun Belt Conference showdown, when the 1-7 Troy Trojans travel to Statesboro, Georgia to take on the 6-2 Georgia Southern Eagles. The Eagles are 5-0 in the conference, while Troy in just 1-3 in conference play so far in 2014. The line opens with Georgia Southern as a 25.5 home favorite and no total points have been set for this game yet.
This is Georgia Southern’s first year in the FBS, and they have looked good so far. Going 6-2 overall with those two losses coming to ACC teams (NC State and Georgia Tech). Not only have the Eagles won 6 of their first 8 games, they could very well be 8-0. They led NC State by double digits in the fourth quarter only to fall short by a score of 24-23. In the Georgia Tech game, Southern came back to take the lead with less than 3 minutes to go in the game, only to allow a late touchdown to lose 42-38 to the Yellow Jackets. This is a good team, a really good team. Looking at some of the scores they put up, makes you realize that these guys can play. Their wins include scores like 83-9, 69-31, and 28-6. The Eagles are one of the few teams that run the triple-option offense and this allows them to catch teams off guard because this offense is not easy to prepare for in just 5-6 days. Georgia Southern is the top ranked rushing team in the entire nation. Gaining over 400 yards a game is highly impressive at any level, and now the Eagles are doing this in FBS football in their inaugural season. Not only is Southern an offensive force, but their defense is pretty stout too. Only allowing 22 points per game, they are ranked in the nations top 40 in scoring defense. This team is solid, and I only see them getting better and better each year. Being a Georgia boy myself, I am very familiar with this Georgia Southern program. I was actually offered a cross-country scholarship to Southern and planned on walking on to the basketball team as well. They love their sports and I believe before it is all said and done, Georgia Southern will find themselves playing in a Power Five conference. Football and baseball at GSU is HUGE…very huge. With that said, lets get back on this game. The key to covering this huge spread against Troy is actually pretty simple. Just play GSU football. Shut down the Troy offense and run, run, run the whole game. Easy as that!
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Troy is a flat out mess this season! They are usually a pretty strong team in the Sun Belt, but this year has been a pure disaster. They come in at 1-7 overall, with their only win being a 41-24 win over New Mexico State, who is having problems themselves. I will give Troy a little credit however. They are not afraid to take on the nation’s best teams. They have done this for years now, and I do believe eventually it will help create a better overall program. Just this season alone, they have faced a Duke Blue Devils team that is now ranked in the top 25, and a Georgia Bulldogs team that is ranked in the top 10 and appears to be one of the top 3-4 teams in the nation’s best conference. If Troy had scheduled other teams with less talent, they could easily be sitting on a 3-4 type record and not be 1-7. Statistically, Troy is just as bad as their record though. The Trojans barely crack the top 100 in rushing offense, the top 90 in passing offense, and in regards to scoring. They are ranked 118th in points scored, and 120th in points allowed. It is pretty safe to say that Troy will not win this game, but I could easily see them covering the spread. There are two keys to keeping this game close. First off, do not allow the big plays for Georgia Southern’s offense. If the Eagles are going to score, Troy needs to make them grind out long drives. Second, control the ball themselves. If Troy can score in the 20s somehow, and have a few long drives themselves, they could keep this game within a score or two.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Like we already discussed, these teams are polar opposites. Georgia Southern can flat out score, while Troy cannot score, nor stop anyone. Southern is 6-2 and just a few moments away from being 8-0, while Troy sits at 1-7. Games like this are tricky. We just saw it last Thursday when I took East Carolina to cover against UConn. The Pirates did exactly what I was afraid of; they came in on cruise control and played down to UConn. Yes they won, but we did not cover. I could see this game ending the same way, but with that said, I am still liking Southern. I will take the team that is 7-1 against the spread over the team that is 4-4 against it. Also, we have a home favorite. TAKE THE GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES -25.5