By Myron Hosea
So South Columnist
College Sporting News
The 2011 season’s second weekend proved very good for Southern Conference football teams.
Seven SoCon teams played outside the conference, and six of them won.
The other two teams played each other in the second league game of the season.
DEATH VALLEY DAYS
The only one to lose, Wofford, played a terrific game.
The Terriers caused all kinds of squirming and frustration in Clemson’s Death Valley.
Wofford scored on its first possession of the game, it was 21-all at halftime, and Clemson did not take its first lead until midway through the third period.
The Terriers scored on their first possession of the game when Mitch Allen ran 27 yards for a score.
Every time it seemed the Tigers might take control, Wofford did something to stay in the game, such as Allen’s 66-yard touchdown pass to Brenton Bersin or Kasey Redfern’s 28-yard run on a fake punt to set up Wofford’s third touchdown.
The close loss should give Wofford confidence that the Terriers can play with anyone on their schedule.
The lone SoCon game of the weekend paired intense Palmetto State rivals Furman and The Citadel.
Furman won 16-6, delivering the first win for Bruce Fowler as its head coach.
The Paladins, who intended to revive their running game this year, outgained the Bulldogs 215 to 199 on the ground.
Paladin running back Jerodis Williams ran for 122 yards, his second 100-yard performance in as many weeks.
OUT OF CONFERENCE
Chattanooga picked up an impressive home win by defeating Jacksonville State 38-17. Joel Bradford caught 15 of B. J. Coleman’s 23 pass completions, covering 162 yards.
The Mocs dominated the second half, shutting out the Gamecocks 15-0 in that frame. Wes Dothard capped the game with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Elon’s Jason Swepson also collected his first victory as a head coach when the Phoenix downed Concord 42-10.
On the night Elon retired the jersey of record-setting quarterback Scott Riddle, his replacement had a great game. Thomas Wilson completed 22 of 27 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
200 AND COUNTING
While Fowler and Swepson were notching their first wins, Appalachian State’s Jerry Moore won his 200th as head coach at the school.
The Mountaineers gained that honor for him by drubbing North Carolina A&T 58-6. Five different players scored touchdowns, including Doug Middleton who returned an interception 97 yards for a score.
Brian Quick grabbed 11 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Sam Martin booted a 51-yard field goal.
REST OF THE CONFERENCE
Georgia Southern spread out its 351 yards rushing while thumping Tusculum 62-21.
Seven different players scored touchdowns, helping the Eagles outscore Tusculum 38-7 in the second half.
Samford held Stillman to 45 yards rushing and 231 yards overall in a 48-6 win. A half-dozen players helped the Bulldogs rush for 304 yards.
After getting field goals on its first two possessions, Stillman could not generate any offense the rest of the way against Samford.
Talk about your rushing attacks, Western Carolina running back Shaun Warren ran for 203 yards and Michael Vaughn 131 as the Catamounts downed Mars Hill 52-31. Quarterback Brandon Pechloff added 285 yards and two touchdowns passing.
BIG SOUTH WEEKEND
In the Big South, Coastal Carolina stayed unbeaten by defeating Division II team Catawba 20-3. Catawba is where David Bennett was head coach before starting the CCU football program.
Aramis Hillary’s 52-yard touchdown pass to Matt Hazel spurred a 17-point first quarter for the Chanticleers, who held Catawba to 231 yards total offense.
Liberty made some amends for its upset loss to Robert Morris a year ago by defeating the Colonials 38-7.
Mike Brown ran for two scores and threw for two more to guide the Flames. Kevin Fogg added an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Lance Byrd ran for 153 yards and a touchdown as Presbyterian College avenged last year’s loss to North Greenville with a 38-21 victory.
Derrick Overholt, PC’s holder, pulled off a successful fake field goal in the second quarter. He threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Joey Gilkey to break a 14-14 tie.
VMI could not muster offense for most of the afternoon, dropping a respectable 24-7 decision to William and Mary.
Adam Morgan’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Trent White got the Keydets on the board in the fourth quarter.
Three Big South teams suffered losses on the road against FBS teams.
Gardner-Webb lost 30-3 at Ohio. Running back Kenny Little’s 95 yards rushing accounted for the bulk of the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ 124 yards total offense in the game.
Stony Brook fell 35-7 at Buffalo. The Seawolves moved the ball fairly well early but went into a drought until a late drive ended with a fumble.
Miguel Maysonet and Brock Jackolski combined for 167 yards rushing.
Charleston Southern fell hard at Florida State, 62-10. The Seminoles outgained the Bucs 647 yards to 84.
Sept. 17 brings a light schedule to the SoCon. Two-thirds of the league’s teams have the weekend off.
Appalachian State (1-1) completes its non-conference schedule with a home game against Savannah State (0-2).
Elon (1-1) hosts a fellow FCS team from the Tar Heel State – North Carolina Central (1-1).
In what should be one of the best games of the weekend, Chattanooga (1-1) visits Eastern Kentucky (1-1), which lost its opener at Kansas State by just 10-7.
Furman, Georgia Southern, The Citadel, Samford, Western Carolina, and Wofford all have the open date.
The Big South, however, has a full slate of games this weekend. Four of the games involve FCS matchups.
Liberty (1-1) takes another shot at one of the local CAA powers when James Madison (1-1) rolls into Lynchburg.
The Dukes have won 11 of 16 meetings between these schools, including the last five. A win Saturday would give a great boost to Liberty’s resume.
Stony Brook (0-2) plays its initial home game of 2011 against its first non-FBS opponent.
That opponent – Ivy League member Brown – is playing its first game of the season.
VMI (0-2) faces its second tough in-state opponent when it travels to Richmond.
The Spiders have scored just 44 points, but that’s been enough to upset Duke and defeat Wagner.
For two weeks, Charleston Southern (0-2) has faced good teams from the Sunshine State.
The Bucs venture to Florida once more, this time to challenge FCS non-scholarship program Jacksonville (0-2), which has lost to The Citadel and Western Illinois.
Three teams take on FBS teams.
Coastal Carolina will play at Georgia (0-2).
Gardner-Webb (1-1) meets its second FBS program in row, traveling to Wake Forest (1-1). Presbyterian College (1-1) takes the prize for longest trip by a Big South team this fall.
The Blue Hose go to San Francisco to face California.