SoCon Week 4 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond


Week 4 Southern Conference Breakdowns

If there was any doubt about who the team to beat was in the SoCon, there can’t be now. With its 30-20 victory over perennial power Georgia Southern, Wofford (2-1) establishes itself as the clear league favorite with Georgia Southern and Appalachian State ineligible for the league title because of their pending moves to FBS status. With a brutal three-game stretch to open the season (Baylor, The Citadel and Georgia Southern), it’s possible Wofford could be looking at an 0-3 start. Instead, the Terriers are 2-1 and veteran coach Mike Ayers has to be pleased on where his club stands.


Southeast Louisiana at #22 Samford, Saturday, 3 p.m.

The Bulldogs (2-1) survived a pesky Florida A&M squad, 27-20, on Saturday. Samford built a 17-0 first-quarter advantage only to see Florida A&M cut the margin to 24-20 midway in the third quarter on an interception returned for a touchdown. This will be Samford’s home opener as defensive coordinator Bill D’Attavio continues to fill in for head coach Pat Sullivan, who is recovering from back surgery. This should be an interesting contest as the Lions (1-2) are worthy of leaving Birmingham with a victory. They gave No. 3 South Dakota State all it could handle before losing 34-26 last Saturday. SE Louisiana led 19-7 in the third quarter before South Dakota State scored 27 unanswered points. Its other loss came against FBS foe TCU, 38-17. This is the third meeting between the two schools but the first since 1965.

Projected Score: Samford 27, Southeast Louisiana 24


Mars Hill at Western Carolina, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

The Catamounts (0-3) look to pick up their first victory of the season as Division II Mars Hill visits Cullowhee, N.C. Although it fell to The Citadel, 28-21, on Saturday, Western Carolina must be encouraged by its performance against the Bulldogs. The Citadel led 21-0 at halftime before the Catamounts scored on drives of 71, 75 and 76 yards, respectively. Sophomore running back Darius Ramsey, who had missed the first two games because of a foot injury, rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns for the Catamounts. Another sophomore, Troy Mitchell, added 106 yards on 17 carries. Mars Hill (1-1) lost to West Georgia, 31-21, in its opener before beating Shorter, 41-30, in its second game. The Catamounts won last year, 42-14.

Projected Score: Western Carolina, 42, Mars Hill 20


The Citadel at #15 Old Dominion, Saturday, 6 p.m.

The Citadel (1-2) hopes to reach .500 this weekend with a victory, but the Bulldogs face a stiff challenge in Old Dominion (1-2). The Monarchs, who torched Howard, 76-19, on Saturday, are making the transition from FCS status to FBS and are not eligible for postseason play this season. They lost to East Carolina and Maryland before crushing Howard in a game ODU coach Bobby Wilder said “might be the best game this team has ever played.” Howard won’t argue. Led by quarterback Taylor Heinecke, ODU scored on its first seven possessions and registered 514 yards total offense in the first half. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 advantage over Western Carolina, before seeing the Catamounts rally in the final half. Senior quarterback Ben Dupree gained 126 yards rushing to lead Citadel’s 343-yard rushing attack. Five other players gained at least 30 yards rushing for the Bulldogs. This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Projected Score: Old Dominion 31, The Citadel 14


Appalachian State at Elon, Saturday, 6 p.m.

The Mountaineers (0-2) should come into this one in an angry mood. They’re coming off a bye week after being upset in Boone, N.C., by North Carolina A&T. Questions surround the Mountaineers, who are making the transition to FBS status and are not eligible for the Southern Conference title or FCS playoffs this season. The biggest question centers on the quarterback spot where last year’s starter, Jamal Londry-Jackson has been inconsistent at best. Coming off knee surgery, he has thrown for just 209 yards this season for an average completion of only 8.7 yards per play. Because of that, sophomore Kameron Bryant has seen playing time as well. Bryant is 29-of-43 so far for 307 yards. App State could see the return of standout wide receiver Sean Price, who missed the first two games because of a rules violation. Meanwhile, Elon (1-2) is coming off a loss as well to North Carolina A&T, 23-10. Last year, App State beat Elon, 35-23.

Projected Score: Appalachian State 27, Elon 13


Gardner-Webb at #6 Wofford, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Wofford (2-1) got a huge victory over Georgia Southern last weekend, but the Terriers can’t overlook Gardner-Webb (2-1), who stunned the CAA’s Richmond, 12-10, last week. Donovan Johnson led the Terriers’ running attack with 150 yards on 35 carries (second most in school history) and Jeff Ashley added more than 100 yards receiving, but Wofford’s defense might have been the key as it shut down Georgia Southern’s option attack. Gardner-Webb also beat Furman earlier this year. Its loss is against FBS Marshall.

Projected Score: Wofford 28, Gardner-Webb 10


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns