Hayden Boudreaux’s 2015 football predictions

Hayden Boudreaux

Hayden Boudreaux

The George-Anne likes to take a shot every year at predicting the outcome of Eagle football. Last season, I was called an optimist after predicting an 8-4 Georgia Southern team winning the Sun Belt Conference in their first year, they ended up proving me a pessimist with a 9-3 record but still a conference championship.

Believe it or not, this year I had a harder time getting together my predictions for the season. I watched film on all of our opponents this year and some of our games from last season. This led me to my biggest concern heading into the season, the read-option.

I understand that many are worried about the performance of the offensive line but the more of practice I see the more impressed I am with them. My biggest concern moving forward is whether or not the other teams in the Sun Belt, having an entire offseason to study our spread-option, will be far better equipped to handle it. That being said, Coach Fritz and his staff has also had an entire offseason to change things up to keep defenses guessing.

Given the recent developments with quarterback Kevin Ellison my opinion was a bit swayed. This is not because I don’t have faith in Favian Upshaw, but our depth past him is questionable. We saw the two quarterbacks get constantly banged up and switched out last season and not having that 1-2 punch could be a problem against the Mountaineers.

This prediction is, in some ways, my worst case scenario for the year. The wins are pretty self-explanatory, so I want to elaborate on why I have the losses. Starting with West Virginia, other than the previously stated reasons, the Mountaineers are a traditional FBS school with a winning history. They are consistently in and out of the Top 25 and have more depth on both sides of the ball.

After a five game winning streak (with close games against Western Michigan and ULM) I have another loss, which many won’t approve. The fact is, while we embarrassed them in Paulson last year there were definitely sparks of life from App State. Those sparks will likely return as flames this season as they return 20 starters. Not to mention, traveling to App State has historically been unpredictable.

The loss to Georgia is a hard one to predict. I do think we have a chance, but the Bulldogs will likely be expecting a fight. If the game was played last season, we would have caught them off guard and might have come away with a late upset at the hands of our explosive offense. I don’t see Georgia sleeping on us as opponents and will bring their ‘A’ game.

Overall, a 9-3 (Sun Belt 7-1) means a likely repeat as Sun Belt Champions and a bowl appearance for the Eagles. There are a few swing games that could definitely be stolen from Georgia Southern if they don’t play above the level of their competition (ULM, Western Michigan, and Texas State). We are just about a week and a half from football and I couldn’t be more excited to see the Eagles repeat as conference champions and make history in a bowl game. Geaux Eagles!