Georgia State vs. Arkansas State | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

There is no NFL action on Thursday this week with some coronavirus-related schedule changes, but there is a college football game: Georgia State at Arkansas State from the Sun Belt Conference and nationally televised.

How to Bet Georgia State at Arkansas State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

Last meeting | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Last year, Georgia State beat Arkansas State 52-38. Destin Coates ran for two late touchdowns, and all Georgia State running backs scored at least once. The Panthers had 340 yards rushing and 722 yards of offense. Georgia State jumped to a 21-0 lead on TD runs by Tra Barnett, Coates and Seth Paige. Arkansas State closed to within three points, 38-35, after Layne Hatcher connected with Omar Bayless in the fourth quarter. Georgia State scored touchdowns on its next two possessions to put the game out of reach. Dan Ellington competed 29 of 41 passes for 382 yards for the Panthers. He threw for one TD and ran for another. Arkansas State leads the series 5-1.

Why Bet on Georgia State? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

The Panthers (1-1) are off a 49-29 home win over East Carolina on Oct. 3. Cornelious Brown IV passed for 238 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Sam Pinckney, as Georgia State scored 35 first-half points in the easy win.  Pinckney finished with a career-high 134 yards on seven catches, including scoring plays of 38 and 13 yards.

The Georgia State defense did not allow a touchdown as the Pirates’ three touchdowns came on a pick-six, a fake field goal and a blocked punt. The Panthers held ECU to 286 total yards, including just 50 yards rushing, the fewest rushing yards allowed by the GSU defense since holding WKU to a school-record minus-2 yards in the 2017 AutoNation Cure Bowl and the third-lowest total overall. The defense came up with three interceptions, highlighted by a pick-six by redshirt freshman Antavious Lane, along with nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including four sacks, as well as eight pass breakups.

“I think our defense was phenomenal,” head coach Shawn Elliott said after the game. “We just put the pressure on them all day long. It seemed like they had no answer for our defensive line and our pressure. It was fun to see. Even when we struggled offensively in the third quarter, the defense continued to pick us up. Just a phenomenal day on their part.”

Georgia State leads the Sun Belt and ranks No. 8 in FBS in third-down defense, holding opponents to a conversion rate of 25.8 percent.  Junior cornerback Quavian White has an interception in each of the first two contest to lead FBS with 1.0 interceptions per game.

Coates leads the Sun Belt and ranks No. 4 in FBS with 131.5 yards rushing per game. As a team, the Panthers are No. 10 in FBS in rushing (235.0 ypg).

Why Bet on Arkansas State? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

ASU (2-2) beat Central Arkansas 50-27 this past Saturday. UCA scored 14 unanswered early in the fourth, but A-State managed to pick up late defensive stops and a score late to put the contest out of reach. With the win, A-State improved to 33-14 all-time in home openers and has now won its home opener in 13 of the last 16 seasons.

A-State’s first five drives only gained 86 yards, but on the next five, the Red Wolves churned out 407 yards, finishing with 573 total on the day. The Scarlet and Black’s 50 points was a season high and went over the 500-yard mark for the first time since recorded 525 versus FIU in the 2019 Camellia Bowl.

Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher combined to complete 21 of 38 passes for 392 yards and six touchdowns, which was a season high and tied for the second-most in a single game in program history. The Red Wolves’ running backs churned out 181 yards on 36 carries. Through the air, Jonathan Adams, Jr. led with six catches for 101 yards while Dahu Green caught six balls for 94 yards. Both receivers grabbed a pair of touchdowns. Four different A-State receivers caught touchdown passes.

They have now scored at least 30 points in two outings this year and in 72 of their last 110 games. A-State has won 57 of its last 66 games when scoring at least 30.

Justin Rice, who was tabbed the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s FBS Defensive Player of the Week, recorded a season-high 12 tackles and career-best 4.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks against the Bears.  Not only were his 3.0 sacks the most by a Sun Belt player this season, they tied the seventh most in school history for a single game. He reached double-figure stops for the first time this year, but the ninth time of his career.

Thirty-nine of the Red Wolves’ 49 wins under head coach Blake Anderson have come by 10 or more points.  At the same time five of their 10 single-digit victories under Anderson have been posted over the Red Wolves’ last nine outings dating back to last season.  Last season, A-State collected the program’s most single-digit wins (5) in one year since the 1982 season when it also had five.  Anderson has led the Red Wolves to a pair of Sun Belt titles and collected 36 league wins along the way, which are the second most ever by any of the conference’s all-time head coaches.

Game Trends

  • Panthers are 5-2-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
  • Panthers are 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games in October.
  • Panthers are 6-13-2 ATS in their last 21 conference games.
  • Red Wolves are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
  • Red Wolves are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

Expert Prediction

Arkansas State 35, Georgia State 32

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