In my Week 1 predictions, I went 9-1. But wouldn’t you know it, the one I missed was the one that counted. As you already know, App State fell to ECU 35-13. The game was much closer than the scoreboard indicated, but no excuses, no woulda-shoulda-couldas, we just didn’t quite get the job done.
But on the bright side, from what I saw, we have a spectacular team and we are going places. We have a lot of competition in the SoCon this year, but if we aren’t raising the trophy at the end of the season we won’t have anyone to blame but ourselves. We have the talent.
I think it’s pretty obvious that the main thing we can improve upon is special teams. Besides the obvious one, allowing a 90yard return for a TD, we also allowed another huge punt return that setup an easy TD, and we missed a (tough) Field Goal. However, the actual kickoffs and punts themselves looked fine. I think all of this was just a combination of it being the first game against the season and playing the toughest opponent on our schedule.
But we all watched the App State/ECU game, how did the “Other Games to Watch” go?
Mars Hill – 14 / @ Western Carolina – 42
Western Carolina once again takes down the only team they were able to beat last year. But this is another D-2 win, which still keeps their D-1 losing streak alive. I think the new coaches down there will manage 2 more wins though, which will be a vast improvement. Those Catamount fans better enjoy this one though, just in case.
Elon – 0 / @ North Carolina – 62
While it’s hard to really judge how good an FCS team is against an ACC school like UNC, it doesn’t get any worse than that. I’m going to withhold judgment on Elon, but with that performance, it’s hard to see them as anything but a sub .500 team in this tough conference.
South Dakota- 24 / @ Montana – 35
We play Montana next week so this is an especially important game, which I’m sure all our players will be reviewing this week. Although Montana started off the game 10-0, Montana was actually losing 24-16 as late as the 3rd quarter. Then the Griz scored off of an interception return and it was all Griz after that. RB Dan Moore is going to be a player we need to watch out for, he set a school record 34 first downs and put up 148 yds averaging over 5yds a carry. Additionally freshman QB Trent McKinney threw for 214yds and 2 TDs. Click HERE for video highlights.
Furman- 21 / @ Samford – 24
If you were going to actually watch one of these games, this would be the one to watch. It was a back and forth match. Samford struck first 7-0. Then Furman tied it 7-7. Then Samford scored 14-0. Then Furman scored 14-14. It all finally ended with a last minute field goal by Samford with 37 seconds left in the game. Samford’s senior QB Andy Summerlin put up 216yds and 2TDs passing and rushed for 28yds and a TD. Additionlly, Samford’s defense was able to pick up 3 interceptions against Furman’s new QB. If the ball keeps bounces the right way for them this could be a breakout year for Samford.
Jacksonville- 0 / @ Georgia Southern – 58
Well I knew Georgia Southern would dominate Jacksonville, but this was an even more dominating performance than I expected. They made a statement in this game. There is one VERY interesting stat in this game. Georgia Southern has 0 passing yards in this game. I’ll say it again, they won 58-0 but never had a single passing yard. They put up 557yds ON THE GROUND. Wow. On top of that, the defense didn’t even allow a field goal. Watch out for Georgia Southern. Our game against them is going to be epic.
NC A&T- 13 / @ Coastal Carolina – 29
Coastal Carolina won, but I expected a little more from them. NC A&T is a weak team that we beat 58-6 as recently as last year. A win is a win, but all of a sudden I’m not that worried about them. They were only winning 17-10 at the half. This is one of the few pass-first offenses we will play, putting up 247 yards in the air.
Wofford – 34 / @ Gardner-Webb – 7
Wofford was the visiting team on this list to win. You never expect Wofford to put up huge offensive numbers with their style of play. They like to grind it out a little more. 402 of Wofford’s 484 offensive yards came on the ground. No surprise there. This was a wet messy game that was even delayed for thunderstorms. I think Wofford is a solid #3 team in this conference that could maybe upset everyone if a couple things go their way.
Charleston Southern- 14 / @ The Citadel – 49
For some reason, I never get to excited about playing The Citadel. I can’t really hate them because I know and work with a lot of their graduates and they’re all good people. They actually got off to a VERY slow start in this game against a weak opponent. The game was tied up 14-14 at the half. This is another example of run-oriented SoCon team as 479 of their 527 yds were on the ground.
Chattanooga – 13 / @ South Florida – 34
Chattanooga had the short straw this week against probably the toughest opponent of any team on this list. They kept it pretty respectable though, they were down 21-10 at the half. Chatty’s coach said overall he was disappointed with how they played, but thought their defensive line was phenomenal and “worked” USF’s offensive line. The jury is still out on Chatty, we’ll have to see how they play against some FCS competition.