By Myron HoseaCSN So South Columnist
College Sporting News
Let’s look at the eight games on the docket.
Georgia Southern (5-1, 4-1) at Furman (2-5, 1-3), 1:30 p.m.
Georgia Southern leads series 15-8.
Georgia Southern: The Eagles stayed grounded to knock off Wofford 17-9 and open up the league race to more teams. Georgia Southern did not record a pass attempt versus the Terriers but made enough rushing plays and defensive stops to get a critical win. Running back Dominique Swope continued to be a terror to the Terriers with 137 yards and both touchdowns rushing.
Furman: The Paladins disappointing season got a little more difficult with a 31-10 loss at home to Chattanooga. It was clearly the team’s worst performance of the season among games on the FCS level. Furman left its running game behind in the first half – running back Jerodis Williams got only eight carries, and the defense struggled to contain Chattanooga's new-look offense. The Paladins must win out to avoid a losing season.
Western Carolina (1-6, 0-5) at Elon (2-4, 0-3), 3 p.m.
Elon leads series 23-16-2.
Western Carolina: For a while, it looked like the Catamounts would pull an upset over The Citadel, but the Bulldogs took control and handed Western Carolina another loss. Catamount linebacker Rock Wilson made 24 tackles, a career high.
Elon: The Phoenix had a week off to prepare for this game. Something has to give as one of these teams will pick up its first SoCon win of 2012.
Wofford (5-1, 3-1) at Appalachian State (5-2, 3-1), 3:30 p.m.
Appalachian State leads series 17-11.
Wofford: The Rock has been a house of horrors for Wofford the last few times the Terriers have been to the mountain. They’ll be challenged again as players have been dropping with injuries at a regular pace. Among them is all-american running back Eric Breitenstein who hopes an ankle injury will not prevent him from playing one last game at home (he is from the Boone area). If he plays, Breitenstein needs only five yards to reach 1,000 for the season. Starting well in all phases of the game will be key for Wofford.
Appalachian State: Scoring with 22 seconds remaining in the game for a conference win at Samford last week (28-25), keeps the Mountaineers in the race. Appalachian State will see if its passing attack (quarterback Jamal Jackson has thrown for 1,869 yards and 14 touchdowns) can send the Terriers home disappointed once more.
Samford (5-2, 3-2) at Chattanooga (3-3, 2-1), 6 p.m.
Chattanooga leads series 25-9-3.
Samford: The Bulldogs were on the brink of a significant win that would have kept them in the thick of the SoCon race, but the late-game loss dropped them back just a tad. That makes this game at Chattanooga a must-win. Samford has found some balance on offense behind quarterback Andy Summerlin (seven touchdowns passing) and running back Fabian Truss (eight touchdowns rushing).
Chattanooga: Speaking of balance, the Mocs figured out a way to balance the contributions of its two quarterbacks, Jacob Huesman and Terrell Robinson. For most of the game, both players were on the field at the same time, both getting snaps behind center or split wide as a receiver. Both threw passes, ran the ball, and caught passes. It kept Furman off balance all afternoon. It will be interesting to see what happens this week when an opponent knows all of this is going on as they prepare.
Big South Conference
Presbyterian College (2-5, 0-2) at Charleston Southern (2-4, 1-1), 1:30 p.m.
Presbyterian College leads series 13-6.
PC: The season has not gone the way the Blue Hose would have liked, particularly in the first two weeks of the conference schedule. Getting thumped at home 56-7 by Liberty couldn’t have done much for the team’s mojo. PC needs improvement in a lot of areas as they rank 5th or worse in most of the key team stats in the Big South.
Charleston Southern: The Bucs beat VMI 32-14 to finally break the streak of losses in league games. They’ll try to turn that into momentum for another home game against their Palmetto State rivals. Charleston Southern ran for 307 yards against the Keydets while holding their opponents to just 187 yards total offense.
Coastal Carolina (2-4, 0-1) at VMI (2-4, 1-1), 1:30 p.m.
Coastal Carolina leads series 7-2.
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers challenged the stalwart Seawolves throughout the game last week but came up short in a 27-21 decision. Coastal Carolina is proving to be a tough out, but the Chanticleers need this one to stay near the top of the league and to have a better shot at a winning season. Quarterback Aramis Hillary leads the Big South in passing yards per game at 257.
VMI: After starting the league slate with a win, the Keydets saw their momentum get stymied in Charleston last Saturday. Back at home for the second of three games versus teams from the South Carolina coast, VMI will seek to get itself back on track. First order of business is generating a lot more offense.
Concord at Liberty (2-4, 2-0), 3:30 p.m.
Liberty leads series 4-0.
The conference schedule has proven to be exactly what the Flames needed to pop out of their early-season difficulties. They’ll step back out of conference for Concord with an opportunity to keep the momentum going before the final stretch of conference games. Liberty turned loose its runners last week as Aldreakis Allen ran for 183 yards on 13 carries and SirChauncey Holloway added 128 on 12 against PC.
Gardner-Webb (1-5, 0-1) at Stony Brook (6-1, 2-0), 4 p.m.
Stony Brooks leads series 3-1.
Gardner-Webb: The Runnin’ Bulldogs difficult season almost got a little worse when highly ranked NAIA team MidAmerica Nazarene came to Boiling Springs and nearly won. Gardner-Webb saved itself with a late score for a 30-28 win, the team’s first of the season. The Bulldogs seek a big win in their trip to New York. They are the last Big South team to win at Stony Brook (a 34-33 decision in 2008).
Stony Brook: The Seawolves overcame Coastal Carolina in a tough road game last week, once again depending on running back Miguel Maysonet. He ran for a career-high 233 yards, 199 of them in the second half. He likely is looking forward to this one. In three previous games against Coastal Carolina, Maysonet has 72 carries for 617 yards and eight touchdowns.