Week 10 SoCon FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 10 Southern Conference Game Breakdowns

When Appalachian State and Georgia Southern meet you can be sure the stakes will be high and this year will be no different.

In 2011, Appalachian State toppled then No. 1 Georgia Southern 24-17 in Boone, N.C. that gave the Eagles their first loss of the season.  The victory helped propel the Mountaineers to at least a share of their seventh straight Southern Conference title. 

But now that streak is in jeopardy unless the No. 15 Mountaineers (6-3, 4-2) can win on Saturday in Statesboro against the league leading and No. 4-ranked Eagles (7-1, 6-1). Georgia Southern, though, had to survive a 39-31 triple overtime thriller against Chattanooga last Saturday to take sole possession of first place.

The last time App State lost at least four games in a season was 2004, also the last time it didn’t at least share part of the Southern Conference title.

“Everybody on the team knows what this week is about,” Mountaineers linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough (College Sports Madness’ National Defensive Player of the Week) told the AppTrail website. “We’re going to get some things corrected this week, and we’re going to come out fighting Saturday in Statesboro.”  Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore agreed.  “I think we’ll have a good week,” he said. “We’re a good football team. Now we’ve got to go prove it.”

Not only do the Mountaineers need to win to have any chance of a league title, they need to win to secure a playoff berth. With the playoffs expanded to 20 teams, making the field at 7-4 is easier than it was a few years ago. For example, five teams with seven wins made the playoffs in 2010 and two teams received at-large bids last year. But an App State team with four losses would have plenty of competition for the few at-large spots (including The Citadel from the Southern Conference, which beat the Mountaineers this season).  An Appalachian State team not in the playoffs would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.


#15 APPALACHIAN STATE at #4 GEORGIA SOUTHERN (2 p.m. Saturday at Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.)

In Appalachian State’s victory last year it held Georgia Southern to 135 yards on 51 carries. The Eagles entered that contest averaging 369 yards on the ground and this year the Mountaineers will need a similar defensive effort. But App State’s defense has been spotty at best as the Mountaineers are just 88th nationally in total defense and No. 94 against the run. Georgia Southern is again one of the top rushing teams in the nation, averaging 387 yards a game on the ground. As for injuries, the status of Georgia Southern fullback Dominique Swope remains uncertain. Averaging more than 104 yards a game, Swope didn’t make the trip to Chattanooga last Saturday because of what’s been called an illness. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers are unsure of the status of starting quarterback Jamal Jackson, who injured a knee and left in the first quarter of the Mountaineers’ 38-27 win at Western Carolina. Reportedly, he is listed as day-to-day. Two years ago in Statesboro, the Eagles ended Appalachian State’s 26-game conference winning streak. That victory began a six-game winning streak for Georgia Southern, which made it to the FCS semifinals that year. Since that victory, the Eagles are 24-5. Make it 25-5.

Projected score: Georgia Southern 27, Appalachian State 20


#8 WOFFORD at SAMFORD (3 p.m. Saturday at Seibert Stadium, Birmingham, Ala.)

If Georgia Southern loses on Saturday and the Terriers (7-1, 5-1) win, Wofford would be in first place by itself. But beating Samford in Birmingham won’t be easy in the Bulldogs’ final home game of the season. Samford (5-3, 3-3) had a bye this past week while Wofford held on for a 24-21 victory over The Citadel. The Terriers led 24-7 at halftime before the Bulldogs scored two unanswered touchdowns. “At the end of the day, was I upset that we didn’t play as well as we could have and should have? Of course,” Wofford coach Mike Ayers told the Spartansburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal. “But I’d much rather go home feeling upset that we didn’t execute very well in a win than if we didn’t get the job done and we had lost.”

Projected score: Wofford 27, Samford 17


ELON at THE CITADEL (2 p.m. Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium, Charleston, S.C.)

The Citadel (4-4, 3-3) might be in the middle of the league standings, but the Bulldogs still could have something to play for. With games against Elon (3-5, 1-4), VMI and Furman (3-6, 2-4) remaining, The Citadel could finish 7-4 overall with a resume that includes wins over Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. The Bulldogs fell short last week against Wofford, but remember this name: James Riley. The true freshman, seeing his first college action, had a game-high 12 tackles. Meanwhile, Elon fell to Furman 31-17. Wideout Aaron Mellette continued his impressive senior campaign as he had 14 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Projected score: The Citadel 28, Elon 14


CHATTANOOGA at WESTERN CAROLINA (3:30 p.m. Saturday at E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, N.C.)

Chattanooga (4-4, 3-2) needs a victory to keep its hopes alive for a possible share of the crown. The Mocs need an App State win over Georgia Southern, and then they need to beat Wofford (No. 10) to have a chance. Chattanooga lost a triple-overtime heartbreaker to Georgia Southern last week as it rallied from a 21-7 deficit. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jacob Huseman was outstanding as he ran for a career-high 170 yards on 26 carries. Meanwhile, Western Carolina (1-8, 0-7) fell behind 31-13 against Appalachian State before cutting the final margin to 38-27.

Projected score: Chattanooga 34, Western Carolina 13


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns