In honor of this week’s high-stakes matchup between Samford and Wofford, we take a break from our usual snark to preview this weekend’s actual games. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a good dumpster fire, however.
Samford (5-2, 3-0) at Wofford (5-2, 4-0): Whatever it takes for Wofford to keep winning,
seems like the Terriers get it: an 83-yard TD run from their 6-5 quarterback, deep passes at crucial times, four straight running plays inside the 5-yard line from the opposing coach. If they can produce that magic again this week against Samford, the Terriers will be firmly in control of the SoCon title race. That’s a tall order against Samford and its stable of stars: QB Andy Summerlin, WR Kelsey Pope, RB Fabian Truss, LB Justin Shade, S Jacquiski Tartt. Last year, Samford needed two overtimes for a 24-17 victory in which Truss ran for 120 yards. Wofford FB Donovan Johnson is coming back after missing a week with a concussion, and might not be at full strength. Sagarin likes Samford in a close one, and so do I.
The Citadel (2-5, 2-3) at Chattanooga (5-2, 3-1): Chattanooga held a “Swag Swap” this week, in which students and fans are invited to exchange their gear from other colleges
(Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia were mentioned by name) for Mocs swag. Another way to boost bookstore sales is to keep winning, and the Mocs appear poised to take the championship-contender step we’ve been awaiting. The emergence of a running game (Keon Williams) and the best defense in the league (15.5 ppg in league games) has Chattanooga ready to challenge Samford and Wofford, both of whom they play in November.
Oh yeah, The Citadel. The Bulldogs had a week off to ponder things, but it doesn’t sound like any major changes are in the offing. QBs Ben Dupree and Aaron Miller still will take turns behind center, coach Kevin Higgins said. The last time The Citadel went to Chattanooga, the Bulldogs fell behind by 27-0 only to pull out a 28-27 win. However, there’s a reason they call those “miracles.”
Georgia Southern (4-2, 2-2) at App State (1-6, 1-3): There have been some cursory efforts this week to stir up some old-fashioned hate for this rivalry game, but it’s hard to get too worked up when A) there are no championship or playoff implications and B) App State is a dumpster fire. Since they started playing football at home, the Mountaineers have never lost five straight games at home. Looks like another piece of history for App State this season, which can be summed up in these two videos.
First, a beautifully executed halfback pass for a TD in last year’s win over Furman (at the 1:27 mark):
Then, the same play last week:
Elon (2-6, 1-3) at Western Carolina (1-7, 0-4): After watching The Citadel narrowly defeat
Western Carolina in September, I predicted that the Catamounts would win a SoCon game this season. They almost proved me right last week, leaving Wofford throughout before losing by 21-17. With games against Elon, Georgia Southern and Furman left, WCU’s best chance might be the Nov. 23 finale at App State (oh, snap!). Elon, meanwhile, is looking forward to its last trip to Cullowhee before leaving for the Colonial Athletic Association.
Furman (3-4, 2-2) at LSU (6-2): Night game. Baton Rouge. Death Valley. Mike the Tiger. LSU coming off a loss. Meanwhile, Furman has run out of Robinson brothers for the time being, as both QB/RB Terry Robinson (knee) and WR Gary Robinson (ankle) have been lost for the season. Good night, good luck and good paycheck ($500,000).