By Myron Hosea
CSN So South Columnist
College Sporting News
The Eagles (8-1, 6-1) and Terriers (7-2, 5-1) enter the big game as the only teams with one league loss. Furman (6-3, 5-2) and Appalachian State (6-3, 4-2) remain in the chase after the Paladins finally beat the Mountaineers last Saturday.
If Georgia Southern wins, they’ll own first place outright. The Eagles close with a non-conference game, so there would be no chance for a tie in that scenario.
Should Wofford take Saturday’s game, it would be in a great spot but wouldn’t have the crown locked up. The Terriers still have to go to Chattanooga. If Wofford were to lose that game, if Furman beats Elon Saturday in its final SoCon game, and if Appalachian State defeats Western Carolina and Elon, then we would have a very muddled situation with four teams sitting at 6-2.
So Georgia Southern-Wofford is this week’s game of the year in the SoCon. It should be a great game.
· The teams split a pair of games last year, Wofford winning in Statesboro during the regular season and Georgia Southern in Spartanburg in the playoffs.
· Wofford leads all of FCS in rushing while Georgia Southern is second.
· Georgia Southern ranks 19th nationally in stopping the run. Wofford is 20th.
· The game features the nation’s sixth (Wofford’s Eric Breitenstein), 34th (Georgia Southern’s Robert Brown), and 48th (Wofford’s Donovan Johnson) ranked rushers.
· It’s a close series. Georgia Southern leads 10-7.
In addition to the 1:00 p.m. Georgia Southern-Wofford contest, here’s the rest of the SoCon schedule for Saturday:
Elon (4-5, 2-4) at Furman (6-3, 5-2), 1:00 p.m.
The Paladins go for their fourth win in a row.
Samford (5-4, 3-4) at The Citadel (4-5, 2-5), 3:00 p.m.
These two teams have played a lot of people tough but have come up short too often.
Western Carolina (1-8, 0-7) at Appalachian State (6-3, 4-2) 3:30 p.m.
A rare Catamount win in this mountain rivalry seems like a real long shot.
Over in the Big South Conference, the big game of the day will be Stony Brook (6-3, 4-0) at Gardner-Webb (4-5, 2-2) at 1:30 p.m. This could be a trap game for the Seawolves who look to go 5-0 before the big finale against Liberty (who is off this week) on Nov. 19. Somebody’s winning streak will end. Stony Brook has won six straight while Gardner-Webb has won three in a row.
Elsewhere in the conference:
VMI (1-8,1-3) at Presbyterian College (2-7, 1-3), 1:00 p.m.
Finding a couple wins in the final two weeks would be boost to both of these teams.
Coastal Carolina (5-4, 2-3) at Charleston Southern (0-9, 0-4), 1:30 p.m.
The Chanticleers still have the opportunity for a seven-win season. The Bucs just want a win.
Furman had lost six in a row to the Mountaineers, a disappointing streak that has been one part of the Paladins’ disappearance from the playoffs the past few years. Furman is a hot team right now, and it showed early. The Paladins picked off Jamal Jackson on each of Appalachian State’s first two offensive possessions. Furman scored 20 points before the Mountaineers got on the board.
Paladin quarterback Chris Forcier ran for 64 yards and threw for 224 and two touchdowns, including a 79-yarder to Sederrick Cunningham.
Jackson finished 29 of 44 for 312 yards, but he suffered three sacks along with the two picks. Three Furman players finished with double figures in total tackles: Nathan Wade 17, Mitch McGrath 13, and Greg Worthy 12.
The Citadel struck in the game’s opening moments to take a quick lead at Georgia Southern, but the Eagles prevailed in the end. Both teams scored two touchdowns. The Eagles made both extra points, however. The Bulldogs had both of theirs blocked. They also missed a 37-yard field goal late in the game.
The Bulldogs outrushed Georgia Southern 239 to 191, but Eagles quarterback Jaybo Shaw threw for 129 yards. Georgia Southern’s Deion Stanley made 11 solo tackles.
Wofford rushed to a 35-10 halftime lead and coasted past Western Carolina 42-24. Donovan Johnson for 136 yards and two touchdowns while Eric Breitenstein added 112 and a score. Quarterback Mitch Allen chipped in 90 yards rushing and a touchdown.
WCU quarterback Zac Brindise completed 23 of 30 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Jacoby Mitchell grabbed seven of those completions for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense was a key element in Chattanooga’s 24-9 victory over Samford. The Mocs defense added another touchdown to their list for the season when Wes Dothard returned a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown to put them ahead 17-6 in the third quarter. Ryan Consiglio made 12 solo tackles. The Bulldogs managed just three Cameron Yaw field goals.
Liberty got pressed to the end for the second week in a row, holding on to beat VMI 37-31. Keydets quarterback Eric Kordenbrock completed 31 of 47 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns. T. J. Talley ran for 73 yards and caught nine passes for 64 yards.
Flames quarterback Mike Brown threw for 286 yards and a pair of scores. Chris Summers caught eight of Brown’s passes for 84 yards while Pat Kelly made six catches for 105 yards.
Coastal Carolina broke its three-game losing streak with a 15-8 win over Presbyterian College. Jamie Childers hit DeMario Bennett for a 35-yard scoring pass with 4:48 to win the game. Neither team produced a lot of offense. PC had 246 yards, Coastal 196. Chanticleers defensive back Josh Norman made five tackles, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass, and blocked a kick. The Blue Hose’s eight points came on two Aaron Mayes field goals and a safety.
Stony Brook and Charleston Southern combined for lots of points and yards, but a 21-point second quarter enabled the Seawolves to win easily 50-31. Stony Brook’s dynamic running duo struck again. Miguel Maysonet ran 17 times for 182 yards and four touchdowns. Brock Jackolski added 174 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. They had three touchdown runs of 43 yards or more. Charleston Southern quarterback Rich Mounce threw for 342 yards and three scores. Nathan Perera caught 10 of his passes for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
And last Thursday, Gardner-Webb held Virginia State to minus-25 yards in a 34-13 victory. Meanwhile, Kenny Little of the Bulldogs rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Ricky Rhodes added 16 rushes for 114 yards. Preston Pemasa made three tackles for losses totaling 29 yards.