ULM (4-7) at Georgia Southern (8-3) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Paulson Stadium (25,000) -- Statesboro, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 3-2, GSU 4-0. Away Record: ULM 1-5, GSU 4-3. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, GSU 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 3-4, GSU 7-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Southern Eagles will try to clinch an outright Sun Belt Conference title on Saturday afternoon when they play host to the ULM Warhawks at Paulson Stadium.
ULM snapped a six-game losing streak last Saturday at New Mexico State with a 30-17 victory for its first road win in six tries this season. It has still been a trying season for the Warhawks, however, as they are just 4-7 overall and 3-4 in league play.
Georgia Southern has taken the Sun Belt by storm in its very first season as a member of the FBS, as it has won all seven of its conference matchups. With Louisiana's (6-1 Sun Belt) loss last week, it controls its own destiny for an outright league championship. The Eagles slipped up last week in a non- conference road game with Navy by suffering a 52-19 loss, but they are still 8-3 overall.
The all-time series is tied, 2-2, although the newly formed conference rivals haven't played one another since 1991.
For just the second time all season, the Warhawks put up 30 points in last week's win, amassing 420 yards in the process. Their offense is typically a liability with just 20.5 ppg and 350.2 ypg.
Pete Thomas threw for 350 yards in the win over NMSU, leaving him just 126 yards short of 3,000 on the season. He's completing 59.9 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns (three rushing) to just six interceptions.
The Warhawks have the Sun Belt's best receiving trio, as Kenzee Jackson (69 receptions, 779 yards, four TDs), Rashon Ceaser (69 receptions, 734 yards, two TDs) and Ajalen Holley (53 receptions, 813 yards, six TDs) all rank in the league's top six in both catches and yards. Jackson had a big game last week, hauling in 13 passes for 108 yards.
The running game has been virtually non-existent with a lowly 74.1 ypg. Centarius Donald has earned the majority of the work with 576 yards and six touchdowns on 148 carries.
Unfortunately ULM's solid defense (26.6 ppg, 364.5 ypg) hasn't been quite good enough to support the lackluster offense.
Gerrand Johnson (82 tackles) and Mitch Lane (80 tackles) are neck-and-neck for the team lead in stops, with Johnson adding 10.5 TFL and Lane three interceptions. Hunter Kissinger (73 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks, two INTs), Michael Johnson (72 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks) and Justin Backus (48 tackles, two INTs) are also in the midst of strong campaigns.
Georgia Southern's offense has been a well-oiled machine with 40.6 ppg this season, and its elite rushing attack (385.5 ypg) is the nation's best.
Kevin Ellison orchestrates the triple-option attack from under center and has cashed in with 992 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He attempts less than 10 passes per game and has completed just 57.8 percent of those throws, but he connects on a lot of big plays as he sits with 865 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Matt Breida is the primary beneficiary of the run-heavy attack, as he's turned 152 carries into 1,434 yards (9.4 ypc) and 16 touchdowns. L.A. Ramsby is also actively involved with 662 yards and 11 scores on 138 attempts.
Kentrellis Showers (15 receptions, 305 yards, three TDs) and B.J. Johnson (21 receptions, 289 yards, three TDs) are primarily used as blockers but have shown the ability to make a play out wide when called upon.
Despite a lackluster showing at Navy last week, the Eagles' defense has been impressive this season in allowing just 24.1 ppg and 392.4 ypg while forcing 19 turnovers.
Edwin Jackson (95 tackles) is the team's leading tackler by a wide margin. Matt Dobson and Deion Stanley both have three interceptions.
Simply put, ULM doesn't have the offensive firepower to keep pace with Georgia Southern nor will it be able to slow down the running game enough to stay relevant. With a championship on the line, the Eagles will be revved up to finish off the league campaign undefeated in front of their home fans.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Southern 38, ULM 20Game Date and Time
Saturday, November 29, 6 p.m. (ET)