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Georgia Southern Eagles vs. Georgia Bulldogs Preview and Prediction

Keith Marshall

Keith Marshall

After a huge win against rival Auburn last week, the Bulldogs come back home to Athens and will end the season without leaving the state of Georgia. The Bulldogs can still get to 10 wins this season but will need to finish strong if they are to do so. 

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In just their second year as an FBS program, the Eagles are bowl eligible (although winning the Sun Belt Conference last year should have been enough but you know, the NCAA and their rules.) The Eagles would almost need a miracle to win the Sun Belt again with Arkansas State being undefeated and Appalachian State having a head-to-head win over Georgia Southern. The Eagles can still finish strong and end up in a nice bowl even with a loss to Georgia.

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Georgia Southern vs. Georgia

Kickoff: 7 p.m. (Saturday)
TV Channel: ESPNU
Spread: -14.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Georgia’s defense
For the next two weeks Georgia will see similar offenses as Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech both love to run the ball. Georgia’s defense is only allowing 139.6 rushing yards per game while the Georgia Southern offense leads the nation in rushing yards at 379 yards per game. Something has to give. This should also be a nice tune up before Georgia takes on Georgia Tech next week. 

2. Keith Marshall
Mark Richt announced on Tuesday that Keith Marshall will not return to Athens. Instead Marshall will try his luck in the NFL Draft. Marshall has suffered multiple injuries while at Georgia but has showed promise at times. In 2015, he only has 255 yards on 49 rushes and three touchdowns. Marshall also missed the Auburn game with an ankle injury but will have a chance to finish out his career and improve his draft grade in the last three games for the Bulldogs. Richt also said Marshall will participate in Senior Day with the rest of the seniors on Saturday.

3. Willie Fritz
If you don’t know this name, you should. Fritz is the head coach at Georgia Southern and his name continues to come up in conversations concerning open positions throughout college football. Fritz has been successful at multiple stops including winning the SunBelt last year in the Eagles' first year as an FBS school. A win over a big time program like Georgia would certainly get his phone ringing even more. 

Final Analysis

Georgia Southern and Georgia will meet for just the sixth time on Saturday. In no previous meeting has Georgia ever really been in any danger of losing the game and this year should be no exception. The Bulldogs just have more talent and it’s usually very visible. Even though the Bulldogs have struggled scoring this year, the talent alone should be enough to prevent any huge upset. Don’t put it past the Eagles to fight hard but Georgia should pull away in the fourth quarter. 

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Prediction: Georgia 38, Georgia Southern 14

— Written by Justin Nails, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @justinnails.