SoCon Week 8 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

 Week 7 Southern Conference Breakdowns

Samford (3-0, 5-2) gets a bye this weekend as it awaits its showdown with Wofford (3-0, 4-2) on Oct. 26 in Spartanburg, S.C. The Terriers, meanwhile, head to Cullowhee, N.C., after surviving a big-time scare from Elon last Saturday. The only other league team with fewer than two losses is Chattanooga (2-1, 4-2), who meets Wofford on Nov. 9 and Samford on Nov. 16. Two of those three should get berths in the FCS playoffs, but one team likely will be left out.


Chattanooga at Elon, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Elon’s late-game strategy inside Wofford’s 5-yard line on Saturday provided plenty of fodder for Monday morning quarterbacks. The Phoenix (1-2, 2-5) lost a 31-27 heartbreaker when Elon tried four straight running plays in the game’s closing minutes. It had a first-and-goal from the 5 with 1:10 remaining and B.J. Bennett carried four straight times, making it only to the 2-yard line as time expired. “I’d do the same thing again because that’s where we want to go,” Elon coach Jason Swepson said in The Burlington (N.C.) Times-News. “That’s who we want to be. We want to be a physical team that runs the football. And we’ve proven that we can run the football. It’s not an unknown. That’s why I feel good about what we did. If it wasn’t proven, there would’ve been a whole lot of different calls down there. We did the right thing. We just didn’t execute. There was no reason for trickery down there. We’re not a hocus-pocus, try-to-fool-them football team. You’ve got to be able to run the football, even when they know it’s coming.” Still, the Phoenix had only rushed for 120 yards on 33 carries before the final four downs – less than four yards a carry. They will get another chance for an upset this weekend when Chattanooga (2-1, 4-2) comes to town. The Mocs earned a decisive 31-9 victory over Furman on Saturday. Chattanooga rushed for 218 yards, the fifth straight game to go over the 200-yard mark. That’s the first time that has happened since 2005. Running back Keon Williams enjoyed his fourth 100-yard game in his last five outings. In addition, Chattanooga limited Furman to 189 yards of offense. The Mocs appear to be getting in form for a November stretch run that includes Wofford, Samford and Alabama.

Projected Score: Chattanooga 31, Elon 17


Appalachian State at Furman, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Can it get any worse at Appalachian State (1-2, 1-5)? The Mountaineers were humbled by Samford, 34-10, in Boone, N.C., on Saturday as the Bulldogs recorded their first victory over App State since joining the league in 2008. The 1-5 start is the worst record for App State since going 1-7 in 1993 – the program’s only losing season in the last 29 years. In addition, it was the Mountaineers’ fourth straight loss at home, something that hasn’t happened since the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Then, on Sunday, head coach Scott Satterfield announced that standout wide receiver Sean Price had been dismissed from the team for repeated violations of team rules. Kameron Bryant started at quarterback for the Mountaineers and was 20-of-33 for 156 yards and a touchdown. However, he was sacked five times. Meanwhile, Furman struggled offensively as well in its loss to Chattanooga. With Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, Georgia and Wofford remaining, Saturday’s game against the Paladins (if the Mountaineers don’t improve) appears to be one of the few chances Appalachian State has for a victory.

Projected Score: Appalachian State 24, Furman 13


#14 Wofford at Western Carolina, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

The Terriers (3-0, 4-2) dodged a bullet against upset-minded Elon on Saturday, and Western Carolina (0-3, 1-6) will hope to spring a surprise here, too. But it’s likely Wofford has too much power for the Catamounts. Jonny Martin had a career day for Wofford on Saturday as he rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns after Donovan Johnson (SoCon’s second-leading rusher with a 116.0 ypg average) suffered a concussion on the Terriers’ second offensive snap. Meanwhile, Western Carolina fell to Auburn, 62-3. The Catamounts, who have played three FBS teams this fall, fell behind 42-3 at halftime. Last year, Wofford rolled to a 49-20 victory over Western Carolina as it rushed for 590 yards. It was the seventh straight victory in the series for the Terriers.

Projected Score: Wofford 38, Western Carolina 13


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