Georgia Southern (@9.0) vs Auburn (@1.05)
06-11-2019

Our Prediction:

Auburn will win

Georgia Southern – Auburn Match Prediction | 06-11-2019 21:00

Georgia Southern certainly has its work cut out for as the Eagles look to slay another SEC giant. Auburn has seven starters back on both offense and defense, but its one of the new faces that has the Tigers in the discussion for a possible SEC title and/or College Football Playoff berth sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a junior college transfer who started his college career at Baylor. A total of seven starters are back for the Eagles, three of those along the offensive line. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern enters its opener with nothing to lose, and not a lot of returning experience.

After spring practices wrapped for LSU, one of the strengths of the team was the offensive line with four starters back, which should make running the ball against the Eagles far easier. The overview of the offensive game plan for LSU has to be pretty simple: Run it down the Eagles throats and take advantage of leverages on the outside when needed. Hines, who was penciled in as the starter at left guard, is considered doubtful this week with hopes of coming back in Week 2. Freshman Kardell Thomas was expected to start for left guard transfer Garrett Brumfield, but Thomas is now out for the season (ankle). But the problem that plagued the team in 2018 has reemerged, and that is injuries. Lewis, returning at right guard, is considered a game-time decision. Two other question marks on the line are Damien Lewis and Chasen Hines.

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To be fair, Georgia Southern lacks experience at quarterback, as redshirt freshman Shai Werts will be under center. However, the Eagles do return a lot of experience along the offensive line, as well as a few capable running backs. Not having a quarterback who is not accustomed to making the kinds of snap decisions that are essential in a triple-option offense can be problematic. If Werts can make good choices, the Eagles have a chance to hit the ground running offensively.

Not "sh** through a tin horn" type of trouble as the midget across the state might say but they will move the ball some. I think we play conservative and run it a lot so as not to show Dabo anything he doesn't already know. I also think their O will give our D a little trouble. I'll say 42 -17.

Leading returning rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire may see limited touches (hamstring), making room for two Class of 2019 running backs, five-star John Emery Jr. After starting the 2018 season with five different offensive lineups in five games, LSU should go deep into the roster to keep players healthy for the following game against the Texas Longhorns. and four-star back Tyrion Davis, to get some needed collegiate touches that could pay off in conference play.

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Lunsford stuck with the triple-option attack, producing 266 yards per game on the ground, good for seventh in the nation. The transformation for the Eagles from 2017 to last season was just short of miraculous. The defense showed marked improvement, limiting teams to 53 fewer yards per game and finishing as the Sun Belts third-best unit. The Eagles hired Lunsford from within after a 2-10 season (2-6 Sun Belt Conference), then soared under his direction to a 10-3 (6-2) season.

I cannot see their D having much success with our O and we will pretty much run up and down the field all game long until our O gets tired and we let as many young men get on the field as possible. 52-17.....It will be hard to shut them out, but I think our D will rise to the occasion no doubt.

Most college football defenses are accustomed to seeing one of two offenses: the spread or a pro-style set. LSU was good against the run last season, capping teams at 139 yards per contest, but the Eagles blocking schemes may take a few series to figure out. In nine of GSUs games last season, the team rushed for 276 yards or more, going over the 300-yard plateau six times. When teams like Georgia Southern take the field running a triple-option, that presents problems.

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Auburn hasnt spent its entire training camp preparing to face an option team, but when game week hits, they have to flip a switch and be ready to contain the triple-option. Opening the season against a triple-option team is not the recipe for a blowout, even for a traditional SEC power, so Im going to lean toward Georgia Southern in this matchup.

LSU is talented up front, which may be too much for an Eagles squad that returns just two starters on the offensive line. To prepare for this game, one can easily guess that LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda went over last seasons Georgia Southern/Clemson game tape. The eventual national champs won 38-7 holding the mighty rushing game of the Eagles to a season-low 80 yards.

Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will step in as the starter after transferring from junior college in the spring. He brings both mobility and a strong arm. A quarterback who could be a threat with his legs and push the ball downfield with his arm could do amazing things in Malzahns offense. Meanwhile, Auburns offense has a chance to hit the ground running.