Forget the free throw! Our men’s basketball team is riding a 4-game win streak and tonight they’re looking to make it 5! This is a different team now, just check out this dunk by Jay Canty over Elon the other night.
Forget the free throw! Our men’s basketball team is riding a 4-game win streak and tonight they’re looking to make it 5! This is a different team now, just check out this dunk by Jay Canty over Elon the other night.
According to conference RPI, the SoCon is the 2nd best FCS conference in the country, behind only the CAA. In the FBS, don’t look now but C-USA is the worst conference (even below the WAC) and the Sun Belt is second only to the MWC among so-called non-AQ conferences.
So back to the SoCon, with 5 weeks left let’s take a look at what’s left on each team’s schedule and what their playoff chances are:
5-1 (4-1 SoCon)
Remaining Schedule: @ Furman, @ Chattanooga, Appalachian State, Howard, @ Georgia
Playoff Chances: Basically a lock. They’ll lose to Georgia and maybe us. But they’ll definitely beat Howard and they’ll need 1 W between Furman & Chattanooga.
5-1 (3-1 SoCon)
Remaining Schedule: @ Appalachian State, The Citadel, @ Samford, Chattanooga, @ South Carolina
Playoff Chances: Not as much of a lock as you’d think. Their win over Lincoln (PA) doesn’t count because it was D-II. They’ll lose to South Carolina for sure. That means they need to go at least 3-1 on a tough remaining FCS schedule. I’ll give them a 60% chance of doing it.
5-2 (3-1 SoCon)
Remaining Schedule: Wofford, @ Western Carolina, @ Georgia Southern, Furman, Bye Week
Playoff Chances: Very likely. We only have 4 games left, but we only need to win 2 of them to make the playoffs. …READ MORE
Our game against ECU seems like a lifetime ago but they’ve been doing alright for themselves since then. This is an early week game that is actually going on as I type this. Because of that, I won’t go into any details but I’ll go ahead and make a quick prediction.
Prediction: ECU 27 / UCF 33
Furman had a rough start this year, losing their first 3 games. The first by 3 points, the second in triple overtime. Last week they surprised me a little by dominating WCU. Wofford actually beat WCU with almost the same exact final score that Furman did (49-20 vs 45-24).
I can’t stress enough that Wofford has not played anyone yet. They’ve dominated against weak competition though. An upset isn’t out of the realm of possibility if the stars line up, but I sure wouldn’t expect it.
Prediction: Furman 27 / Wofford 46
This gets my vote for most boring game of the week. The Catamounts sure picked a bad weekend to hold homecoming (but I guess any week is a bad week when you’re them). A win by WCU would be a monumental upset, and would be something they could really build off of. Personally, I would love to see them do it. But without a D-I win in the past 2 seasons, they’re just not ready yet.
Prediction: Georgia Southern 38 / WCU 10
After the best 3-game start in perhaps their history, The Citadel has dropped the last 2 to NC State and Chattanooga. They’re still very much in the conference championship race but they’ll need to get past Samford and Wofford to do it.
Speaking of which, Samford still has a shot at a championship but they have the toughest road ahead with games against App State, Chattanooga, Wofford, & Elon left. I just can’t see them doing it. I doubt they even make it past this weekend, but I’ll be rooting for them. This is obviously the best SoCon game of the week.
Prediction: The Citadel 28 / Samford 21
After slipping out of the top-25 this past week, Montana could sure use a win. This week they get the Big Sky’s version of Western Carolina. They don’t have a D-I win and they’re getting blown out so badly it’s hard to watch. Montana can really only afford to lose 1 more game if they want to make the playoffs. I don’t think it’ll be this weekend.
Prediction: Montana 34 / N Colorado 14
The Mocs get an extra week to prepare for Furman (and to celebrate their upset over The Citadel).
BOOK SPOILER ALERT: Elon Sucks
Yeah I know the homecoming theme is the Big Apple…but that’s just way too nerdy so I went with Harry Potter instead. Hey if we keep playing like we did last week we might just end up being the Lord of the Rings!…Ok that was bad. I apologize.
So here we are. We’ve beaten Montana, Chattanooga, and Coastal Carolina. But we’ve lost to ECU and The Citadel.
Elon has basically won all of the games they was supposed to win and lost all of the games they were supposed to lose. They beat NC Central & D-II West Virginia State. They lost to UNC, Georgia Southern, and Wofford. They are essentially out of the conference championship race at this point. But they still have a shot at the playoffs if they win out (doubt it).
Elon’s head coach has suffered from some health problems this season. But he was back to coaching last week against Wofford and is expected to coach this week as well.
Elon has been known for their passing attack. They currently rank 30th in the country in passing offense (72nd in total offense). They’ve been trying to run the ball more this year though, with marginal success. I definitely expect us to be able to stop the run. If we are able to stop the pass, we should be in good shape. But in the last 2 weeks against top SoCon competition they put up 23 & 24 points and I expect them to put up similar to slightly lower numbers against us.
Here is their weakness. They allowed UNC to put up 62 points. Last week they let Wofford put up 49. Hell, even D-II West Virginia State was able to rack up 2 touchdowns on them. To be specific, they can’t stop the run. These stats could have been skewed from playing 2 triple option running offenses so far, but they’re ranked 108th in the country in rushing defense. It will be interesting to see how they handle our spread option.
Elon is only averaging 30yds a punt, but I don’t expect it to be field position battle anyway. Their defense won’t be able to stop us. Their offense will likely score a time or two, but nothing we can’t handle. We just need to make sure the turnover bug doesn’t pop its head up again and we’ll have ourselves a nice homecoming.
Yes, The Citadel lost to Chattanooga. But do they really deserve to be dropped down to #22 in the coaches poll? They beat #8 AND #14 and that’s a way better resume than most of these teams have.
And how exactly are we ranked so high? Montana isn’t even ranked anymore, so basically we have wins against 3 decent unranked teams. We lost 52-28 against the only ranked team we’ve played.
Sam Houston State at #9? They’re 2-2. Sure 1 loss was against Baylor. The other was against the only ranked team they’ve played, #20 Central Arkansas. So basically they haven’t beaten anyone.
Perhaps the most unbelievable example is that UNI is still ranked #22 in the Sports Network poll, yet they are 1-4 on the season. If you only count D-I wins they are 0-4.
How cool did those alt-uni’s look? It almost makes me think we need to bring something similar into our regular rotation.
I had a rough week on my predictions going 3-4 (31-12 overall). But I don’t mind one bit because those upsets helped us out tremendously in the conference title race.
I predicted a blowout win, but our guys exceeded even my expectations this week. Incredible job!
399 Rushing yards and 285 passing yards. What else can I say? We absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage. We had the ball 13 times and on 9 of those times we scored. We did throw 1 interception but that was our only turnover of the game. If you told me we could play all of our games with only 1 turnover I would take it.
Steven Miller averaged 11.9yds a carry. Insane. He had 218 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. His longest was an incredible 75yd touchdown run.
Sean Price showed up again today with 8 receptions for 128yds. The longest being a 69yd touchdown strike. He had 2 touchdowns on the game.
For me, this was the question mark going into the game. Sure our defense did an awesome job against Chattanooga, but Coastal was supposed to have a really high-powered passing offense.
Minus two long drives for touchdowns in the 2nd quarter, I have nothing to complain about. They held Coastal to 114yds on the ground and a 190 in the air. Keep in mind, Coastal put up 356yds in the air against FBS Toledo just last week.
Jeremy Kimbrough had his usual excellent game with 11 tackles. Brandon Grier threw in 6 more. Stephen Burns did a nice job of forcing a fumble.
Although they’re expected, Drew Stewart & co did a nice job of making all their field goals and extra points.
Our worst play of the game was also somehow my favorite. In the 4th quarter, Sam Martin kicked-off 65 yards to the 0yd line. Then Coastal returned the ball 87 yards to the App 13. But it would have been a touchdown if Sam Martin hadn’t made an incredible tackle. I love that the kicker didn’t give up. Coastal would soon after fumble the ball back to us.
I think one of our biggest problems right now is kickoff coverage. I think Sam Martin is doing a good job of kicking the ball so hard that that there is no chance of return. However, I think that’s masking the fact that our kickoff coverage has holes. I’m sure we’ll be working on that this week. Overall, fantastic game!
If I told you Wofford would only have 16 passing yards, you would tell me that they lost in blowout fashion right? Well, on top of that they had 500 rushing yards. That’s pretty amazing.
Meanwhile, Elon had the opposite strategy. They had 361yds in the air but only 49 on the ground. I thought they would do a little better after almost beating Georgia Southern last week. But I guess Wofford is as good as advertised.
I actually thought Western would get their first D-I win of the last two seasons here. What was I thinking? They’ve got a looooong way to go if they were beaten this badly by lowly Furman. WCU actually put up a decent number of yards, but it was like their defense never came out of the locker room.
I had a chance to watch most of this game live after the App game ended. This was really a game of momentum. When it started, these two teams looked really evenly matched but with different styles of play. Then GSU caught a pick 6. The crowd and their defense responded off the energy from that big play.
Like the Wofford/Elon game this was a tale of two styles. GSU only had 34yds in the air, but 360 yards rushing. Samford, who usually has more of a balanced attack, had 291 yds in the air, but only 63 yds rushing. Once again Rushing > Passing when you can only do one well.
THANK YOU CHATTANOOGA!!! They gave us our first conference win of the season last week. This week they put the conference race back in our hands. Now we control our own destiny for at least a share of the SoCon title. But we need The Citadel to lose again to control our own destiny for the autobid.
Just like I was clueless when The Citadel destroyed us, I’m clueless as to how they lost to Chattanooga. The stats were almost identical between the two teams across the board. The big difference I see is that Chattanooga won the turnover battle 2-0. The Citadel also had 2 drives end on downs. Chattanooga’s only major mistake was a missed field goal early in the game.
Our loss to ECU doesn’t look so bad anymore. Each team traded 3 interceptions a piece in this sloppy game. UTEP threw in a fumble for good measure. I guess their excuse is that it was raining and the ball was wet. In any case, I hope ECU keeps on winning.
Wow, what a heartbreaker for Montana. I really thought they were going to win this one. E Washington was up 17-10 at the half. But Montana roared back and was up 26-24 with just 2:19 left in the game. But E Washington recovered their onsides kick and turned that into a touchdown with only 00:53 left on the clock. Montana was able to move the ball to the EWU 29 but just didn’t have enough time left to score.
App State has a key game tomorrow towards ensuring an at-large playoff berth. But in terms of winning our conference, it’s the games that we’re not playing in this week that are more important. Actually, we’re the only SoCon team not playing a conference game tomorrow. Let’s take a look:
Elon gets the home advantage after NEARLY taking down Georgia Southern last week. That recent experience playing against the triple option should help them. However, Wofford has the bigger advantage in that they had 2 full weeks to prepare for this game. They should be healthy, well-rested, and well-prepared. The only thing that gives me pause is that Wofford hasn’t really played anyone yet. Upset alert?! (I hope so!)
Prediction: Wofford 30 / Elon 24
Western Carolina had a 4pt heartbreaking loss against Samford last week. They’re still looking for their first D-I win of the season (they didn’t have a D-I win last season either). If they’re going to get one, this is the week. Furman lost to Samford by a similar score of 3 earlier in the season. Last week they got their first win against a lousy Presbyterian team. This is the “Battle for the Bottom”. At this point, I’m slightly more impressed with WCU and I don’t think Furman’s homefield advantage is that big. It could go either way though.
Prediction: Western Carolina 27 / Furman 24
This is the “Underrated Vs Overrated” game of the week. Samford is the best they have ever been. They’re undefeated and actually ranked in some of the polls (not in the Sports Network poll). Georgia Southern lost to The Citadel. Their best win is a 3pt marquee victory over Elon . If there was a way for both of these teams to lose I would wish for that. But either outcome helps us in a way. I think Georgia Southern wins at home, but they have their hands full.
Prediction: Samford 21 / Georgia Southern 27
The Citadel is, as of the right now, the best team in the SoCon. You can throw out their 52-14 loss to NC State last week. Meanwhile, Chattanooga will have to do everything this season just to prove it hasn’t fallen all the way to the bottom of the conference. They won’t prove that this week (but I wish they would!)
Prediction: Chattanooga 13 / The Citadel 41
The ECU game feels like a distant memory at this point. This week they face UTEP, a team that has struggled against tough teams so far. Their 3 losses were to Wisconsin, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma. They did beat NMSU. It’s hard to tell where they’re at, but they’re going to be excited to play a team they have a good chance of beating. ECU is likely demoralized after losing so badly to UNC last week.
Prediction: UTEP 28 / ECU 14
Montana is 1 or 2 losses away from making our win against them seem mediocre. A win here from them would really help our strength of schedule. E Washington is ranked so high, partly because of their FBS win over Idaho. But then again, Idaho hasn’t even come close to winning a game this season. Last week, E Washington beat a winless Weber State team by 6. I think you can throw out the rankings for this one. In reality, E Washington hasn’t beaten anyone yet. I like Montana here.
Prediction: Montana 34 / E Washington 24
NOTE: All rankings are based on Sports Network’s weekly FCS poll.
Great week for App State and my predictions held up pretty well. I went 7-1 for the week which puts me at 28-8 overall. The lone upset was Northern Arizona topping #14 Montana.
THE DEFENSE was better than good this week. They held Chattanooga to only 87 total rushing yards and 270 overall. LB Brandon Grier in particular had an incredible game posting 7 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, and an interception returned for 70yds.
WR SEAN PRICE had a breakout game. 10 receptions, 130 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Possible future NFL prospect?
SPECIAL TEAMS didn’t have any crazy stats to report, but that’s a good thing. We made all our field goals and extra points. Our kickoffs/punts were great. We didn’t allow any punt blocks or huge returns. I’ll take that any day of the week.
4TH DOWN – There are always fans that want the coach to “go for it” on 4th and short. Except in certain obvious circumstances (like it’s the end of the game), I am absolutely positively not one of those people. It’s always a risk/reward assessment. When we were down 10-0 nothing, we went for it on 4th and short TWICE in one drive The first time we got it, the 2nd time we didn’t and walked away with 0 points. It could have been a 1 possession game, but instead it was still 10-0. If it’s the first half, always always always take the points…and please for the love of God can we get a short yardage run play that’s NOT from the shotgun formation?
TURNOVERS/THE 1ST QUARTER was hard to watch, frankly. We turned the ball over on our first two possessions and got in an early 10-0 deficit. But despite all of that, it was still clear that we were the better team. I’m really proud of Jackson for keeping his head up after the early fumble and interception. He came back, put up 268 yards in the air, and tied it up by halftime. Then it was all App State from there. But we can’t have anymore 1st quarters like that.
Watch out for Furman RB Hank McCloud, he put up 3 touchdowns against the Blue Hose (seriously what the hell is that mascot all about). This game was not as close as the final score indicates. It was 24-0 Furman at the half. This was the first win of the season for Furman and broke a 5 game losing streak going back to last season.
It was a pretty slow starting game for both sides. It was 10-6 UNC at the half but that’s with UNC missing an easy field goal before going into the locker room. The backbreaker was UNC sacking Carden and forcing a fumble in the 3rd quarter to set up an easy UNC touchdown.
This was the only game I picked wrong this week. Montana lost their homecoming game despite a 24-14 lead at the half. NAU put up most of their yards rushing, while Montana did most of the passing. The total offensive yards was pretty even between the two teams. The difference was the 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions by The Griz.
Honestly, I didn’t expect …READ MORE
So far on the season I have gone 21-7 on my predictions. But this week will be a difficult one to predict. There are a lot of games with evenly matched teams. Let’s take a look:
Presbyterian is the smallest D-I football playing school in the NCAA (Enrollment: 1,200). I’m not sure what their mascot the “Blue Hose” is all about. With their schedule so far it’s hard to know what their football team is all about either.
First they annihilated D-II Brevard 45-10, then they got annihilated by 2 FBS teams. First Georgia Tech beat them 59-3 and then Vanderbilt got them 58-0. None of that was unexpected. Meanwhile, Furman is winless but lost to Coastal Carolina and Samford by a combined 5 points. Furman may struggle early but I think they pull away comfortably by the end.
Viewing Options: TV – CSS / ESPN3
Prediction: Furman 38 / Presbyterian 21
ECU got a decent win last week at Southern Miss but were manhandled the week before at South Carolina. UNC’s only win came against Elon in their opener. Since then they lost to a lousy Wake Forest team 28-27 and Louisville 39-34.
It’s games like this where you can throw records out the window. Both teams want this win. I think ECU might be a better team, but UNC needs it more and has the homefield advantage.
Viewing Options: TV – ESPNU
Prediction: ECU 21 / UNC 28
Northern Arizona pulled off an FBS upset over UNLV 17-14, only 1 game after getting demolished by Arizona State 63-6. Their special team play is excellent, they rank 2nd in the country in both punts and punt returns. They prefer to keep it on the ground and don’t put up a lot of yards. But they do rank 31st in the nation in scoring offense. Both teams struggle with turnovers and that will likely decide the game. I think Northern Arizona is a good team, but Montana matches up well against them with one of the best rushing defenses in the country.
Viewing Options: TV – Root Sports / DirecTV Audience Channel
Prediction: Northern Arizona 17 / Montana 28
I will be rooting for WCU to end Samford’s unbeaten streak here. I think Samford will eventually lose several times, but I doubt it will be this Saturday. WCU’s defense is pretty awful, ranking 114th nationally in total defense. Their offense isn’t bad at all though at 27th in the country. Samford’s big strength is that they don’t make mistakes, they rank 3rd in turnover margin and are solid on both offense and defense.
Prediction: Samford 38 / WCU 23
I would love to see The Citadel beat NC State, preferably worse than they beat us (if that’s possible). But I would root for just about anyone over NCSU. So far, they lost to Tennessee 35-21, then beat UConn 10-7 and South Alabama 31-7. Their defense keeps them in games, but …READ MORE
Once again, I take a look at the “other” games to watch for the week. I gotta be honest, besides our game, this week kinda sucks. But I gotta make my predictions. Right now I’m 15-4 on the season. So here we go:
I always write this article on Thursday, but because this is a Thursday game I’m a little late. Right now, at the half, Chatty is up 21-0. I think it’s pretty safe to say I would have picked them over Div-II Glenville State anyway.
The funniest thing about this game is the conference that Glenville State is joining. It literally is the “Knockoff” conference. First off it’s called the “Mountain East” and features notable schools Notre Dame College, West Liberty, University of Charleston, Virginia Wise, and West Virginia State. Subtract one word from any of those and I’ve heard of them!
I can’t believe I almost forgot about Montana! They’re back at home, but they’re playing Liberty, one of the best 0-2 teams in the country. The Flames almost took down Wake Forest in their first game, but ultimately fell 20-17. Then they had a tough 31-24 loss against Norfolk State. They will be really itching for a win when they get to Missoula this week. I think Montana is really good though and I doubt they lose at home.
Prediction: Liberty 17 / Montana 27
Last week West Virginia State lost to NC A&T 77-0. I think that might be all we need to know for this one.
Prediction: WVSU 0 / Elon 77
So far Gardner-Webb is 0-2, losing to Wofford 34-7 and Richmond 41-8. Samford isn’t quite as good as those schools, but they’re good enough. Samford should improve to 3-0 and take a lot of confidence into their game with Western Carolina next week.
Prediction: Samford 35 / Gardner-Webb 3
This might be the toss-up game of the week, but I think I have to give the edge to Clemson at home. But seriously, you gotta feel bad for the Paladins. They start off with a 3 pt loss to Samford and a 2pt triple overtime loss to Coastal Carolina. They could very well be 2-0, but after this week they will be 0-2-1.
Prediction: Furman 10 / Clemson 55
Southern Miss lost to Nebraska 49-20 in week 1, then they had a bye week to help prepare for this game. ECU is coming off of a tough loss of their own, a 48-10 whooping at South Carolina. This is a difficult game to predict, but I think with the extra week off to prepare and the 12th man on their side, Southern Miss gets the W.
Prediction: ECU 23 / Southern Miss 28
Here is my pick for upset of the week, if you want to call it that. Coastal is 2-0 and playing at home against a ranked team. They are going to show up ready to play. Eastern Kentucky on the other hand is 1-1 and on the road. What Coastal Carolina needs to watch out for is Eastern Kentucky’s run defense. They held Morehead State to just 9 yards on the ground last week. Yup that’s right, 9. Luckily Coastal puts up most of its yards in the air anyway. I think they win another squeaker.
Prediction: Eastern Kentucky 20 / Coastal Carolina 24
In the first 2 weeks, Wofford outscored its two opponents by a total of 106-7. Granted, 82 of those were against D-II Lincoln but it’s still domination. It’s hard to believe but WCU might be the most difficult opponent they’ve faced all season. Will we see another Citadel over Georgia Southern type upset? Hell if that was crazy, this would be insanity. I don’t see it happening, but boy do I hope I’m wrong.
Prediction: Western Carolina 17 / Wofford 37
The Stink has an extra week to think about their loss to The Citadel and get ready for Elon at home.