It certainly wasn’t a perfect weekend involving SoCon and Big South football teams, but it was an exciting one. In seven of 11 games, the outcome involved a margin of 10 points or less. A couple of teams used those margins to post initial wins in 2012.
By Myron Hosea
CSN So South Columnist
College Sporting News
Here’s a quick look at highlights of the week, followed by upcoming games.
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Charleston Southern finally ended is string of misery, defeating Shorter College 23-20 on the road. The win stopped the Bucs’ losing streak at 16 games and marked their first win since November 2010. Charleston Southern built a 23-14 lead after three quarters and held Shorter to a pair of fourth-quarter field goals for the win.
Furman notched its first victory of 2012 when it jumped to a 24-0 lead at Presbyterian College. The Blue Hose made a bit of comeback in the second half, but the Paladins won 31-21.
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Stony Brook hosted a school record 10,278 fans at its home game with Colgate Saturday night, one more example of the growth of the Seawolves football program. The Seawolves gave all those fans some thrills, scoring late to defeat Colgate 32-31.
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Four teams gave it a good try at upsets Saturday. Liberty fell to 0-3 when lost at home to Lehigh 28-26. The Flames gave up a second-half lead, but they scored with 59 seconds to pull within two points. A two-point pass attempt failed, however.
Elon tried to do what The Citadel had done a couple of weeks earlier – upset Georgia Southern. The Eagles avoided a second-straight loss when Alex Hanks hit a 32-yard field goal with 3:40 left in the game for a 26-23 win.
Samford scored all 25 of its points in the second half to improve to 2-0 in the SoCon with a 25-21 win at Western Carolina. Fabian Truss scored the game-winner on a one-yard run with 5:00 remaining.
Also, Coastal Carolina played well at Toledo. The Chanticleers pulled to 31-28 with 8:41 left on Aramis Hillary’s third touchdown pass of the game. The Rockets eventually won 38-28.
Appalachian State defeated Chattanooga 34-17, The Citadel lost for the first time this season in a 52-14 decision at North Carolina State, Navy thumped VMI 41-3, and Gardner-Webb lost at Pittsburgh 55-10.
Several individuals produced strong performances last Saturday. Here’s a sampling.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet rushed for 198 yards on 27 carries and scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 3:31 to go in the game.
Coastal Carolina quarterback Aramis Hillary completed 30 of 47 passes for 356 yards and three touchdowns. Teammate Quinn Backus, a linebacker, made nine solo tackles and 13 overall.
Liberty running backs had a good day in the loss – Aldreakis Allen ran 18 times for 125 yards while SirChauncey Holloway added 107 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
VMI’s Logan Staib and Justin Smith made nine and eight solo tackles respectively.
Presbyterian College quarterback Tamyn Garrick was 20-32-1 for 270 yards and a touchdown. Arthur Williams snared seven of those completions for 119 yards, including the touchdown. Cory White made nine solo tackles for the Blue Hose.
In that game at PC, Furman running back Jerodis Williams ran 23 times for 136 yards and a touchdown. His backup, Hank McCloud, carried the ball 12 times for 78 yards and three touchdowns.
Appalachian State quarterback Jamal Jackson completed 19 of 30 throws for 268 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception. He threw 10 of those completions to Sean Price for two of the scores and 130 yards. Brandon Grier made seven tackles including one sack, returned a fumble, and took an interception back 70 yards for a touchdown.
The Big South schedule for Sept. 29 is on the light side. Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, and VMI all have the weekend off.
Coastal Carolina opened the season with a road win over a SoCon team (Furman). They’ll try for a second when they visit Appalachian State. The Mountaineers lead the series 2-0. My guess is Appalachian State will not want another team from the South Carolina coast coming to the Rock and knocking them off.
Stony Brook, I think, has a chance in its game at Army. It’s the first time the Seawolves and Black Knights have played in football. Presbyterian College renews its series with Davidson on the road. The Wildcats have won 15 games against the Blue Hose while PC has won 12 times. There have been two ties.
All of the other SoCon teams play this Saturday, and all of the games are league contests. Watch that game in Statesboro when Georgia Southern hosts Samford. The Bulldogs are a dangerous team, and Georgia Southern narrowly edged Elon last week. Expect another close one. The Eagles lead the series 4-3.
The Citadel suffered its first loss, but that came to a FBS team. The Bulldogs’ game with Chattanooga in Charleston should be an exciting contest. The Citadel has the opportunity to carve out some serious turf at the top of the league with a win in this one. The Mocs, who lead this series 26-17-2, may be in a must-win situation.
During its week off, Wofford likely learned not to take Elon lightly after the Phoenix nearly won at Georgia Southern. Elon will host Wofford Saturday afternoon. The Terriers lead the series 24-11.
Furman fans are hoping the Paladins have set their ship back on course with the victory at PC. Furman has the opportunity to continue to make an in-season turnaround with a home game versus Western Carolina. The Catamounts, meanwhile, are looking for a turnaround of their own, and a win at Furman would help that cause. The Paladins lead the series 27-10-2.