Yeah, yeah. It’s still early. Lot of football left to play. After all, it’s only week two of the 2012 season. All true, but week two brings some extremely important games. For some of the teams involved in this weekend’s games, the outcome could have a significant impact on the their season – even if it is just the second game.
By Myron Hosea
CSN So South Columnist
College Sporting News
Topping the list is the meeting in Boone between Appalachian State
(0-1) and Montana (1-0). The Grizzlies and the Mountaineers have been among the premier programs in FCS for several years, and this game should be one of the better contests of the season.
Appalachian State has lost its previous two meetings with Montana. Getting a win over the Grizzlies Saturday would be worth more than just cutting the series to 2-1. Having lost its opener to East Carolina (a blowout after the Mountaineers trimmed the deficit to 14-13 in the third quarter), Appalachian State needs the win for future considerations.
The Southern Conference has spread its league games all over the schedule this fall. Georgia Southern
(1-0) and The Citadel
(1-0) draw the conference duty this week. It’s a matchup of triple option rushing attacks. The Eagles are sort of the old pros at the offense.
The Bulldogs are beginning to show their skill with the ground game. When they didn’t put the ball on the ground against Charleston Southern, the Bulldogs were running roughshod over the Bucs. Georgia Southern pounded out 557 yards in the season-opening win over Jacksonville while The Citadel rushed for 479 yards.
It’s not a conference game, but Furman
’s home opener against Coastal Carolina
is crucial. The Paladins, 24-21 losers to Samford
in a SoCon game last week, cannot afford an 0-2 start to the season. The Chanticleers opened with a victory over North Carolina A&T. They lead the series with Furman 2-1, though both of their wins came in Conway. This should be a well-played, tight game. A 2-0 start would be huge for Coastal Carolina. Furman, I’m sure, will approach this game as significant to the remainder of the season.
(0-1) renews its series with Jacksonville State with a road game. The Mocs would love to start the FCS portion of its schedule with a victory. It will be interesting to see whether the issues around the sudden departure of a quarterback will be a distraction for the team. The Gamecocks represent a challenging opponent in an important game.
Don’t overlook the FCS non-conference game in Lynchburg, VA, either. Liberty
(0-1) played well before falling late to FBS squad Wake Forest. The Spartans will provide a challenge for the Flames this Saturday in yet another game that will be important for teams seeking postseason opportunities.
(0-1) takes the field for its road game at Richmond, they’ll be looking at a familiar face across the field. Former Liberty coach Danny Rocco has taken the helm at Richmond. The Runnin’ Bulldogs gave up points and yards in a loss to Wofford in week one, and will be looking to turn things around against the Spiders. These teams have not met on the gridiron.
Wait, is this the consolation game? Last week Jacksonville lost to Georgia Southern, and Charleston Southern
fell to The Citadel. As noted earlier, Georgia Southern and The Citadel play this week. Just up the road from that game, Jacksonville will visit Charleston Southern. This is a big opportunity for the Buccaneers to start turning around their fortunes.
(0-1) will be trying to flush away the memories of the rout at Chapel Hill to UNC in week one when it hosts North Carolina Central. A victory in this series that the Phoenix lead 8-3 would certainly spin the Elon season in a better direction.
A few teams drop down a division or two for games this weekend. Stony Brook
(1-0) should pile up some numbers while hosting the Pace Setters. Wofford
(1-0) running back Eric Breitenstein surpassed the 200-yard rushing mark again in the opener. He and his fellow runners should have the opportunity to roll in their home opener against Lincoln (Pa.). VMI (0-1) looks to get on a winning track with a home game against Chowan.
Coming off a big season-opening SoCon win over Furman, Samford (1-0, 1-0) will take on West Alabama.
Only a couple of teams are venturing up to FBS venues this weekend. Presbyterian
College (1-0) will visit Georgia Tech. Western Carolina
(1-0) travels to Marshall.