South Alabama vs Southern Mississippi Prediction NCAAF 10/17

South Alabama vs Southern Mississippi Prediction NCAAF 10/17

© Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports

 

Southern Mississippi vs. South Alabama Sun Belt Showdown

The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (1-5, 1-5 ATS, 4-2 O/U) are set to face off against the South Alabama Jaguars (3-3, 2-4 ATS, 4-2 O/U) in a Sun Belt showdown that promises excitement. The Golden Eagles are in search of their first win since their season opener, which came against Alcorn State. However, they've since suffered five consecutive losses, mainly due to defensive struggles. In their conference opener, they were competitive in a 44-37 loss to Arkansas State, but they've struggled in Sun Belt play, going 0-3 and failing to cover the spread in five consecutive games.

 

Southern Mississippi's Recent Form

Billy Wiles, the sophomore QB for Southern Mississippi, has faced a tough stretch, completing less than 59% of his pass attempts in the last five games. He's accumulated 1254 passing yards with a 7:5 TD to INT ratio this season. On the positive side, junior RB Franke Gore Jr. has been a standout, with two 100+ yard rushing performances in his last three games, including a 132-yard game against Arkansas State. The offense features two receivers with over 300 yards, with Jakarius Caston leading the way with 334 receiving yards. Despite their defensive struggles, Southern Mississippi's offense has scored over 30 points in two of their three conference games. The defense, however, has had its share of challenges, allowing 44 points to Arkansas State and 50 to Texas State. They showed improvement by holding Old Dominion to 17 points and 337 total yards last week. The pass defense ranks 38th, but the rush defense is 119th in the nation.

 

South Alabama's Recent Form

The South Alabama Jaguars come into this matchup with confidence, having started the season 2-1, including an impressive upset road win against Oklahoma State. They did face setbacks in their next two games against Central Michigan and James Madison in the conference opener. However, they bounced back with a convincing 55-7 road win against UL Monroe as 10.5-point favorites, improving to 1-1 in conference play. While they have covered the spread in one of their last three games, their senior QB, Carter Bradley, has been in excellent form, with 299 and 303 passing yards in his last two performances and a total of 1456 passing yards with an 11:5 TD-to-INT ratio for the season.

South Alabama's offense leans towards the run game, led by senior RB La’Mamian Webb, who recorded 100 rushing yards against UL Monroe and boasts 476 rushing yards on an impressive 5.7 yards per rush average. They also have one of the top receivers in the Sun Belt in junior WR Caullin Lacy, who has accumulated at least 100 receiving yards in five of six games, totaling 723 receiving yards for the season. The South Alabama offense has scored at least 30 points in four of their last five games.

Defensively, the Jaguars have been inconsistent, allowing over 30 points in two of their last three games, including 34 against Central Michigan. However, they displayed dominance in their most recent outing, giving up just seven points and 250 total yards. Their pass defense ranks 65th, while their rush defense is strong, coming in at 38th.

 

Prediction

As the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles face off against the South Alabama Jaguars, it's clear that the Jaguars have a significant advantage. They have shown more consistency in recent games, especially on the offensive side with Carter Bradley's impressive performances.

While Southern Mississippi has struggled both offensively and defensively, South Alabama's balanced attack and solid defense make them the better team in this matchup. The Jaguars are predicted to secure a convincing victory and cover the -18 points spread, taking advantage of their strengths against the struggling Golden Eagles.

 

Pick: South Alabama -18

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