2017 Football Preview – Sun Belt – Eagles
Looking for 2017 Georgia Southern Eagles predictions? The Eagles put together a lackluster 5-7 season last year in Tyson Summers’ first campaign as the program’s newest head coach. That result was largely considered a disappointment both inside and outside the program when looking at how much experience this group brought back from 2015 to 2016.
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – Georgia Southern Eagles
- Head Coach: Tyson Summers
- 2015 Record: 5-7
- Georgia Southern Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: OFF
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Entering 2017, those players who defined experience have officially moved on and Georgia Southern brings back seven starters.
2017 Georgia Southern Eagles Predictions: Team Strengths
Offense: Few teams in NCAAF have made the option attack more popular than the Eagles. Last year, Coach Summers attempted to establish something of a hybrid spread attack that didn’t have much success.
This season, Georgia Southern is bringing back its old offense and using a flexbone-inspired system.
There’s no reason to believe the Eagles will struggle on this side of the ball like they did a year ago. Bryan Cook, the team’s newest O.C. joins the program after helping establish Georgia Tech’s wild attack, but it’ll have to do it without several key parts.
The main ambition here is to get the Eagles’ running attack back to the how it ran in 2015 when it was No. 1 in the country in running the football.
Secondary: Last season, the secondary struggled while the line seemed to get the job done—especially on third-and-short situations.
This year, the script should be flipped.
Despite losing a number of players on the defensive line, the Eagles will be more experienced in the secondary. Safety R.J. Murray, who showed improvements last season, could be in the all-conference discussion with Joshua Moon by the time the year comes to a close.
2017 Georgia Southern Eagles Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Big-Play Threats: We’re not going to call the Eagles’ quarterback situation a weakness. It’s a question mark, for sure. But this team is never going to be known as a big-time passing program.
What it does need, however, is big-play ability. That’s going to come from quarterback competency, but it’s more going to come from wide receivers showing up when their numbers are called.
This group of wide outs isn’t going to have an entire season to prove their worth as receivers. Their impact is going to be felt when they are called upon to make a play deep.
This is huge for keeping defenses honest against a ground-heavy offense. And if they prove to be unreliable, the run game will suffer as a result.
Defensive Line: The Eagles have the unenviable task of finding replacements for seven of their nine best defensive linemen. Last season, this area proved to be a strength. But now, they’re going to need unproven commodities like sophomore Lane Ecton to make a name for himself at his new position.
Barring unexpected showings from unexpected players, depth is going to be an issue here.
Georgia Southern Prediction: 5-7
2016 proved to be difficult for Summers and the Eagles, so the program is hoping that Year 2 can be a bigger step in the right direction. The question is: Can the team make enough progress to actually boost its win total past five?
At this point, we’re not betting on it. Looking at the Eagles’ first three games, it’s easy to project a blowout loss to Auburn, a nice win against New Hampshire and then another double-digit drop to Indiana.
From there, we likely get another loss to Arkansas State, which puts them at 1-3 despite already having both buy weeks behind them.
This team really shouldn’t take a step backward in the win column, but any sort of move forward likely won’t be reflected in the record.
Georgia Southern is looking at another five-win season in 2017.
2017 Georgia Southern Eagles Football Schedule
- 9/2/17 TBD @AUB
- 9/9/17 6:00 PM ET UNH
- 9/23/17 TBD @IND
- 10/4/17 8:00 PM ET ARST
- 10/14/17 6:00 PM ET NMSU
- 10/21/17 TBD @MASS
- 10/28/17 TBD @TROY
- 11/4/17 3:00 PM ET GSU
- 11/9/17 TBD @APP
- 11/18/17 4:00 PM ET USA
- 11/25/17 TBD @ULL
- 12/2/17 TBD @CCAR
What do you think about our 2017 Georgia Southern predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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