Week 2 SoCon FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 2 Southern Conference Game Breakdowns

The opening week went according to script for many of the Southern Conference teams. Elon figured to have a tough time at Chapel Hill, N.C., and it did. Appalachian State knew it was in for a difficult battle at East Carolina, and it was. And Furman figured to be in a dogfight with Samford. On the other end, everyone expected Western Carolina to record a win against Mars Hill and Wofford had an easy time Gardner-Webb.

Let’s see what’s in store this week:


#17 MONTANA AT #8 APPALACHIAN STATE (6:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C.)

When these two last met (2009 FCS playoffs in Missoula, Mont.), it was one of the most memorable games in college football history – let alone the FCS ranks. On a snow-covered field, Montana held off Appalachian State 24-17 in a FCS semifinal game. The Grizzlies had taken a 24-17 lead with 1:31 remaining before Mountaineers’ quarterback Armanti Edwards drove App State to Montana’s 3-yard line. But with only six seconds left, his final pass fell incomplete and Montana survived.  Saturday’s showdown (ESPN3 and ESPN GamePlan) opens a two-game home-and-home series between perhaps the nation's most recognizable FCS programs. Since 2005, ASU and Montana are the nation's winningest FCS programs with 79 and 76 victories, respectively. Montana has won the two previous meetings (2000 was the other meeting). Last week, App State (0-1) trailed East Carolina by just one point late in the third quarter but several miscues and the sweltering heat of Greenville, N.C., proved too much for the Mountaineers, who lost 35-13. Meanwhile, Montana (1-0) defeated South Dakota 35-24 in Missoula behind freshman quarterback Trent McKinney. He threw for 214 yards, but how he plays in Boone will likely hold the key to the outcome. In 2009, the Grizzlies had the home-field advantage. On Saturday, the Mountaineers have it.

Projected score: Appalachian State 24, Montana 16


COASTAL CAROLINA AT FURMAN (5 p.m. Saturday at Paladin Stadium, Greenville, S.C.)

Furman (0-1) looks to bounce back after losing a tough one to Samford in its opener. But Coastal Carolina (1-0) holds a 2-1 advantage in the series and defeated the Paladins 30-23 last year. The Paladins will attempt to build its game around senior running back Jerodis Williams, who rushed for 98 yards and one touchdown last week. In doing so, he became only the 11th player in school history to top the 2,000-yard rushing plateau. Meanwhile, Chanticleers’ quarterback Aramis Hillary passed for 274 yards and a TD in their victory over North Carolina A&T.

Projected score: Furman 20, Coastal Carolina 17


#3 GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT THE CITADEL (6 p.m. Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium, Charleston, S.C.)

A year ago, The Citadel (1-0) held Georgia Southern (1-0) to 191 rushing yards and 320 yards of total offense, but the Eagles still prevailed 14-12 after blocking a pair of extra points and watching a Ryan Sellers field goal sail wide right in the game’s final seconds. A similar defensive effort will be needed on Saturday if the Bulldogs are to spring the upset. Last week, a 28-point third quarter helped The Citadel pull away from Charleston Southern en route to a 49-14 triumph. The Bulldogs rushed for 479 yards, their most in a game in 18 years. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern was rolling to a 58-0 victory over Jacksonville. Sophomore quarterback Ezayi Youyoute rushed for a career-high 164 yards and three TDs in his first career start.

Projected score: Georgia Southern 27, The Citadel 17


NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL AT ELON (7 p.m. Saturday at Rhodes Stadium, Elon, N.C.)

North Carolina built a 41-0 advantage over the Phoenix (0-1) and coasted to a 62-0 triumph. Elon quarterback Thomas Wilson was 13-of-27 for 99 yards and should find the going a little easier this week against North Carolina Central (1-0). The Eagles broke open a close game at halftime en route to a 54-31 victory over Fayetteville State.

Projected score: Elon 31, North Carolina Central 12


WESTERN CAROLINA AT MARSHALL (7 p.m. Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, W.Va.)

After an easy victory over Division II Mars Hill, the Catamounts (1-0), which snapped a nine-game losing streak, will find the going much tougher in Huntington. Marshall (0-1) fell to national power West Virginia 69-34, but the Herd ran 101 plays offensively – the high in major college football for the opening weekend.

Projected score: Marshall 42, Western Carolina 14


WEST ALABAMA AT SAMFORD (7 p.m. Saturday at Seibert Stadium, Birmingham, Ala.)

Senior placekicker Cameron Yaw kicked a 27-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining Saturday to give Samford (1-0) a 24-21 Southern Conference victory over Furman. It was Samford’s first conference win in an opener since joining the league in 2008. Head coach Pat Sullivan, who has been away from the team for the past week while dealing with a bout of pneumonia, was back with the team on Saturday although he wasn’t on the sidelines. Safety Alvin Hines was the CSM Defensive Player of the Week for the Southern Conference as he had nine tackles and one interception. Meanwhile, West Alabama (1-0), a Division II school, beat Clark 44-0.

Projected score: Samford 34, West Alabama 17


LINCOLN (PA.) AT #14 WOFFORD (7 p.m. Saturday at Synder Gibbs Stadium, Spartansburg, S.C.)

The Terriers (1-0) went with their bread and butter during a rainstorm against Gardner-Webb, and you can expect more of the same this week against Lincoln (0-1), which appears to be woefully overmatched. In its 34-7 victory over Gardner-Webb, Wofford rushed for 402 yards as Eric Breitenstein accounted for 219 rushing yards. For his efforts, he was named CSM’s Offensive Player of the Week for the Southern Conference.

Projected score: Wofford 48, Lincoln 6


CHATTANOOGA AT #12 JACKSONVILLE STATE (7 p.m. Saturday at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium, Jacksonville, Ala.)

Both squads opened with losses last week, but they were facing pretty tough foes. Jacksonville State (0-1) bowed to Arkansas 49-24, but actually led 14-7 in the second quarter before the Razorbacks scored 28 straight points. Meanwhile, Chattanooga (0-1) fell to South Florida 34-13 in Tampa.

Projected score: Jacksonville State 27, Chattanooga 16


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns