Sun Belt Preview Series: Georgia Southern
Welcome to WNSP’s Sun Belt preview series to get you ready for football season! Each day, we will preview a new team in the Sun Belt conference and get you ready for football season. We’ll take a look at what Vegas has their win total set at, make a prediction, and talk about their season outlook. Today’s team: The Georgia Southern Eagles
Players to watch:
Offense: QB Kyle Vantrease, WR Khaleb Hood
Defense: DL Dillon Springer, CB Derrick Canteen
Clay Helton arrives from USC after a tenure in which he was certainly not horrible and is known as someone who is well liked around college football, but expectations are greater in Los Angeles and the school elected to part ways before bringing in Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma. Now, Helton takes on a new challenge at Georgia Southern, who is coming off a 3-9 season following three straight winning seasons and bowl appearances. It will be up to Helton to bring back the relative winning ways to the Eagles program.
The offense, which struggled mightily last season, brings in a new QB in Kyle Vantrease of Buffalo and will look to overhaul a unit that was just not productive in 2021. The receiving core should be solid, with Khaleb Hood back as well to lead a group that has not been thrown to a ton in years past due to the nature of a run-first offense. They lose leading rusher Logan Wright, but Gerald Green and Jalen White return to make for a nice duo, and virtually the entire line, although it struggled last season, is back.
Six starters return on defense including edge rusher Dillon Springer. The linebacker group sees an overhaul, but it was bad in 2021, so this is not necessarily a bad thing. The biggest addition is star CB Derrick Canteen, who missed most of last season due to injury and is one of the best players in the conference. The secondary must be better, and Canteen will go a long way in making that happen.
They take on South Alabama at home November 5th. They do have some tough games such as Nebraska and UAB, but with a win total of 5.5, I think Helton gets the ship going in the right direction and this team wins some games this year. I’m going to take the Eagles at 8-4, as I think the combo of Helton and Vantrease gets things going again for Georgia Southern.