College Football Odds & Prediction for UConn vs Georgia State: Why to Bet Huskies
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: UConn’s Joseph Fagnano.
UConn vs Georgia State Odds
Jim Mora returned to college football and immediately led the UConn Huskies to a 6-7 season and their first bowl appearance since 2015.
Georgia State enters its seventh year under Shawn Elliott, and his tenure has been pretty up and down. Seven wins, two wins, seven wins, six wins, eight wins, four wins.
If the trend continues, this should be another seven-win season, but the Panthers didn't look good in the season opener. Despite edging out the win, they were outgained by over 100 yards against Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, UConn lost 24-14 in a rock fight to NC State. Will Georgia State be able to push the pace, or can the Huskies slow the game down and drag the Panthers into a defensive slugfest?
The Huskies want to run the ball and control the time of possession.
They ranked 128th in pace last season and finished with the sixth-highest rushing rate in the country. UConn’s top two running backs — Victor Rosa and Devontae Houston — are back.
Rosa rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries last week against NC State.
71 yards to the house for Victor Rosa's 2nd touchdown of the night!pic.twitter.com/16Jaoh7C46
— DraftKings (@DraftKings) September 1, 2023
Four of the Huskies' five offensive line starters from last year also return. This team is going to rely on its strong running game, despite what appears to be an upgrade at quarterback.
Quarterback Joseph Fagnano transferred in from Maine after throwing for 2,231 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. In his previous three seasons at Maine, UConn offensive coordinator Nick Charlton was his head coach.
I really liked what I saw from Fagnano in his first game under center for the Huskies. His numbers won’t show it, but he looked calm and comfortable in this offense.
He doesn’t have the rushing ability of some of the other quarterbacks on this roster, but he is much more mobile than I thought as he rushed for 28 yards on five scrambles.
UConn’s defense is led by stud linebacker Jackson Mitchell, who had 15 tackles last week. A season ago, he finished fourth in the nation with 140 tackles. He also tallied 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries and an interception.
Teams were forced to move the ball methodically down the field as the Huskies ranked eighth in the nation at defending explosiveness. They prevented big plays at an elite level and kept everything in front of them.
Mitchell isn’t alone on this defense as it has stars at all three positions. Eric Watts returns up front after leading this team with seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss, and safety Durante Jones is a tackling machine.
Overall, UConn has the fifth-most returning production among FBS teams.
Quarterback Darren Grainger is back for his third season as the Panthers’ signal-caller. He failed to take a big step forward last year and will need to really carry this team as it looks to replace its best receiver and top two running backs.
A true dual-threat weapon, Grainger threw 18 touchdowns and added six more scores with his legs. Robert Lewis takes over as the top guy and tallied seven catches for 97 yards and a touchdown last week.
With Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams gone, it's finally Marcus Carroll’s turn to run the show in Georgia State's backfield. He certainly made the most of that opportunity in Week 1 as he ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries.
The defense also loses most of its best players. Antavious Lane and Quavian White are massive losses in the secondary and those holes clearly weren't filled as Georgia State allowed 408 yards and four touchdowns through the air last week.
Georgia State ranked 95th in success rate against the run a season ago. It then lost two defensive linemen and its best linebacker to the transfer portal, so expect it to struggle again against the run.
UConn vs Georgia State
Betting Pick & Prediction
This game is a matchup between conflicting styles. Georgia State played at the 21st-fastest pace last season and averaged 75.6 plays per game. Meanwhile, UConn was the fourth-slowest team, averaging just 61.8 plays per contest.
Fagnano's arrival opens up this UConn offense and provides it with a passing attack it didn't have a season ago. Based on the pieces Georgia State lost and how shaky its secondary looked last week, I expect another strong game from Fagnano.
Take the Huskies to cover this spread on the road, and don’t be surprised if they win the game outright.