Georgia Southern at LSU
Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 6:30 PM (Tiger Stadium)
LSU Tigers -28 -- O/U: 53 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Georgia Southern Eagles and the LSU Tigers meet in week 1 non-conference college football action from Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.
The Georgia Southern Eagles will hope to replicate the success from their 2018 season, completing the biggest turnaround in FBS in 2018, going from a two-win team in 2017 to a 10-3 record in 2018, including 6-2 in Sun Belt conference play, finishing 3rd in the Sun Belt East division. The Eagles received an invite to the Camellia Bowl, where they defeated Eastern Michigan by a final score of 23-21. Shai Werts is back at QB to run the option offense after throwing for 987 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions last season while also rushing for 908 yards and a team-high 15 rushing touchdowns last season. The Eagles racked up 266 rushing yards per game, but the Eagles lose their other top running backs in Wesley Fields and Monteo Garrett, but there’s plenty of depth to make up for it. Defensively, Georgia Southern’s secondary is where it’s at, as Kindle Vildor and Monquavion Brinson return at DB while Chris Harris, Randy Wade and RJ Johnson lead the front seven for the Eagles. As a team, Georgia Southern averaged 345.8 yards of total offense and 30.5 points per game while allowing 357.2 yards and 21.5 points per game last season.
The LSU Tigers will once again look to make some noise in the SEC after finishing 2018 with a 10-3 overall record, including a 5-3 mark in conference play to finish in 3rd in the SEC West division. The Tigers got an invite to the Fiesta Bowl where they defeated UCF by a final score of 40-32. Joe Burrow returns at QB after throwing for 2,894 yards, 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions last season while also rushing for 399 yards and 7 scores. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is now the main man in the LSU backfield after Nick Brossette left for the NFL. LSU retains all of their receiving depth, including leading receiver Justin Jefferson, who had a team-high 54 catches for 875 yards and 6 touchdowns last season. Defensively, eight starters and seven of LSU’s top nine tacklers from last season return, including Jacob Phillips who logged 87 tackles last season, and Grant Delpit in the secondary who is widely considered as one of, if not the best safety in the nation. As a team, LSU averaged 402.1 yards of total offense and 32.4 points per game while allowing 338.7 yards and 21.8 points per game last season.
Georgia Southern is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games against the SEC and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 non-conference games. LSU is 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in August while the over is 3-1-1 in their last 5 non-conference games.
LSU should rightfully be favored at home given that they’ve got most of their offense returning and some solid depth on defense. However, Georgia Southern brings back some talent in their own right, and laying this many points against a team that runs the option is risky, because when the option is working, the team running the ball can score points and chew up a lot of clock, and you’re banking on the favorite coming up with stops and big plays to negate that. I just think it’s going to take LSU some time to adjust to the option, and I think Georgia Southern is experienced and talented enough to keep this one respectable, so I’ll take a shot at Georgia Southern and the points in this one.