2015-16 Football Previews – (Sun Belt) – Eagles
The Georgia Southern Eagles made their Sun Belt debut in the 2014 NCAA Football Season, and they put together a perfect 8-0 record in conference play en route to a conference championship.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
Sun Belt Conference Odds
Head Coach: Willie Fritz
2014 Record: 9-3
Georgia Southern Odds to win 2015 Sun Belt Championship: +400
Odds from Bovada to win BCS: Bet The Field
After excelling on both sides of the ball last season, the Eagles are second in line to win the 2015 Sun Belt title according to oddsmakers. They currently sit at +400, tied with the UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, behind Appalachian State.
The good news for Georgia Southern is that it made its transition to the FBS last season with ease. The better news is that the team is finally eligible for postseason play this year after a season of ineligibility last season.
The Eagles’ triple-option attack is a strong one that proved to be ultra-productive in the Sun Belt last season. The team rushed for 381.1 yards per contest last season, and it became the conference’s top scoring offense in its first year in Sun Belt competition.
Defensively, the Eagles led the Sun Belt in scoring defense last season. It was also third in total defense.
Depth is also going to be a positive for this group in 2015. There are 16 contributors from last season back on the roster.
Linebacker is going to be a strong point in particular, as Deshawntee Gallon and Antwione Williams should create for one of the conference’s better duos at the position this season.
Back on offense, a new-look offensive line could see some hiccups, especially early in the year. The good news is that Georgia Southern brings back a potential all-conference stud at left guard in Darien Foreman — it also brought in Roscoe Byrd at right guard from UAB — but five seniors are now gone who made their running game so efficient in 2014.
Defensively, the team (as mentioned) is going to be strong. It will, however, have to deal with the loss of MLB Edwin Jackson and four-year starter Deion Stanley at safety and nickel back.
When it comes to special teams, this was one of the only areas where the team noticeably struggled at times in 2014. Alex Hanks missed PATs on the year, and to make matters worse, he completed just a single field goal in his last four attempts on the year.
The Eagles need improved accuracy in those two departments this season, as it’s going to be a tough battle at the top of the conference, and every point could make a difference when the year is coming to a close.
2015-16 Georgia Southern Eagles Prediction: 8-4
Georgia Southern found success during its first year in the FBS, and there’s no reason to think it won’t again in 2015. The difference is that now there will be no sneaking up on the programs of the Sun Belt, and the competition should be a bit stiffer this season.
Expect this team to fight even harder for a Sun Belt title this season, as their intelligibility from last year should act as even more motivation for a squad looking to get into postseason play this year.
2015 Eagles Schedule (All times EST)
9/5/15 7:30 PM @ West Virginia
9/12/15 6:00 PM vs. W Michigan
9/19/15 6:00 PM vs. The Citadel
9/26/15 9:00 PM @ Idaho
10/3/15 7:00 PM @ UL Monroe
10/17/15 6:00 PM vs. New Mexico St
10/22/15 7:30 PM @ Appalachian St
10/29/15 7:30 PM vs. Texas State
11/14/15 TBD @ Troy
11/21/15 TBD @ Georgia
11/28/15 2:00 PM South Alabama
12/5/15 2:00 PM vs. Georgia State
Check out our Updated College Football Odds.
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