SoCon Week 5 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 5 Southern Conference Breakdowns

One week after recording a huge win against Georgia Southern, Wofford (2-2) became an upset victim when the Big South’s Gardner-Webb stunned the Terriers, 3-0, in a driving rainstorm Saturday night. The loss dropped Wofford to No. 14 in the College Sports Madness rankings as the Terriers will get a week off to dry out and recover. With Wofford idle, this weekend’s big game will be in Statesboro, Ga., where No. 23 Chattanooga (2-1) takes on No. 11 Georgia Southern (2-1). A victory would be huge for the Mocs in league play and as far as the FCS playoffs go.


#10 Coastal Carolina at Elon, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

The Phoenix (1-3, 0-1) nearly pulled off a big surprise on Saturday, but their comeback effort against visiting Appalachian State (1-2) came up just short. Elon trailed 24-0, but made it a three-point contest with 3:43 remaining. However, App State’s Marcus Cox, who finished with 159 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns, took over as he picked up 75 yards on the Mountaineers’ final drive to set up the decisive score in the 31-21 triumph. If Elon hopes to slow No. 10 Coastal Carolina (4-0), it will have to contend with the Chanticleers’ potent offense. Coastal defeated Hampton, 50-17, on Saturday as it led 44-0 at halftime with 385 first-half yards. Coastal Carolina has scored at least 50 points in four of its last eight games. However, the Chanticleers could be without standout wide receiver Matt Hazel, who injured a shoulder last week.

Projected Score: Coastal Carolina 38, Elon 20


Western Carolina at Samford, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

The Catamounts (1-3) ended a 13-game losing streak on Saturday as they rallied to beat Division II Mars Hill, 30-23. It was the 15th straight win in the series for Western Carolina, but the team had to overcome an 11-point deficit to do it. Mars Hill led 21-10 with 10:57 remaining, but junior wide receiver Kamorris Benson hauled in three fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the rally. WCU’s Troy Mitchell threw for a career-high 350 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Samford (2-2) fell to Southeast Louisiana, 34-31, as the Bulldogs’ late rally fell short. Samford trailed 34-14 early in the fourth quarter. Samford quarterback Andy Summerlin passed for a school-record 478 yards in head coach Pat Sullivan’s first game back. Sullivan, who coached from the press box, is recovering from back surgery. Last year, Samford scored 15 fourth-quarter points to overcome an 11-point deficit to beat WCU, 25-21.

Projected Score: Samford 31, Western Carolina 17


Charleston Southern at Appalachian State, Saturday, 3:30

Normally, this game might get a yawn, but with Charleston Southern off to a 4-0 start (only the second time in school history), it deserves attention – especially with an up-and-down App State (1-2) squad. Still, the Mountaineers figure to be a clear favorite as they picked up win No. 1 for Scott Satterfield Saturday against Elon, 31-21. App State picked up 599 yards offense in its victory, including 404 yards through the air. Senior Jamal Londry-Jackson and sophomore Kameron Bryant saw action at quarterback. The offense was aided by the return of standout wide receiver Sean Price, who had been suspended for rules violations. Price had eight receptions for 99 yards. While three of Charleston Southern’s victories have come against inferior opponents, it did beat The Citadel, 32-29, in the season opener.

Projected Score: Appalachian State 31, Charleston Southern 17


Furman at The Citadel, Saturday, 6 p.m.

The Paladins (1-2, 0-0) open their league schedule in Charleston, S.C., against an old rival: The Citadel (1-3, 1-1). This series dates to 1913 with Furman holding a 57-32-3 advantage. The Citadel won last year’s meeting 42-20. While neither school’s early season record is impressive, both have played difficult schedules. Furman has lost to Gardner-Webb and Coastal Carolina while The Citadel has suffered defeats against Charleston Southern, Wofford and Old Dominion. The loss to ODU was particularly heartbreaking as the Bulldogs dropped a wild 59-58 decision when ODU succeeded on a two-point conversion with 1:39 remaining. In that loss, Ben Dupreee set a school record with five rushing touchdowns and Darien Robinson added 227 yards rushing – the fourth-most by an individual in school history. Expect to see Citadel’s triple-option have even more success.

Projected Score: The Citadel 34, Furman 24


#23 Chattanooga at #11 Georgia Southern, Saturday, 6 p.m.

If Saturday’s contest resembles anything like last year’s game, fans are in for a treat. In 2012, Georgia Southern prevailed in triple overtime, 39-31. Georgia Southern (2-1) led 21-7 but trailed heading into the fourth quarter as the Mocs (2-1) reeled off 17 straight points. While this is a big game for the Eagles, they really have nothing to play for this year because they’re ineligible for the Southern Conference title and the FCS playoffs because of their pending move to the Sun Belt Conference. And perhaps that was evident a few weeks ago when Wofford upended Georgia Southern. Meanwhile, Chattanooga needs this game to establish itself in the conference and nationally. A loss here would make it tough to get a playoff spot for the Mocs who end the season with this slate: The Citadel, at Appalachian State, Wofford, at Samford and at Alabama. Yes, that Alabama. Overall, Georgia Southern holds a 22-4 series edge, but Chattanooga has won three of the last seven. Here’s a hunch it gets the job done in Statesboro.

Projected Score: Chattanooga 27, Georgia Southern 24


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