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Chandler Curtis Mercer

2014 SoCon Week 9 Preview

Mercer at Chattanooga, noon

The Bears will make the 3 hour drive up I-75 on Saturday for their first visit to Chattanooga. Mercer has the top scoring offense and total offense in the Southern Conference, but something has to give as they face the top scoring defense and total defense in the Mocs. UTC DE Davis Tull leads the conference in tackles for loss and sacks with an eye on his third straight Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year award. The Bears’ offensive line has done a great job this season, but they haven’t faced a defensive line of this caliber. No one in FCS has been able to hold up against the line so more than ever, the Bears need a great effort from the line.

On the other side, Chattanooga has been more productive offensively of late after a slow start to the season. The Mocs have a solid rushing attack with QB Jacob Huesman and RB Keon Williams, but you can’t sleep on the passing game with So. WR Tommy Hudson and Sr. TE Faysal Shaafat. Mercer has been solid defensively led by LB Tyler Ward and DE Tunde Ayinla, but did allow 400+ yards a week ago to Western Carolina. If the Bears don’t control the line of scrimmage they’ll have a tough time slowing down Chattanooga.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Chattanooga 34, Mercer 17

Samford at Furman, 1:30 pm

The Paladins and Bulldogs were both expected to compete for the conference title in 2014, but unexpected home losses have both scrambling to get a grasp on their season. Furman has struggled offensively but seem to be playing better behind freshman QB PJ Blazejowksi. The Paladins want to spread things out for the running game, but the youth at QB has put a lot of pressure on the offensive line in the running game. The Bulldogs have been very good against the run, but did have trouble with Wofford last week. If the Paladins continue to improve the running game the talent is there, but at 2-5 they have no margin for error.

Samford has a ton of weapons on offense with sophomore RB Denzel Williams rushing for 75 yards per game. QB Michael Eubank has shown glimpses of his talent allowing So. WR Karel Hamilton to take a bigger part of the offense, but the passing game has not been consistent. Furman has been stellar at times on defense, but has allowed quite a few yards and points the last 3 games. Jr. linebacker Cory Magwood leads the conference in tackles and Sr. DE Gary Wilkins has been among the best in the conference. I still beleive these two teams are among the most talented in the league, but the performances have been underwhelming. If they can both play to their potential this could be a phenomenol game.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Furman 27, Samford 24

VMI at Wofford, 1:30 pm

At first glance, this looks like an easy Wofford win, but… Now before Terrier fans chastise me, I’m not picking the upset but there are some compelling aspects of this game. Wofford will score, lets be honest the Keydets haven’t stopped anyone all season and it won’t start this week in Spartanburg.

What intrigues me is VMI’s pass heavy offense against Wofford’s defense. The Terriers are a great rushing defense allowing a conference best 121 yards per game, but they have allowed a conference worst 238 yards per game passing. I don’t expect VMI to break into the win column this week, but don’t be surprised when you see this game close in the first half.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Wofford 31, VMI 20

The Citadel at Western Carolina, 2 pm

TRAP GAME! Western has had one of the great turnarounds this season at 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the SoCon after a 2-10 season in 2013. The Cats haven’t dominated on either side, but have capitalized on most opportunities scoring on 20-23 trips to the red zone with an incredible 17 of those 20 scores being touchdowns. Troy Mitchell has done a great job running the ball and getting the ball to his big play receivers. The Bulldogs have a talented defense, but have really allowed a lot of yards which has caught up with them the last two weeks. As long as the Cats keep grinding and avoid turnovers I expect them to move the ball and continue scoring points.

The concern whenever you play the Bulldogs is preparing for an offense that you don’t see as frequently, but this is the third option offense Western has faced this season so they know what to expect. The Citadel has a great running game behind Sr. QB Aaron Miller and the Cats have been susceptible to the run allowing nearly 200 yards per game on the ground. Even so, the real danger for Coach Speir and his team is looking forward to a potential showdown of conference unbeatens next week with UTC coming to town. If they stay in the moment and focus on the Bulldogs, they should get the win and set up the November 1 showdown.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Western Carolina 34, The Citadel 20
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Derrick Craine UTC

2014 SoCon Week 8 Recap

Rhapsody TrialThe Southern Conference Standings are starting to take shape with Western Carolina and Chattanooga remaining unbeaten atop the standings and Wofford just a game behind. All 3 had impressive road wins on Saturday to maintain their position while everyone else jockies for position from 4-8. There is still a lot of football to be played but the November 1 showdown between Chattanooga and Western Carolina is looming just two weeks away. Both teams have to be careful with trap games (Mercer at UTC/Citadel at WCU) this week though with both at home it seems likely we will get our battle of unbeatens in Cullowhee in two weeks. Read more

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Western Carolina

2014 SoCon Week 8 Preview: Western Carolina at Mercer

Western Carolina makes their first trip to Macon, Georgia on Saturday to take on the Mercer Bears. The Cats enter tied atop the conference at 2-0 while the Bears enter at 1-2 in the SoCon. Mercer has been extremely competitive with a win at VMI and narrow losses to Furman and Samford. Western has knocked off Furman and Wofford to get the conference’s full attention. Neither of these teams are going to sneak up on anyone from here out, this should be a very interesting game. Read more

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Chandler Curtis Mercer

2014 SoCon Week 9 Preview

Mercer at Chattanooga, noon

The Bears will make the 3 hour drive up I-75 on Saturday for their first visit to Chattanooga. Mercer has the top scoring offense and total offense in the Southern Conference, but something has to give as they face the top scoring defense and total defense in the Mocs. UTC DE Davis Tull leads the conference in tackles for loss and sacks with an eye on his third straight Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year award. The Bears’ offensive line has done a great job this season, but they haven’t faced a defensive line of this caliber. No one in FCS has been able to hold up against the line so more than ever, the Bears need a great effort from the line.

On the other side, Chattanooga has been more productive offensively of late after a slow start to the season. The Mocs have a solid rushing attack with QB Jacob Huesman and RB Keon Williams, but you can’t sleep on the passing game with So. WR Tommy Hudson and Sr. TE Faysal Shaafat. Mercer has been solid defensively led by LB Tyler Ward and DE Tunde Ayinla, but did allow 400+ yards a week ago to Western Carolina. If the Bears don’t control the line of scrimmage they’ll have a tough time slowing down Chattanooga.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Chattanooga 34, Mercer 17

Samford at Furman, 1:30 pm

The Paladins and Bulldogs were both expected to compete for the conference title in 2014, but unexpected home losses have both scrambling to get a grasp on their season. Furman has struggled offensively but seem to be playing better behind freshman QB PJ Blazejowksi. The Paladins want to spread things out for the running game, but the youth at QB has put a lot of pressure on the offensive line in the running game. The Bulldogs have been very good against the run, but did have trouble with Wofford last week. If the Paladins continue to improve the running game the talent is there, but at 2-5 they have no margin for error.

Samford has a ton of weapons on offense with sophomore RB Denzel Williams rushing for 75 yards per game. QB Michael Eubank has shown glimpses of his talent allowing So. WR Karel Hamilton to take a bigger part of the offense, but the passing game has not been consistent. Furman has been stellar at times on defense, but has allowed quite a few yards and points the last 3 games. Jr. linebacker Cory Magwood leads the conference in tackles and Sr. DE Gary Wilkins has been among the best in the conference. I still beleive these two teams are among the most talented in the league, but the performances have been underwhelming. If they can both play to their potential this could be a phenomenol game.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Furman 27, Samford 24

VMI at Wofford, 1:30 pm

At first glance, this looks like an easy Wofford win, but… Now before Terrier fans chastise me, I’m not picking the upset but there are some compelling aspects of this game. Wofford will score, lets be honest the Keydets haven’t stopped anyone all season and it won’t start this week in Spartanburg.

What intrigues me is VMI’s pass heavy offense against Wofford’s defense. The Terriers are a great rushing defense allowing a conference best 121 yards per game, but they have allowed a conference worst 238 yards per game passing. I don’t expect VMI to break into the win column this week, but don’t be surprised when you see this game close in the first half.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Wofford 31, VMI 20

The Citadel at Western Carolina, 2 pm

TRAP GAME! Western has had one of the great turnarounds this season at 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the SoCon after a 2-10 season in 2013. The Cats haven’t dominated on either side, but have capitalized on most opportunities scoring on 20-23 trips to the red zone with an incredible 17 of those 20 scores being touchdowns. Troy Mitchell has done a great job running the ball and getting the ball to his big play receivers. The Bulldogs have a talented defense, but have really allowed a lot of yards which has caught up with them the last two weeks. As long as the Cats keep grinding and avoid turnovers I expect them to move the ball and continue scoring points.

The concern whenever you play the Bulldogs is preparing for an offense that you don’t see as frequently, but this is the third option offense Western has faced this season so they know what to expect. The Citadel has a great running game behind Sr. QB Aaron Miller and the Cats have been susceptible to the run allowing nearly 200 yards per game on the ground. Even so, the real danger for Coach Speir and his team is looking forward to a potential showdown of conference unbeatens next week with UTC coming to town. If they stay in the moment and focus on the Bulldogs, they should get the win and set up the November 1 showdown.

SoCon Recruiting Prediction: Western Carolina 34, The Citadel 20
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Derrick Craine UTC

2014 SoCon Week 8 Recap

Rhapsody TrialThe Southern Conference Standings are starting to take shape with Western Carolina and Chattanooga remaining unbeaten atop the standings and Wofford just a game behind. All 3 had impressive road wins on Saturday to maintain their position while everyone else jockies for position from 4-8. There is still a lot of football to be played but the November 1 showdown between Chattanooga and Western Carolina is looming just two weeks away. Both teams have to be careful with trap games (Mercer at UTC/Citadel at WCU) this week though with both at home it seems likely we will get our battle of unbeatens in Cullowhee in two weeks. Read more

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Western Carolina

2014 SoCon Week 8 Preview: Western Carolina at Mercer

Western Carolina makes their first trip to Macon, Georgia on Saturday to take on the Mercer Bears. The Cats enter tied atop the conference at 2-0 while the Bears enter at 1-2 in the SoCon. Mercer has been extremely competitive with a win at VMI and narrow losses to Furman and Samford. Western has knocked off Furman and Wofford to get the conference’s full attention. Neither of these teams are going to sneak up on anyone from here out, this should be a very interesting game. Read more

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Jaquiski Tartt Samford

2014 SoCon Week 8 Preview: Wofford at Samford

Samford hosts Wofford on Saturday afternoon with both trying to stay within a game of conference unbeaten Chattanooga and Western Carolina. For the Terriers the conversation this week has surrounded the injury to QB Evan Jacks with reports varying from out of the season to he could play this week. I have heard nothing conclusive out of Spartanburg but prevailing opinion is that he will not play this week. For Samford, its all about the rushing game on offense and stopping the rush on defense. Circumstances would make the Bulldogs the favorite, but the Terriers have a habit of keeping games close and giving themselves a chance to win. Read more

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Al Cobb VMI

2014 SoCon Week 8 Preview: Gardner Webb at VMI

VMI hosts Gardner Webb Saturday afternoon in the final non-conference game of the season. VMI is 1-6 overall, 0-3 in the SoCon while Gardner Webb has also played a number of SoCon games with a win over Wofford along with losses at Furman and The Citadel. With the Keydets moving back to the SoCon after several years in the Big South these programs have played 11 straight seasons as conference foes with GW has won 9 of the 11 meetings, but did fall in Lexington 27-9 a season ago. Read more

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Jacob Huesman UTC

2014 SoCon Week 8 Preview: Chattanooga at The Citadel

Chattanooga and The Citadel step back into conference play at noon Saturday in Charleston. The Bulldogs won a double overtime thriller 63-56 over Charlotte a week ago while the Mocs fell to SEC foe Tennessee 45-10. Both have played tough non-conference schedules with UTC 3-3 overall but unbeaten in the SoCon while Citadel is 2-4 overall, 0-1 in the conference. This SoCon contest will be televised on the ASN Network with a chance to showcase the conference to a wider audience. Read more

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PJ Blazejowski Furman

2014 SoCon Week 8 Preview: Furman at South Carolina

Furman began the season with high hopes to once again competing for the conference championship. At 1-1 in the SoCon the Paladins are still in the conference mix, but early season offensive struggles have Coach Fowler’s squad 2-4 heading to Williams Brice to take on the Gamecocks. South Carolina has their own problems at 3-3 overall coming off a pair of SEC losses. Neither team feels like they’ve lived up to their potential but the Gamecocks have a lot more to lose here than the Paladins. Furman should just let it fly and see what happens. Read more

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Justus Basinger Wofford

OL Justus Basinger Picks the Terriers

Altamonte Springs, Florida offensive lineman Justus Basinger has chosen the Wofford Terriers. Justus (6-4, 285) was 2nd team all-conference as a junior and Top Performer at the NUC Top Prospect Camp. He’ll likely play guard but could move outside to tackle if the opportunity arises. Basinger was also considering Lehigh, Penn, and Florida Tech choosing Wofford because… Read more

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jacque evangelister furman

CB Jacque Evangelister has Committed to Furman

Dacula, Georgia cornerback Jacque Evangelister has committed to Furman. Evangelister is 5-9 160 with sub 4.5 speed. He is team captain and has been a scholar athlete throughout high school. Jacque also has offers from Army and Air Force along with strong interest from SoCon programs The Citadel, Wofford, Samford, Mercer, and Chattanooga among others. What made Furman the right fit? Read more

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Western Carolina

2014 SoCon Week 7 Recap

It was an exciting week of Southern Conference football with Western Carolina winning the sole conference game over Wofford. Mercer and Citadel each got non-conference wins over Austin Peay and Charlotte respectively while Chattanooga and VMI lost FBS games to Tennessee and Navy. The Cats win over the Terriers moves them into a tie atop the conference standings with Chattanooga with a head-to-head coming in Cullowhee in 3 weeks. Read more

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