Week 7 SoCon FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 7 Southern Conference Breakdowns

Halfway through the Southern Conference season, there are three games to mark on the calendar, and they all involve Wofford. The No. 12 Terriers (2-0, 3-2) and No. 22 Samford (2-0, 4-2) are the only unbeatens left in league play. They will meet in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 26. But Wofford still must contend with Chattanooga (Nov. 9) and Appalachian State (Nov. 16). Speaking of the Mountaineers (1-1, 1-4), this season probably won’t end soon enough. They are off to their worst start in 20 years and the remaining schedule is full of landmines. Besides Samford on Saturday, the Mountaineers must contend with Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, Georgia and Wofford, among others.


The Citadel at #20 Georgia Southern, Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Citadel’s (2-2, 2-4) victory over Appalachian State in overtime Saturday was noteworthy because it marked the first back-to-back wins over Appalachian State since winning three straight from 1991-93. Thomas Warren’s 35-yard field goal clinched the 31-28 OT triumph, following an interception. The Bulldogs rushed for 328 yards with Ben DuPree and Darien Robinson each going over the 100-yard mark in the same game for the second time this season. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern (1-2, 3-2) was upset by Samford 44-34. The Eagles led by 11 points at halftime. Jerick McKinnon rushed 33 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Both teams like to run as The Citadel is ranked No. 3 nationally in rushing offense with 283.8 yards per game. Last year, the Bulldogs upended Georgia Southern, 23-21, to end a five-game losing streak to the Eagles, but four of those losses came by a touchdown or less. Expect another close one, but look for the home team to prevail.

Projected Score: Georgia Southern 28, The Citadel 20


Elon at #12 Wofford, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

The Phoenix (1-1, 2-4) built an 18-point halftime lead on Saturday against Furman and held on for a 28-25 victory, their fifth victory in the last six years against Furman. Meanwhile, No. 12 Wofford (2-0, 3-2) had an easy time with Presbyterian, 55-14. The Terriers ran for a season-high 411 yards while the defense held the Blue Hose to only 187 total yards. The Terriers are No. 9 nationally in rushing offense (261.6 ypg) while Elon is 101st in rushing defense. In 2012, Wofford prevailed 49-24 when Eric Breitenstein ran for 321 yards on 27 carries. Breitenstein is gone, but expect the Terriers to try the same approach.

Projected Score: Wofford 34, Elon 17


#22 Samford at Appalachian State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Three of Appalachian State’s (1-1, 1-4) losses are by three points or less, and the natives are restless in Boone, N.C., whether this is a transition year to the Sun Belt Conference or not. The Mountaineers’ poor start is their worst in 20 years. In the loss to The Citadel, the Mountaineers, who entered the contest averaging 306 yards passing, had only 84 yards through three quarters before finishing with 213 yards. Standout wide receiver Sean Price had just three catches for 24 yards. Kameron Bryant started at quarterback for the Mountaineers and was 19-for-23 for 214 yards with a touchdown and interception (but the interception came in OT). Freshman running back Marcus Cox continued to impress as he had 98 yards rushing and 95 yards receiving. It’s no secret what Samford (2-0, 4-2) will try to do – let quarterback Andy Summerlin go to work through the air. In the Bulldogs’ 44-34 victory over Georgia Southern, Summerlin set a school record with 495 passing yards. Senior wide receiver Kelsey Pope had seven receptions for a career-high 201 yards and senior running back Fabian Truss led the rushing attack with 125 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Last year, App State jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead and escaped with a 28-25 victory against Samford. The Bulldogs took a 25-21 lead with 7:37 remaining, but the Mountaineers scored in the final minute for the victory.

Projected Score: Samford 31, Appalachian State 27


Western Carolina at Auburn, Saturday, 2 p.m.

The Catamounts (0-3, 1-5) face a tough task this weekend as they head to Auburn, Ala., to take on the SEC Tigers. Western Carolina is coming off a 42-21 loss to Chattanooga in which the Mocs jumped out to a 21-0 halftime advantage. It was the Catamounts’ 25th consecutive SoCon loss. On a bright note, Western Carolina did manage 191 passing yards which was the most the Mocs have allowed this season. Auburn, meanwhile, is coming off a big 30-22 victory over Ole Miss. Its only loss came against LSU in a 35-21 defeat. Saturday’s contest figures to be over quickly.

Projected Score: Auburn 48, Western Carolina 10


Furman at Chattanooga, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Chattanooga (1-1, 3-2) can still make some noise this season and to do that, the Mocs need to win Saturday night. They are coming off a 42-21 victory over Western Carolina, the first of five consecutive opponents with losing records. Chattanooga closes the season at home against Wofford, on the road at Samford and at top-ranked Alabama. Against Western Carolina, the Mocs picked off four passes and held the Catmounts to 98 yards rushing. Chattanooga rushed for 209 yards and threw for 223 more. For Furman, the Paladins (1-1, 2-3) rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to Elon, 28-25. The Paladins finished the contest with only freshman quarterback Duncan Fletcher in uniform as injuries have riddled the position. Fletcher received the start and threw for 255 yards, good enough to be named the league’s freshman player of the week. He started against Elon because of injuries to starter Reese Hannon and backup Dillon Woodruff.

Projected Score: Chattanooga 31, Furman 13


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