Georgia St. vs

Utah St.

at Boise
Sat, Dec 23
12:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 227
Odds: Utah St. -2, Total: 60.5

Game Analysis

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Note: I released the under to subscribers when the total was 62 points. The total is now down to 58.5 points, which is just a Lean Under

1-Star Best Bet – *Under (62) – Utah State (-2.5)  30   Georgia State  24

Georgia State will be without RB Marcus Carroll, who ran the ball 274 times for 1350 yards. His 4.9 ypr isn’t particularly impressive but his backup KZ Adams averaged only 1.7 yards on his 35 runs. Adams transferred too and is not on the depth chart, which is positive for the Panthers, but Carroll also averaged 4.9 ypr last season and the back he shared time with in 2022 averaged just 4.1 ypr – so I expect a huge decline in running back production from the Panthers – even though Utah State is terrible defending the run. The Panthers will also be without their top receiver, Robert Lewis, who has transferred to Auburn. Lewis had 105 targets for 877 yards (8.4 YPT), which is significantly higher than the 6.6 YPT of the rest of the wide receivers. Georgia State was 0.4 yppl worse than average offensively but I rate them at 0.9 yppl worse than average without their best two offensive players (and a starting tackle).

Utah State struggled to stop the run this season (5.7 yprp allowed to teams that would average 4.9 yprp to an average team) but Georgia State doesn’t figure to run as much without Carroll and the Aggies defend the pass reasonably well (average on a national scale). I think Georgia State’s offense will struggle in this game without Carroll and Lewis and I project 364 yards at 5.2 yppl for the Panthers.

Utah State was much better offensively this season when Cooper Legas was at quarterback, as Legas was 1.2 yards per pass play better than McCae Hillstead, who had 164 pass play despite not being good. Legas is injured and not on the bowl depth chart while Hillstead is not 100% recovered from an injury that kept him out of the season finale. Veteran Levi Williams (formerly a part-time starter at Wyoming) is listed atop the depth chart after starting in the OT win over New Mexico. The Aggies’ offense averaged 6.5 yppl in that game but New Mexico has one of the worst defenses in the nation and would allow 7.3 yppl at home to an average FBS team – so the Aggies were actually 0.8 yppl worse than average offensively in that game. Williams is not much of a passer, but I don’t think he’s much worse than Hillstead was and he adds a running element (nearly 1200 rushing yards at 6.5 yards per scramble in his career). Overall, Williams is better than Hillstead but the Aggies will likely run the ball a lot more than usual (47 runs vs 30 pass plays in Williams’ start against New Mexico), which will eat more clock (their pace of play against the Lobos was significantly lower in that game than normal). I rate Utah State’s offense at 0.2 yppl worse than average with Williams at quarterback, which is only 0.25 yppl lower than their season rating.

Running the ball more, as I expect Utah State to do, makes Georgia State’s defense better, as the Panthers were solid against the run (5.1 yprp allowed to teams that would average 5.1 yprp) while their pass defense was horrible (7.4 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would average 6.2 yppp against an average defense). If Utah State runs the ball the same percentage of the time as they did with Williams at QB against New Mexico then Georgia State’s defense is 1.6 points better than facing 53.2% pass plays, as they did in the regular season. I project 423 yards at 5.9 yppl for Utah State in this game.

The opening total of 63.5 points is close to the 62.8 points I would have projected using season stats from each team. However, Georgia State’s offense is 3.3 points worse without Carroll and Lewis, Utah State’s offense is 1.8 points worse than their season rating with Williams at quarterback and Georgia State’s defense is 1.6 points better due to the extra running that Utah State is likely to do in this game. I also expect 5 fewer total play from scrimmage due to the slower pace of play with Utah State running more (and a bit for the worse than normal weather expected), which is another 2.0 points. That’s 8.7 points of total adjustments on the total and I project just 54.1 total points in this game (and Utah State by 5.5 points).

The Under is a 1-Star Best Bet at 61 point or more (Strong Opinion to 59.5).

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Georgia St.
  • Utah St.


  • Run Plays 36.5 31.5
  • Run Yards 186.5 161.1
  • YPRP 5.1 5.1


  • Pass Comp 19.2 21.8
  • Pass Att 28.7 33.5
  • Comp % 66.9% 65.2%
  • Pass Yards 196.5 282.1
  • Sacks 1.7 2.3
  • Sack Yards 9.9 15.8
  • Sack % 5.5% 6.3%
  • Pass Plays 30.3 35.8
  • Net Pass Yards 186.6 266.3
  • YPPP 6.1 7.4


  • Total Plays 66.8 67.3
  • Total Yards 373.1 427.3
  • YPPL 5.6 6.4


  • Int 0.6 0.8
  • Int % 2.0% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.6 0.5
  • Turnovers 1.2 1.3
  • Points 25.8 30.8
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