Preview: South Alabama vs Georgia Southern

September 19, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football 

Jags_vs_GaSouthernSouth Alabama has worked all week to put Mississippi State behind them because they have a very good football team in Georgia Southern coming into Mobile on Saturday.

Let’s break down the Eagles. Through three weeks this season the Eagles lost to NC State by one point, 23-24, drummed Savannah State 83-9 with 599 yards rushing, and lost in the final minute of the game to Georgia Tech 38-42.

We’re going to throw out the numbers against Savannah State because they should give a more realistic statistics to compare the two teams.

Georgia Southern:

In the two games the Eagles offense has scored 61 points and allowed 66 points for an average score of 30.5 for the Eagles and 33 points for their opponent. They have rushed for 529 yards on 85 carries for an average of 6.2 yards per carry. The Eagle’s are 23-of-39 for 437 yards and two touchdowns through the air. That is 19.0 yards per reception and 11.2 yards per attempt.

Defensively the Eagles have given up 521 yards rushing on 88 carries for an average of 5.9 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Through the air they have allowed 479 yards and seven touchdowns as opposing quarterbacks have gone 39-of-64 for an average of 12.2 yards per reception and 7.5 yards per attempt. The defense has six tackles for loss in the two games we are counting for an average of three per game. They have two sacks, one in each game. Turnovers wise, they have no fumbles but one interception. Six passes broken up, three per game.

On the special teams they have seven punts with an average of 45.7 yards per punt and a long of 60 against NC State in a game in which they had three 50+ yard punts. Kickoffs average 64.7 yards and have led to nine touchbacks. Placekicking, the Eagles have attempted four field goals and have made all of them with the longest being 37 yards.

South Alabama:

In the Jaguars two games this season they have scored 26 points and allowed 48 points for an average score of 13 for and 24 against. The Jaguar offense has rushed for 243 yards on 77 attempts for an average of 3.2 yards per rush. Through the air the Jags are 43-of-80  with one touchdown and two interceptions for 449 yards. That comes out to 10.4 yards per reception and 5.6 yards per attempt.

Defensively the Jaguars defense has given up 352 rushing yards on 73 carries for an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Through the air they have given up 439 yards as opposing quarterbacks have gone 33-of-64 for four touchdowns which is an average of 13.3 yards per reception and 6.9 yards per attempt. They have eight tackles for loss, three sacks, and 14 passes broken up. USA has forced three fumbles and recovered two of them, both against Mississippi State, and one interception.

On special teams, Brandon McKee has punted 17 times for an average of 40.1 yards per punt, with a long of 51 yards. He has downed six inside the 20. Aleem Sunanon’s kickoffs average 54.8 yards per kick with two touchbacks. Placekicking, Sunanon has attempted two field goals and made one from 26 yards, he had a 31 yard attempt blocked against Mississippi State.

SBC Statistics:

NOTE: These statistics, unlike the ones above, are based on all three games Georgia State has played. Above we excluded Savannah State because of the exorbitant numbers. Every team in the conference has played three games except USA, Appalachian State, Idaho and Texas State.

Georgia Southern leads the conference in scoring offense with their 48 points per game average. The Jags fall last on the rankings with an average of 13 points per game. USA is tied for second in scoring defense with an average of 24 points per game allowed, while Georgia Southern is a close fourth with an average of 25 points per game allowed.

GSU is second in the conference in total offense with 550 yards per game average, they are beat out only by Texas State who average 569.5 yards per game. South Alabama is 10th out of 11 schools with an average of 346 yards per game.

By far the Eagles lead the conference in rushing offense with 364.3 yards per game, and is nearly 70 yards per game more than the next team on the ranking. The Jags rank 8th with 121.5 yards per game rushing.

South Alabama ranks 7th in the conference in passing offense with 224.5 yards per game through the air, Georgia Southern is last with an average of 185.7 yards per game passing.

South Alabama ranks fifth in the conference in total defense at 395.5 yards per game average while Georgia Southern ranks seventh with an average of 431.7 yards per game.

The Jaguars rushing defense ranks third in the conference with an average of 176.0 yards per game allowed on the ground. Georgia Southern ranked 7th by allowing 202.7 yards per game rushing.

The Jags rank 5th in pass defense allowing 219.5 yards per game through the air while Georgia Southern comes in one spot behind them allowing 229.0 yards per game.

Both teams lost last week as the Jaguars struggled to find consistency on offense with several dropped passes. Defensively they had at least two dropped interceptions. GSU lost to Georgia Tech last weekend on a touchdown in the final seconds of the game.

Historically, the Jaguars have had a tough time against triple-option defenses. Georgia Southern runs it a little different though. They run the triple option out of the shotgun but that does not affect their effectiveness to run the ball.

Georgia Southern converts 56.7% of their third down attempts, tops in the conference. South Alabama ranks 9th converting 40% of their third down attempts.

Defensively Georgia Southern also tops the conference in opponents third down conversions by only allowing them to convert 31.8% of the time while the Jags rank 10 allowing opponents to convert 50% of their third downs.

The Jags are the least penalized team in the conference with nine penalties for 42 yards, which average 21 yards per game. Georgia Southern is tied for 4th in the conference with an average of 36.7 yards per game of penalties.

USA is second in the conference in time of possession with an average of 31:26 while Georgia Southern ranks 8th with an average time of possession of 27:53.

Conclusion:
Just looking at all of the raw numbers and rankings, you can tell it should be a close game. Each team is set up to exploit the weakness of the opponent.

This begins an eight-game stretch of conference games for South Alabama, while this is the first conference game for Georgia Southern so expect both teams to come in with high expectations. Hopefully the Jaguars have put the loss to Mississippi State behind them and have correct the issues that hampered them against the Bulldogs.

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