By Myron Hosea
CSN So South Columnist
College Sporting News
Entering November, Georgia Southern stands a half-game in front of Appalachian State and Wofford. With back-to-back solid wins over Wofford and Chattanooga, Furman has re-entered the race, sitting a half-game behind the Mountaineers and the Terriers.
All of the games remaining are key to the race, but the biggest remaining SoCon games are this Saturday’s Appalachian State at Furman game and Nov. 12’s Georgia Southern at Wofford game.
Barring stumbles by these teams in their other remaining conference games, those two contests will settle – or muddle – matters in the SoCon.
At this point, you’d have to think Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, and Wofford have the inside track on three SoCon spots in the FCS playoffs. Furman is the wild card, but the Paladins must beat Appalachian State to stay in the mix.
Over in the Big South, it’s come down to just two teams: Liberty and Stony Brook. If they don’t stumble, they’ll decide the automatic bid for the league in the season finale.
The Seawolves have to be careful with a pair of road games against winless Charleston Southern and a suddenly tough Gardner-Webb team that now owns a three-game winning streak.
Now, about that eventful day of games on Oct. 31.
- The nation’s number one FCS football team fell. Jamal Jackson hit Brian Quick for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 9:24 left in the game to lift Appalachian State to a 24-17 win over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Georgia Southern. The defenses played well. The Eagles managed just 135 yards rushing and 201 overall.
- A SoCon running back topped the 200-yard mark and scored four touchdowns. With Wofford’s depth at running back down to almost no one, Eric Breitenstein made back ups unnecessary. He ran for 217 yards and four scores to carry Wofford to a 48-28 win over Elon. Oh, yeah. Despite the depth issues, the Terriers rushed for 465,
- Two Big South running back passed 190 yards rushing – for the same team. Stony Brook didn’t complete a pass in the nasty Northeastern weather, but Brock Jackolski ran for 193 yards and teammate Miguel Maysonet added 191 as the Seawolves blasted Coastal Carolina 42-0.
- A SoCon team blocked three punts in one game, returning one for a touchdown. Those blocks helped The Citadel roll to a 41-14 win over VMI in the renewal of the Military Classic of the South. Chaz Jones ran from 112 yards for the Keydets, but that was about all of their offense. The Bulldogs rushed for 358 yards.
- Things got dicey for the Big South’s leader. Presbyterian College placekicker Aaron Mayes booted a 22-yard field goal as regulation time expired to send the game at Liberty into overtime. It took two extra sessions for the Flames to extinguish PC’s upset hopes, 27-20. As you may have guessed, the winning score came on a 25-yard pass from Mike Brown to Chris Summers. Lance Byrd and Ryan Singer ran for 111 and 108 yards for the Blue Hose. Aldreakis Allen rushed for 131 yards for Liberty.
- A Big South running back threw a touchdown pass – for the second game in a row. Gardner-Webb’s Ricky Rhodes hit Treymaine Schley for a nine-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to carry the Bulldogs to a 14-7 win over Charleston Southern.
And by the way, Rhodes completed a pass for 26 yards in Thursday night’s Gardner-Webb win over Virginia State, just not for a score. The Bulldogs needed 20 points in the fourth quarter to pull away. Rhodes ran for 114 yards while Kenny Little added 153 and two touchdowns.