Thursday Night College Football: Georgia State vs. Arkansas State
Georgia State @ Arkansas State -3.5 O/U 70.5
Georgia State (33.5 Implied Team Total)
Cornelius Brown has accounted for 5 out of the Panthers’ 10 offensive TDs through 2 games. The freshman signal caller has completed 40/67 passes for 434 yards and 4 TDs while also running for 90 yards and 1 TD on 21 carries. He’s the Panthers’ second leading rusher. This is a phenomenal spot for Brown and the Georgia State passing game. Arkansas State has been throttled by opposing signal callers this season. In 4 games, the Red Wolves have been torched for 13 passing TDs. They’re allowing 304.5 passing yards per game. Through 2 games, the Georgia State offense is favoring the run (58.9/41.1 run-pass split) and averaging 81.5 plays per game.
Destin Coates is a workhorse in the Panthers’ backfield. The junior has carried the ball 23+ times, topped 110 yards rushing, and scored at least 1 TD both games this season. In total, Coates has 263 rushing yards and 3 TDs on 57 carries. He’s also caught 4 balls for 21 yards. He’s in a decent spot against Arkansas State’s unimposing rushing defense. The Red Wolves are allowing 152 rushing yards and 1.5 rush TDs per game this season. However, only 1 ball carrier cleared 100-yards rushing against Arkansas (Memphis RB Rodrigues Clark 20/105/1). Coates will be a popular MVP choice on Thursday night.
Target counts through 2 games: Cornelius McCoy (16), Sam Pinckney (16), Terrance Dixon (8), Aubry Payne (7), Destin Coates (4), Roger Carter (4), Jamari Thrash (3), Cadarrius Thompson (2), Marcus Carroll (1), and Matlin Marshall (1).
Sam Pinckney leads the Panthers in receptions (11), receiving yards (155), and TD receptions (2). The sophomore is coming a 7/134/2 pasting of East Carolina. Pinckney posted 36/460/5 in 2019. Cornelius McCoy is the other playmaker at WR. The junior has 9 receptions for 74 yards through 2 games. He posted 70/757/5 last season. Terrance Dixon and Jamari Thrash are the other 2 WRs with at least 3 receptions. Dixon has 6 receptions for 50 yards while Thrash has 3 receptions for 32 yards. Neither WR has a TD reception through 2 games. Arkansas State has struggled with WRs with size which should bode well for the 6’4” Pinckney. They’ve allowed box scores of: 12/154/0 to CAU’s Hudson, 4/93/3 to CAU’s Winningham, 4/98/0 to KSU’s Taylor, 7/93/1 to CC’s Heiligh, and 8/90/1 to Memphis’ Coxie. All of these players play on the perimeter and are at least 6’2”.
Roger Carter has 2 receptions for 53 yards and 1 TD from the TE spot. The senior posted 28/334/3 in 2019. Aubry Payne has 3 receptions for 12 yards on 7 targets this season. Carter could be in for a big night. Arkansas State has had major problems covering TEs this season. KSU’s Briley Moore went for 6/54/0 while Memphis’ Sean Dykes exploded for 10/137/2.
Noel Ruiz is the Panthers kicker. He’s made 1 out of 2 field goal attempts (20/22 in 2019). He’s knocked home all 11 of his extra point attempts.
In 2020 (2 games), Georgia State is 46th in passing yards allowed with 257.5 yards/game. They are 39th in rushing yards allowed with 145 yards/game. The defense has given up 4 TDs on the ground (2 TD/game) and 2 TDs through the air (1 TD/game) this season.
Arkansas State (37 Implied Team Total)
Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher have rotated at QB for all 4 games this season. Bonner has completed 58/91 passes for 741 passing yards, 8 TDs, and 3 INT while Hatcher has completed 41/70 passes for 564 yards, 6 TDs, and 1 INT. Bonner is definitely the safer option as he’s attempted 19+ passes in all 4 games. He’s also tossed at least 1 TD pass in all 4 games. Hatcher has attempted 19+ passes in 3 out of the 4 games. He’s thrown at least 1 TD in 3 out of the 4 games. For whatever its worth, the Red Wolves fan base is hoping the QB carousel ends and the job is given to Bonner. The Arkansas State offense is favoring the pass (57.1/42.9 pass-run split) and averages 72.3 plays per game.
Jamal Jones leads the Red Wolves with 212 yards rushing on 45 carries. He’s also caught 5 balls for 22 yards though 4 games. Jones has received 12+ caries in 3 out of the 4 games but has been held to 65 or less rushing yards in 3 out of 4 games (season his is 95). Last year’s leading rusher, Marcel Murray, has suited up and played in 2 straight games after missing the Red Wolves 1st 2 games. Murray has 63 rushing yards on 10 carries. I have to think he’ll eventually reclaim the starting role but I’m not sure if it’s this week or not. He makes for an interesting play since I think most people will gravitate to Jones. The junior ran for 1,600 yards and scored 14 total TDs in his 1st 2 seasons at Arkansas State. Lincoln Pare is the 3rd RB and he’ll likely receive a handful of carries (157 rushing yards on 20 carries this season). This is a solid spot for the Arkansas State backfield as Georgia State has surrendered 4 rushing TDs in only 2 games. They’re allowing nearly 4.5 yards per carry.
Target counts through 4 games: Jonathan Adams Jr. (43), Dahu Green (26), Brandon Bowling (21), Roshauud Paul (14), Reed Tyler (11), Jamal Jones (7), Bubba Ogbebor (7), Corey Rucker (6), Javan Hawes (6), Giles Amos (6), Jeff Foreman (3), Lincoln Pare (3), TW Ayers (2), Ryan Graham (1), and Leroy Deshazor (1).
Adams Jr., Green, and Bowling are the primary WRs. Adams is a total beast; the playmaker has 26 receptions, 362 receiving yards, and 5 TDs through 4 games. The senior has 6+ receptions in all 4 games; he’s cleared 98 yards receiving in 3 out of 4 games (65 in the other). Green is a former transfer from Oklahoma. He’s caught 16 balls for 247 yards and 3 TDs this season (3 games). The senior has 5+ receptions in the 3 games he’s played. He’s cleared 54 yards receiving in all 3 games as well. Bowling, a possession WR, has posted 14/183/3 through 4 games. He’s caught 5+ balls in each of the last 2 games. Paul has 8 receptions, 128 receiving yards, and 1 TD this season. Tucker rounds out the relevant pass catchers; he has 3 receptions for 95 yards and 1 TD. Georgia State has allowed monster box scores to various pass catchers such as: 11/83/0 to ECU’s z-receiver Blake Proehl and 4/81/0 to ULL’s Dontae Fleming. They coughed up 11/105/0 to ECU’s slot man Tyler Snead and 3/57/1 to ULL’s Kyren Lacy (x-receiver) through the 1st 2 games of the season.
Reed Tyler and Giles Amos are the Red Wolves 2 TEs. Tyler has a reception in all 4 games, but he hasn’t cleared 32 yards receiving in any of the 4 games. Amos has totaled 6 receptions for 103 yards. Both guys are TD dependent plays.
Blake Grupe is the kicker. He’s made 2 out of 5 field goal attempts. The junior has made 16/18 extra points.
In 2020 (4 games), ASU is 66th in passing yards allowed with 304.5 yards/game. They are 45th in rushing yards allowed with 152 yards/game. The defense has given up 6 TDs on the ground (1.5 TD/game) and 13 TDs through the air (3.25 TD/game) this season.
Target counts are from Pro Football Focus