SoCon Week 2 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 2 Southern Conference Breakdowns

Only two teams, Samford and Georgia Southern, started the season 1-0 as the conference looks for a better outcome in Week 2. The key contest this week is Wofford at The Citadel. It’s an early season matchup that could have a bearing on the ultimate league champion.


Western Carolina at Virginia Tech, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

It doesn’t get any easier for the Catamounts as they visit Blacksburg, Virginia for a date with the Hokies. Western Carolina (0-1) lost its opener to Middle Tennessee State, 45-24, its 11th consecutive loss dating to last season. Preseason All-Southern Conference defensive back Ace Clark led WCU with 11 tackles. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech (0-1) lost to No. 1 Alabama, 35-10, in its opener. This is not the same Hokies’ program that was evident a few years ago in Frank Beamer’s tenure. For the first time in his 27 years, Virginia Tech allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown, a punt-return touchdown and an interception return for a score in the same game. But there were bright spots for the Hokies. Running back Trey Edmunds became the first freshman to rush for 100 yards in his debut since 1996. This will be the first meeting between the schools.

Projected Score: Virginia Tech 45, Western Carolina 7


Chattanooga at Georgia State, Saturday, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Mocs (0-1) took a big hit in the season’s first week as they dropped a 31-21 decision to Tennessee-Martin. Chattanooga, according to Coach Russ Huesman “missed 36 tackles” in the loss as UT-Martin rolled up 451 yards offense. In their defense, the Mocs were missing three starters on defense because of injury. Still, the poor defensive effort was surprising, considering Chattanooga was 10th in the nation in defense last year. For Georgia State, the Panthers saw Samford score 24 unanswered second-half points to win 31-21 and spoil Trent Miles’ debut as coach. Quarterback Ronnie Bell did throw for 391 yards for Georgia State.

Projected Score: Chattanooga 24, Georgia State 13


North Carolina A&T at #13 Appalachian State, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Appalachian State (0-1) opened its season with a disappointing 30-6 loss at Montana. Turnovers and a blocked punt were key factors in the contest as the Mountaineers allowed Montana to convert on 9-of-15 third-down chances, too. It was the first time in 102 games that App State didn’t score a touchdown and failed to score at least 10 points – neither had happened since a 24-0 loss at LSU in 2005. Part of the reason might have been the absence of quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson, who missed more than a quarter of action because of injury. The Mountaineers will try to bounce back this week against North Carolina A&T, a member of the MEAC, which is playing its first game of the year.

Projected Score: Appalachian State 31, North Carolina A&T 10


St. Francis (Pa.) at #3 Georgia Southern, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Georgia Southern (1-0) rolled in its season opener against Savannah State. The Eagles posted a 77-9 triumph as they scored touchdowns on seven straight full possessions from the first to the third quarter. It was the second most points in school history as Georgia Southern registered 651 total yards. St. Francis (Pa.), a member of the Northeastern Conference, is playing its first game of the year. Statesboro, Georiga is a difficult place to open the season.

Projected Score: Georgia Southern 55, St. Francis 14


Furman at #18 Coastal Carolina, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Furman opens its season with three straight contests against Big South foes, and the Paladins hope this week goes better than last week. The Paladins (0-1) let a 21-7 advantage disappear against Gardner-Webb as they fell 28-21. Gardner-Webb outgained Furman 434-213 in yardage and ran 40 more plays, but the key perhaps was holding Furman to just 31 yards in the second half. It was the first win over a Southern Conference foe for Gardner-Webb since 2009. Coastal Carolina, meanwhile, scored 15 unanswered points to upend South Carolina State 27-20 in its opener. Last year, Coastal Carolina nipped Furman in a wild one, 47-45.

Projected Score: Coastal Carolina 31, Furman 24


West Virginia Wesleyan at Elon, Saturday, 6 p.m.

It’s safe to say Elon would rather not see Georgia Tech for a while. The Phoenix (0-1) was totally outclassed in a 70-0 route that was as bad as it sounded. It was the largest margin of victory by an ACC school, surpassing Florida State’s 69-0 win over Western Carolina in 2008. Georgia Tech led 35-0 early in the second quarter and the rout was on. Saturday’s matchup against Division II West Virginia Wesleyan should be more to Elon’s liking. West Virginia Wesleyan, which went 3-8 last year, is playing its first game of the season.

Projected Score: Elon 27, West Virginia Wesleyan 10


#14 Wofford at The Citadel, Saturday, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Wofford (0-1) will try to shake off an embarrassing 69-3 loss at FBS Baylor. It was the worst loss for the Terriers since they suffered an 87-0 loss against Davidson in 1921. This is a huge game for both teams, particularly for Wofford because it faces No. 3 Georgia Southern next week. A loss here and the Terriers could be staring at a 0-3 start. The Terriers have won 14 straight against The Citadel, including last year’s 24-21 victory. Wofford led in that contest 24-7 before The Citadel rallied. The Terriers did have 283 yards rushing in that contest, but they managed only 89 rushing yards in the second half. Meanwhile, The Citadel (0-1) opened this season with a disappointing 32-29 loss to Charleston Southern.

Projected Score: Wofford 27, Citadel 20


#24 Samford at Arkansas, Saturday, 7 p.m.

For Samford (1-0), the challenge gets more difficult this week as it heads to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the Razorbacks (1-0) and new coach Bret Bielema. Samford opened with a 31-21 victory over Georgia State, but it needed a 24-7 advantage in the second half to do so. Head coach Pat Sullivan missed the contest as he continues to recover from back surgery. At this time, it is uncertain whether he’ll be back for this game. If he’s not, defensive coordinator Bill D’Ottavio will serve as head coach. Meanwhile, Arkansas started the Bielema era with a 34-14 victory over Louisiana (Lafayette). The Razorbacks are young as they have a new quarterback and new running backs. Still, it’s Arkansas.

Projected Score: Arkansas 45, Samford 20


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns