By Myron Hosea
So South Columnist
College Sporting News
In the Southern Conference, Appalachian State edged Chattanooga 14-12; Wofford overcame Samford 38-23; Georgia Southern ran away from Western Carolina 52-20; Elon edged The Citadel 18-15 in overtime; and Furman whipped Presbyterian College 62-21.
Big South teams found the going tough. In addition to the PC loss, Liberty lost another close game to a ranked team -- 27-24 to Lehigh; Akron downed VMI 36-13; Charleston Southern lost its home opener 33-3 to Norfolk State; Stony Brook beat Lafayette 37-20; and CCU downed North Carolina A&T 31-14. Gardner-Webb had the weekend off.
INSIDE THE GAMES
Three players crossed the century mark in rushing and another posted 99 yards as Georgia Southern whipped Western Carolina 52-20. Ezayi Youyoute rushed for 119 yards on four carries (that’s 29.8 yards per carry), J.J. Wilcox ran for 115 on six carries (19.2), Jerick McKinnon added 114 on 10 (11.4), and Robert Brown chipped in 99 on 14. The Eagles churned out 634 yards on the ground, the third-best rushing performance in program history. Wide receiver Deja Alexander led the Catamounts with 143 yards on eight receptions.
As it turned out, defense did make the difference in the critical showdown between Appalachian State and Chattanooga. With the Mocs up 6-0 and moving, Rodger Walker pounced on a bad snap and went 73 yards for a Mountaineer touchdown. On the very next Chattanooga possession, Jeremy Kimbrough intercepted a pass and raced 46 yards for another touchdown. These happened at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. Chattanooga quarterback B. J. Coleman guided the Mocs back, hitting Sloan Allison for a 20-yard touchdown. The try for two, however, failed, and the Mountaineers hung on for the win.
Wofford relied on its triple option ground game to pull away from Samford for a 38-23 win. The Terriers led just 17-16 at the half, but gathered steam in the third quarter. The defense forced a fumble deep in Samford territory to set up an insurance touchdown and then stopped two Bulldogs scoring threats in the final minutes. Donovan Johnson rushed for 173 yards on 10 carries (17.3) while Eric Breitenstein gained 126 yards and scored three times on 29 rushes. Quarterback Mitch Allen ran for 110 yards and a touchdown as Wofford produced 443 yards on the ground. Samford quarterback Dustin Taliaferro completed 26 passes for 241 yards to eight different players.
Liberty challenged a ranked FCS team for the second straight week and again dropped a close one, 27-24 to Lehigh. The Flames drove 81 yards late in the game but lost a fumble at the Lehigh 18. At the end, a 54-yard field goal missed for Liberty. Mike Brown and Chris Summers had another great game. Brown threw for 297 yards and ran for 64 more. Summers caught 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
In the offseason, new Furman head coach Bruce Fowler talked of restoring the power running game long a hallmark of Paladin football. He may do that, but for one Saturday, the Paladins rode the record-setting passing performance of quarterback Chris Forcier. He threw a Southern Conference record seven touchdown passes to lead Furman to a 62-21 rout of nearby rival Presbyterian College. Those seven scores went to six different players. Forcier added a touchdown run for good measure. PC continued to get points from senior defensive back Justin Bethel. He recovered a punt he blocked for a Blue Hose touchdown. He did one of those last week, too.
Elon’s Adam Shreiner kicked four field goals, and his last one made the difference. He booted a 33-yarder in overtime to lift the Phoenix over The Citadel 18-15. The Bulldogs had one last shot, but Ryan Sellers’ 37-yard attempt went wide right. Thomas Wilson threw for 283 yards and a touchdown for Elon. Jeremey Peterson and Aaron Mellette combined for 15 receptions. Darien Robinson ran for 103 yards and a score for the Bulldogs.
Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet turned in a pretty good running performance in leading the Seawolves to a 37-20 win over Lafayette before a sellout home crowd of 8,200. Maysonet rushed for 194 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. Brock Jackolski added 98 yards rushing. The game proved to be a contrast of styles. Stony Brook gained 300 of 335 total yards on the ground. Lafayette generated 400 of its 486 through the air. The Seawolves outscored the Leopards 31-14 in the second half.
In other games, Coastal Carolina won its third game of the season by jumping on North Carolina A&T for 17 first-quarter points on the way to the 31-14 win. Aramis Hillary threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns for the Chanticleers. Charleston Southern finally made it home after three games in Florida, but it wasn’t a happy homecoming. The Bucs fell 33-3 to Norfolk State, getting outgained 519 to 141. Andy Brown scored Charleston Southern’s only points via a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter. VMI fell behind Akron 29-7 in the first half before losing 36-13. Stefawn Ross caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Eric Kordenbrock and Chaz Jones ran three yards for the Keydets’ two scores.
OCTOBER 1 GAMES
There are some interesting games coming up this weekend.
In the Southern Conference, last year’s co-champs -- Appalachian State (3-1/1-0) and Wofford (2-1/1-0) -- meet in Spartanburg. Georgia Southern (3-0/2-0) will try to extend its early advantage in the SoCon races when it travels to Elon (3-1/1-0). Furman (2-1/1-0) wants to return to the top of the league standings, and its game at Western Carolina (1-2/0-1) represents the opportunity to start 2-0 in the SoCon. Chattanooga (2-2/0-1) will try to bounce back from the tough loss at the Rock when its hosts The Citadel (1-2/0-2).
There’s one Big South-SoCon contest on this Saturday’s schedule. Samford (1-2/0-2) will host Gardner-Webb (1-2).
Around the Big South, Liberty (1-3) hopes to get back on a winning track when it hosts Kentucky Wesleyan. That’s the same plan for Charleston Southern (0-4), which welcomes Wesley College to Charleston. Coastal Carolina (3-1), Presbyterian College (1-3), Stony Brook (1-3), and VMI (0-4) all get time off this weekend.