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2017

Georgia Southern

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule

Georgia Southern fell back to earth last year, failing to make a bowl game with a 5-7 record, closing the season with two wins in their final nine games. The Eagles would like to return to their 2015 levels from a nine-win campaign, but getting there won’t be easy with a freshman possibly at quarterback. Tyson Summers enters his second year as head coach and already has questions about his position swirling and another bowl miss won’t help.

Summers hopes the offense can get back to normal with new offensive coordinator Bryan Cook in charge, who comes over from Georgia Tech. Those hopes could be dashed with an unknown at quarterback. Sophomore Seth Shuman didn't show much in limited time last year, which could mean freshman Shai Werts is the starter out of the gates. Werts is the better runner, so it’d make sense if he got the nod, given the direction this offense wants to go. The Eagles will welcome Wesley Fields (492 yards, 3 TDs) and L.A. Ramsby (343 yards, 8 TDs) into starting roles in the backfield, while Myles Campbell (384 yards, 4 TDs) leads the receiving core. To help the mostly new backfield, there will be five linemen with starting experience, with one of them having missed last year due to injury. Everything starts with the line in this offense and that’s at least in mostly good shape.

The defense fell apart last year and gave up at least 30 points in all but one of the losses. Some of that had to do with a young group and that should lead the way for some improvement. The front seven will need senior middle linebacker Chris DeLaRosa to be healthy after he missed the last five games in 2016. There are varying amounts of experience around him, mainly in the secondary where three starters return. Safety Joshua Moon is the most hyped of the group after having 72 tackles last season as a sophomore. This won’t be an elite defense, but it should at least show more consistency.

That consistency will be needed early because road games at Auburn and Indiana will likely lead to two losses. The Eagles will need to put that behind them with two big home games to start the Sun Belt campaign against ASU and NMSU. Wins in those games would be huge at getting a shot at a bowl. But with a loss to the Red Wolves, Georgia Southern could run into more trouble later on with five of its last seven games on the road. Winning all five home games will be important if a bowl game is to happen. Otherwise, trips to UMass, Louisiana and Coastal Carolina will be looked at as close to must-wins.

The Eagles have the same +1500 odds as Louisiana to finish fourth in the conference (at 5Dimes Sportsbook). An over/under at five wins also doesn’t show much faith for them getting back to a bowl with more money on the under. But if this offense can pick it up a notch, there’s no reason they can’t reach six wins after competing in every conference game a year ago (outside of App. State).

 

2017 Georgia Southern Eagles Football Schedule

Sept. 2 at Auburn
Sept. 9 vs. New Hampshire
Sept. 23 at Indiana
Oct. 4 vs. Arkansas State

Oct. 14 vs. New Mexico State
Oct. 21 at Massachusetts

Oct. 28 at Troy
Nov. 4 vs. Georgia State

Nov. 9 at Appalachian State
Nov. 18 vs. South Alabama
Nov. 25 at Louisiana Lafayette
Dec. 2 at Coastal Carolina

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