It's Corn... Huskers Week for Georgia Southern
Georgia Southern @ Nebraska (-23.5, O/U 63 per Tipico Sports Book)
City: Lincoln, Nebraska
Coach: Scott Frost (16-30, 5th Year)
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Memorial Stadium
Scott Frost's seat is likely on fire as he led his team to defeat in Dublin, Ireland against Northwestern in Week 0 and struggled mightily last week against FCS foe North Dakota. Entering his fifth season as the head coach for the Cornhuskers, he's compiled a 16-30 overall record with just 10 of those wins coming in Big 10 play.
Nebraska scored 28 points against Northwestern and 38 against North Dakota while averaging 177 yards on the ground and 274 yards through the air for an average of 451 total yards per game. Per a newly released depth chart, RB Anthony Grant is expected to be the starter and get the bulk of the workload. That change comes with good reason as the junior from Buford, Georgia has averaged nearly 7 yards per carry while scoring 4 TDs over two games. Former Texas Longhorn QB Casey Thompson transferred to Nebraska in the offseason and has been the only Cornhusker to throw a pass this year, so look for him to continue leading the charge. He has accumulated 548 yards, 3 TD, and 3 INT this season.
The defense for Nebraska should have a motto of "bend but don't break." The Cornhuskers give up a lot of yards, but over two games have given up 31 and 17 points. Last week against North Dakota, the defense gave up over 300 yards including 175 rushing yards and 131 passing yards. That bodes well for the Eagles from Statesboro as the talent level of the Georgia Southern roster is quite a bit higher than that of FCS North Dakota. The defense is led by junior LB Luke Reimer who has 22 total tackles through the first two weeks of the season. Through two games, the Cornhuskers have failed to record an interception, so there should be some gaps in the secondary for Georgia Southern to take advantage of.
Special teams have not been a strong suit for the Cornhuskers this year. K Brendan Franke and K Timmy Bleekrode have combined to go 1-3 on field goals on the season. P Brian Buschini has been solid as he has averaged 45.9 yards over 8 punts through the first two games.
City: Statesboro, Georgia
Coach: Clay Helton (1-0, 1st Year)
Conference: Sun Belt
Stadium: Allen E. Paulson Stadium
In his first week as head coach, Clay Helton led the Eagles to a 59-7 rout of the Morgan State Bears. After the two prior games against FCS competition did not go so well, this was a wonderful sight to see for Eagle fans. The defense pitched a shut out as the only points scored for the Bears were courtesy of a interception return for a touchdown.
Offensively, QB Kyle Vantrease led the charge for the Eagles. He completed 29 passes to ten different receivers over the course of the game. In terms of receiving yards, converted quarterback, WR Sam Kenerson led the team with 99 yards. WR Khaleb Hood, WR Jeremy Singleton, WR Derwin Burgess, and RB OJ Arnold all recorded a receiving touchdown. Not only did RB OJ Arnold record a receiving touchdown, he also led the team in rushing yards with 45 yards on 6 attempts and scored a touchdown on the ground. Look for the speedster from Quitman, Georgia to be much more involved in the game plan this week. Playing against FCS competition makes it difficult to truly evaluate the group, but if the same team that showed up in the second half of week one shows up in Lincoln... Watch out!
As expected, the Eagles defense was led by LB Todd Bradley-Glenn with 7 tackles including 1 TFL. Due to some hardship, Bradley-Glenn is in his seventh year of eligibility and provides the team with great leadership and an example to follow. DB Tyler Bride, DB Jalen Denton, and LB/DL Isaac Walker all recorded interceptions for the Eagles. Walker also recorded the lone sack for the Eagles. Usually the front seven is the strength for the Eagles, but they looked somewhat overwhelmed with the running game as they gave up 172 yards on the ground. The secondary looked much improved as they got DB Derrick Canteen back. That group only gave up 78 yards through the air. If the secondary can play as well as they did this week and the front seven can make adjustments, the Eagles can keep the Cornhuskers offense at bay.
K Alex Raynor went 1-1 with a 20 yard FG against the Morgan State Bears while transfer K Michael Lantz handled the kickoff duties. P Anthony Beck II averaged 42.8 yards over four punts with three of them ending up inside the opponents 20-yard line. As for return men, we have dangerous athletes that always present the opponent with a difficult situation. In my opinion, the Eagles have the advantage as far as special teams go.
Admittedly, this one is a tough choice. The Eagles definitely cover the spread of 23.5 points. Memorial Stadium is a tough place to play, we have a long trip, and Scott Frost is literally coaching for his job. With all that said, the game will be close at halftime and the Huskers will try to give it away late. If the front seven of Georgia Southern can slow down the run game, they will give the Eagles a chance to win.
Looking at the current weather forecast for Saturday in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers have an advantage with a better running game than the Eagles. Hopefully, this prediction is wrong, but it is just a gut feeling.
Nebraska - 34
Eagles - 24
@SSN_GASouthern | 9/8/2022