It's week #4 in the SoCon, and it's time to make this week's SoCon football picks.
Once again, the schedule provides for only one conference game, and three out of conference games. All four games can be viewed on ESPN3
Good Luck to all SoCon teams playing in out of conference games.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Bucknell (2-1, 1-0 Away) at VMI (1-3, 1-0 Home) 1:30 PM ET
The Keydets pick up their second home win of the season over the Bucknell Bison. The Bison won't be a pushover, but VMI pulls it out, 28-21.
Presbyterian College (1-3, 0-2 Away) at Western Carolina (1-2, 1-0 Home) 3:30 PM ET
The Blue Hose make their way to Cullowhee, confident they can pull out another victory over the Cats. However. the Cats have righted the ship, and get a little payback, in the form of a 28-3 victory.
Wofford (2-2, 0-0 Conf) at Mercer (2-1, 0-0 Conf) 6:00 PM ET
This weeks conference game has the Terriers traveling to Macon to meet the new kid on the block, the Mercer Bears. It'll be a competitive game, but the Terriers tough out the win, 28-21.
South Carolina State (2-1, 0-0 Away) at Furman (2-2, 1-1 Home) 7:00 PM ET
The Paladins pick if their third straight win, courtesy the SC State Bulldogs. Furman wins 24-10.
Bonus- St Francis (PA)(1-2, 0-2 Away) at East Tennessee State (0-4, 0-3 Home) 1:00 PM ET
This is not the week the Bucs pick up their first win, as St. Francis rolls over the home team, 35-10.
For the fourth game of the season, the Catamounts return to Cullowhee for what is hopefully a little payback versus Presbyterian for the 19-14 upset victory in Clinton last season. A Catamount victory over the Blue Hose would go a long way to upright the ship after a disappointing loss in Charleston, and a poorly played game against Tennessee. This is also WCU Family Weekend in Cullowhee.
On the strength of last season's upset, the Cats and Blue Hose are now tied at 9-9, in a series that stretches back to 1950. The Blue Hose last defeated the Catamounts in Cullowhee in 1969 when they downed the Cats by a score of28-17, which was the only blemish on new head football coach Bob Waters' first season at the helm in Cullowhee. The Cats finished the '69 season with a 9-1 record. The Cats are 2-0 against PC in games played on Bob Waters Field.
Head Coach:Harold Nichols -
Nichols completed his sixth season at the helm of the Blue Hose in 2014, ending the season as the Big South Conference Co-Coach of the Year. A 1989 alumnus of Presbyterian, Nichols came back to the Blue Hose on January 14, 2009, from Bucknell. Last season, Nichols led PC to a 6-5 record, the program’s first winning season since 2007 and its first-ever in the Big South. He guided the Blue Hose to ranked wins over No. 12 Furman and No. 22 Charleston Southern and the team's two road wins stand as the most since three in 2007.
Last year’s record: 6-5 overall, 3-2 in the Big South Conference Last Season's Game vs. PC (Oct. 4, 2014) : Turnovers Costly in WCU's 19-14 Road Loss at Presbyterian "Presbyterian bookend its scores with two interception returns for touchdowns - the second coming inside the game's final two minutes - as the Blue Hose handed Western Carolina a heart-breaking 19-14 road loss in nonconference action on Saturday afternoon at Bailey Memorial Stadium."
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 7 / 4 - On offense, the Hose lost center Dillon Salmans, tight end Kris Hurley, wide receiver Tobi Antigha, and running back Demarcus Rouse to graduation. Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 9 / 2 - On defense, the Hose lost the following starters: linebacker Isaiah Lynn, and defensive back Cory White Specialist - Returning/Lost: 4 / 2 - The Hose long snapper Cannon Jordan, kick returner Jeremiah McKie, punt returner Jeremiah McKie were lost to graduation Offensive Formation: Spread Defensive Formation: 4-3
Presbyterian's 6-5 record in 2014 was their first winning season since 2007 and the first-ever in the Big South. Against FCS competition, the Blue Hose finished with a 5-2 record and its only two losses came to FCS playoff teams Coastal Carolina and Liberty. Against FCS competition, PC allowed only 15.9 points per game and 310.0 total offense yards per game. The Blue Hose earned seven Big South Conference postseason honors with HC Harold Nichols leading the group as Co-Coach of the Year, Redshirt junior linebacker Donelle Williams and junior defensive back Ed Britt earned 1st team honors while senior wide receiver Tobi Antigha, senior offensive lineman Devinn Ritter and redshirt senior long snapper Cannon Jordan received 2d team accolades.
2015 Presbyterian Statistics (YTD): Rushing Offense: 480 - Avg. per game: 135 Yards per rush: 3.3 TDs rushing: 4 Passing Offense: 322 or 107 yards per game Passing Comp-Att-Int: 25-63-2 Total Offense: 728 yards or 243 yards per game Fumbles-Lost: 3-1 Penalties-Yards: 26 for 210 yards 3d Down Conversions: 8 of 41 or 22% 4th Down Conversions: 1 of 2 or 50% Field Goals - Attempts: 1 of 5 Red-Zone Scores: 6 of 10 (60%) Red-Zone Touchdowns: 5 of 10 (50%) Punts (No. Yards): 24 (858) Avg, per punt: 36 yds
Who has the Blue Hose played prior to Western?
The Blue Hose (1-3) opened their season with a road trip to Miami (Ohio), and dropped a 23-13 game to the Red Hawks. PC's Darrell Bridges led the Blue Hose with 125 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. QB Tamyn Garrick was 14-of-27 passing for 163 yards in the loss. Daryl Wilson led all PC receivers with 86 receiving yards on five receptions. Darrell Williams had a game-high nine tackles for the Blue Hose defense.
PC then traveled to Charlotte, where they dropped a 34-10 game to the 49ers. The Blue Hose struggled to move the football against the Charlotte defense, gaining only 112 yards in the game with 103 coming on the ground. Darrell Bridges rushed 22 times for 62 yards. Backup quarterback Ben Cheek added 12 carries for 28 yards and Jordan Hallums’s only carry of the game went for 19 yards to set up a PC score.
PC then returned to Clinton for a home game against non-scholarship Campbell, picking up a 23-13 win over the Camels. The Blue Hose defense had three takeaways in the contest, with PC getting points off two. PC's Darrell Bridges rushed for a game-high 132 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries to lead the Blue Hose offense. Tamyn Garrick came off-the-bench to go 6-for-13 passing for 127 yards for PC. Marquel Hines totaled 42 receiving yards to lead the team while Bridges added 42 receiving yards.
Then in week #4, the Blue Hose remained at Bailey Stadium, to meet the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs pulled off their first shutout of the season, winning 21-0. PC's Darrell Bridges again led the Mocs on offense with 87 rushing yards on 12 carries for an average of 7.3 yards per carry. Ben Cheek went 5-for-10 passing for a career-high 38 yards in just his third game for PC. Donelle Williams recorded a career-high-tying 18 tackles to lead the PC defensive unit, holding Chattanooga to its second lowest point total of the season.
Week number 4 in SoCon football is now in the books. Now, let's take a look at the games.
The only conference clash of the week resulted in a close win for the Paladins over VMI. While we were hoping for a 3-0 record against the Big South this weekend, the SoCon went 2-1 against the BS, with two shut outs, while Samford fell in the only FBS match up game of the weekend.
VMI at Furman -
A blocked punt by the Paladins, that resulted in touchdown, was the difference in a 24-21 victory by Furman over visiting VMI Keydets. Reese Hannon was 22 of 40 for 197 yards passing and ran for a score to lead Furman.
Al Cobb was 21 of 42 for 235 yards passing with a touchdown for VMI, but he also threw a pair of interceptions. The VMI ground game managed just 44 yards on 27 carries. Purple & Gold's pick was "Paladins turn their home field advantage into a 35-20 win."
Samford at Louisville -
Louisville's Lamar Jackson ran for two touchdowns and threw for one leading the Cardnals to a 45-3 romp over Samford. Anthony Pistelli kicked a 32-yard field goal for Samford, spoiling the shut-out for Louisville. Purple & Gold's pick was "Louisville wins big, 35-7."
Charleston Southern at The Citadel -
CSU stretched out their winning streak to three over the Bulldogs, as CSU outscored the Bulldogs 27-3 in the second half, as they rallied to beat the Bulldogs 33-20. The Bucs racked up 306 yards rushing to only 181 yards for The Citadel, which entered the game leading the FCS with 398 rushing yards per game. CSU totaled 494 yards agsinst the Citadel's defense.
Purple & Gold's pick was "Bulldogs stop the streak with a 24-17 victory."
Gardner-Webb at Wofford -
Wofford's David Marvin kicked field goals and the Wofford defense held on for their first shutout since 2012, as the Terriers picked up a 16-0 win over the visiting Runnin' Bulldogs. The Terrier defense held the Bulldogs to 149 total yards, Purple & Gold's pick was "Terriers roll to a 27-10 victory"
Chattanooga at Presbyterian -
The Mocs' offense racked up 400 total yards, while their defensive unit held the Blue Hose to 117 yards and a shut out, in their 21-0 win over PC. Jacob Huesman was 11 of 16 for 107 yards and ran for 132 yards on 23 carries for the Mocs. Derrick Crane added 82 yards rushing and Richardre Bagley had 74 as Chattanooga ran up 293 yards on the ground. Purple & Gold's pick was "Chattanooga with a 35-10 win."
-Bonus- Emory & Henry at ETSU -
Division III Emory & Henry scored the go-ahead touchdown with 55 seconds remaining in the game to defeat the Bucs by a 27-24 final score. E&H quarterback Kevin Saxton hit wide receiver Tyree Ward from seven yards out in the winning drive. East Tennessee State held a 24-20 lead for most of the fourth quarter, but after the Emory & Henry defense forced a turnover on downs with 2:08 remaining, Saxton engineered a 4 play, 51-yard TD drive for the win Purple & Gold's pick was "Bucs survive with a 27-21 win"
It's week #4 in the SoCon, and it's time to make this week's SoCon football picks.
Once again, the schedule is mainly out of conference games, but the SoCon does have one conference game scheduled.
The Keydets of VMI travels to Traveler's Rest to meed the Paladins. It's a big SoCon vs. the Big South weekend, as the two conferences will clash in a total of three games.
Good Luck to all SoCon teams playing in out of conference games.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
VMI (1-2, 0-0 SoCon) at Furman (1-2, 0-0 SoCon)
The Keydets are looking to pick up their first SoCon win since returning to the conference, but it will not happen this weekend as the Paladins turn their home field advantage into a 35-20 win.
Samford (2-1, 0-0 Away) at Louisville (0-3, 0-2 Home) 6:00 pm ET
The Bulldogs look to rebound after a disappointing loss to UTC, however, the disappointments continue as Samford runs head on to the winless Cardinals. Louisville wins big, 35-7.
Charleston Southern (2-1, 0-1 Away) at The Citadel (2-1, 2-0 Home) 6:00 pm ET
CSU travels across town in this first of three SoCon verses Big South games. The Buccaneers are looking to continue their two game win streak against the Bulldogs, but this years Bulldogs stop the streak with a 24-17 victory. Gardner-Webb (1-2, 0-1 Away) at Wofford (1-2, 1-0 Home) 7:00 pm ET
The Runnin Bulldogs travel to Spartanburg, also looking to continue a two game winning streak in the series, but just like the Buccaneers, the Bulldogs will come up short. The Terriers roll to a 27-10 victory over the other dogs. Chattanooga (2-1, 1-0 Away) at Presbyterian College (1-2, 1-0 Home) 7:00 pm ET
In this weekend's final clash between the two conferences, the Mos travel to Clinton, SC to meet the Blue Hose. The Mocs are again on top of their game, and come home to Chattanooga with a 35-10 win.
Emory & Henry (1-1) at East Tennessee State (0-3, 0-2 Home) 1:30 pm ET
The Bucs are looking to pick up their first win in the return of football at ETSU, and this could be the week. Looking for the Bucs to survive with a 27-21 win over E&H.
Week number 3 of SoCon football is now in the books. The big game of the week resulted in the Mocs re-asserting themselves as the team to beat, while the rest of the conference fail on their face in out of conference play, except, for the Paladins who pulled out a big FBS win.
Chattanooga at Samford - The Moc's Jacob Huesman once again led the Mocs with two touchdown passes while running for a third in Chattanooga's 31-21 road victory over the Samford Bulldogs. It looks like the Mocs have settled any question about who's the team to beat this year in the SoCon. Purple & Gold's pick was "Samford wins 35-31."
Wofford at Idaho - Wofford's Lorenzo Long scored three touchdowns for the Terriers, as Wofford came up just short of a FBS victory, falling to the Vandals of Idaho, 38-41. The Terriers show they will be a force in the SoCon this season. Purple & Gold's pick was: "Wofford by a touchdown, 28-21"
VMI at Richmond - Richmond forced five turnovers, all of which led to scores for the Spiders. in their 42-10 romp over the Keydets. VMI's Al Cobb was 13 for 28 for 172 yards with four interceptions. The Keydets prove, the more things change, the more they remain the same in VMI football. Purple & Gold's pick was: "Spiders win, 35-24"
Furman at UCF - Paladin kicker Jon Hollingsworth nailed a school record 55-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to give Furman a lead, and the Paladins defense held off the Knights in the upsdet 16-15 victory over the University of Central Florida. Furman's Reese Hannon completed 15 of 29 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, The Paladins prove - "We're Back" Purple & Gold's pick was: "UCF wins, 28-17"
Citadel at Georgia Southern - The Georgia Southern Eagles cruised to a 48-13 victory over former conference mate the Citadel. Five turnovers was the major culprit for the Bulldogs, who committed three fumbles and gave up two pass interceptions. The Eagle bring the Bulldogs back to earth after their wins over Davidson and Western. Purple & Gold's pick was: "It's an Eagle win, 39-14."
Mercer at Tennessee Tech - The Bears suffered not only their first loss of the season on Saturday, but the first ever loss in an out of conference game for the Bears since they restarted football in Macon, losing to Tenn Tech, 22-29. The winless Golden Eagles held the Bears to just two touchdowns from the red zone, despite the Bears reaching the red zone five times. The Bears obviously looked past the Eagles to next week's showdown with Wofford. Purple & Gold's pick was: "Bears win, 28-24."
Western Carolina at Tennessee - The Catamounts had three turnovers and only one first down on their first eight possessions on the game, as the Vols cruised to a 55-10 win over Western. One of those turnovers resulted in a 57-yard interception return by LaDarrell McNeil in his first game since returning to the team. "Offensively we just put ourselves in a bad, bad situation," Western Carolina coach Mark Speir said. "When you turn the ball over against any team, much less an SEC opponent, they're going to make you pay." Detrez Newsome rushed for 128 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown. Has the Catamounts lost their offensive punch? Purple & Gold's pick was: "Vols win, 42-14"
Bonus - ETSU at Charleston Southern - The Bucs once again run into the buzz saw, dropping a 47-7 road game to Charleston Southern on Thursday night. ETSU now looking at a potential winless season? Purple & Gold's pick was: "CSU wins, 49-0."
Purple & Gold'sCatamount Player of the Game for for the second week, is Detrez Newsome.
Newsome was the rushing workhorse once again for Western, with a total of 10 carries for 128 yards, and atouchdown. In addition to the rushing yards, he had one reception for a total of 2 yards. and 5 kick returns for 111 yards, averaging 22.2 yards per return.
Purple & Gold congratulates Detrez Newsome on his selection of WCU Player of the Game.
It's week #3 in the SoCon, and it's time to make this week's SoCon football picks.
Once again, the schedule is mainly out of conference games, but the SoCon did slide another conference game into the schedule this week, and it's a big one,
Chattanooga, the defending conference champions will travel to Birmingham to meet the high flying Samford Bulldogs in the premier game this week.
Good Luck to all the teams playing in out of conference games.
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2015
Chattanooga (1-1) at Samford (2-0) 3:30 pm ET
This one is probably a toss-up, but I'm going with the Bulldogs as they have unbeatable in Seibert Stadium this season. This could be the game of the season or just another Bulldog blow-out. Samford wins 35-31.
Wofford (1-1) at Idaho (0-2) 5:00 pm ET
Another close game, but the Terriers pick-up a FBS win in Moscow, ID on Saturday. The Vandles are 0-2 and looking at 0-3 after their encounter with Wofford's triple option. Wofford by a touchdown, 28-21.
VMI (1-1) at Richmond (1-1) 6:00 pm ET
An improved Keydet team will keep it somewhat close, but just can't overcome the Spiders in Richmond. Spiders win, 35-24
Furman (0-2) at UCF (0-2) 6:00 pm ET
The Paladins can't quite get over this hump, while improved - not quite ready to beat the Knights. UCF wins, 28-17
The Citadel (2-0) at Georgia Southern (1-1) 6:00 pm ET
A game many will be looking forward to watching, as the Bulldogs travel to Statesboro to meed former SoCon rival Georgia Southern. While the Bulldogs make it a game, the superior numbers from those 85 scholarships win out in the end. It's an Eagle win, 39-14.
Mercer (2-0) at Tennessee Tech (0-2) 7:00 pm ET
I'd say this is another toss-up. However, with the Bears playing very good, both at home and on the road, I'll give them a very slight edge over the win-less Golden Eagles. Bears win, 28-24.
Western Carolina (1-1) at Tennessee (1-1) 7:00 pm ET
This one could get ugly, if the offensive play of the Cat's doesn't improve. In the end, the Vols are just too much for the out manned Cats, Vols win, 42-14.
ETSU (0-2) at Charleston Southern (1-1) 7:00 pm ET (Thursday - 9-17-15)
I think it depends on how much CSU wants to win by, as the ETSU Bucs will be totally helpless to stop the CSU Buccaneers. CSU wins, 49-0.
After a tough weekend in Charleston, SC, the Catamounts travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to face what is an even more formidable opponent, as the Cats will face SEC foe, Tennessee.
This game will mark Western's first ever trip to Neyland Stadium (capacity 102,037), and a win for the Cats would be Western’s first-ever victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team, currently the Cats are 0-52 against FBS teams.
Head Coach: Butch Jones. The University of Tennessee announced on Dec. 7, 2012 the hiring of Butch Jones as the 24th head football coach of the Vols. Tennessee finished its second season under Jones with a 7-6 record that included a 45-28 win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville which marked the first January bowl game for UT since the 2007 season.
Last year’s record (2014): 7-6 overall, 3-5 in the SEC Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 11 / 0 Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 9 / 2 - On defense, the Vols lost the following starters: Defensive tackle Jordan Williams; and cornerback Justin Coleman to graduation. Specialist - Returning/Lost: 5 / 2 - The Vols lost punter Matt Darr; kickoff returner Devrin Young; to graduation Offensive Formation: Spread Defensive Formation: 4-3 Under - which is basically a 3-4 with one of the linebackers designated as purely a pass rusher
2014 has to be viewed as a successful one for Tennessee. Despite having lost almost the entire offensive and defensive lines to graduation from the prior season, and experiencing lots of injuries then having to play more true freshmen than any other FBS team in the country, their overall goal of getting to the postseason was achieved.
Who has the Vols played this season? The Vols come into the game with a 1-1 overall record. They opened the season in Nashville against Bowling Green, with a whopping 59-30 victory over the
Falcons. In game two, the Vols dropped a two-overtime game to #19 Oklahoma, 31-24 in Knoxville.
2015 Tennessee Statistics (2 games): Rushing Offense: 597 yards Yards per rush: 4.8 yards TDs rushing: 8 Passing Offense: 330 yards or 165 yards per game Passing Comp-Att-Int: 28-54-1 Total Offense: 858 yards or 429 yards per game Fumbles-Lost: 2-0 Penalties-Yards: 14-120 yards 3d Down Conversions: 15 of 34 or 44% 4th Down Conversions: 0 of 0 Field Goals - Attempts: 2 of 5 Red-Zone Scores: 12 of 13 (92%) Red-Zone Touchdowns: 10 of 13 (77%) Punts (No. Yards): 12 (5918) Avg, per punt: 49.2
The Volunteers played one FCS team during the 2014 season. The UTC made the trip to Knoxville last season on October 11th, losing by a final score of 45-10. The Vols entered that game having lost 3 straight games on the road.
Week number 2 in the SoCon is in the books, with the Bulldogs of The Citadel winning the only conference contest of the week, leaving the other six teams to play out of conference. The SoCon ended Saturday night with a 5-1 record, only dropping a FBS game.
Western Carolina at The Citadel - In the conference opener for the SoCon, Western Carolina failed to live up it's preseason ranking, falling 10-28 to the team picked to finish in seventh place by the coaches poll. In the game dominated by the Citadel Bulldog defense, the formally high flying Catamount defense was held to just 345 total yards and completed only 5 of 15 third down situations. Troy Mitchell completed only 19 of 40 passing attempts for 187 yards and was intercepted twice. The Bulldog offense unit rolled over the meager defensive stance of the Catamounts, rushing for 341 yards, and passing for 105 yards. Purple & Gold's pick was: " Cats win a hard fought battle, 31-24" Mars Hill at Chattanooga - Chattanooga's Derrick Craine scored four touchdowns in UTC's
44-34 win over Division II Mars Hill College in Chattanooga on Saturday afternoon. In the 4th quarter, the Lions rallied to within 34-37 score on two touchdown passes from Matt Layman to Keshaun Taylor. Craine rushed for 169 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Mocs. Purple & Gold's pick was: "Mocs in a blow out, 56-10"
Morehead State at VMI - Keydet's Dillon Christopher kicked a 34 yard field goal as time expired to seal the win for VMI, 43-30 over the Morehead State Eagles in Lexington. The Keydets were lead by Derrick Zigler who had 108 yards rushing and two touchdowns, Dane Forlines with 101 yards rushing. VMI quarterback Al Cobb completed 27 passes for 314 yards, and two touchdowns. Purple & Gold's pick was: "the Keydets roll to a 49-14 victory"
Florida A&M at Samford - Samford quarterback Michael Eubank threw two touchdowns and 280 yards, as the Bulldogs rolled over the Rattlers, 58-21. Samford racked up a total of 752 total yards, 427 passing and 325 rushing. Purple & Gold's pick was: "Samford remains undefeated as they rack up a 42-10 victory"
Furman at Virginia Tech - In Blacksburg, the Hokies' Brenden Motley threw for two touchdowns
and ran for a third in Virginia Tech's 42-3 romp over Furman. Motley completed 16 passes for 233 yards in his first start replacing Michael Brewer, who broke his collarbone in Monday night's game against Ohio State. The Paladins had three turnovers against Virginia Tech. Purple & Gold's pick was: "Hokies win, 42-10"
Stetson at Mercer - Mercer rolled to a 57-14 victory over Stetson Saturday in Macon John Russ completed 16 passes for 336 yards and four touchdown passes and one touchdown. The Bears total yardage was 623, while holding Sterson to 299 yards. Penalties were a problem for both teams, with Steston being flagged 8 time for 110 yards, only to be outdown by the Bears with 10 flags for 103 yards. Purple & Gold's pick was: "The Bears also remain undefeated as they roll to a 49-21 victory
Tennessee Tech at Wofford - The Terriers rolled to a 34-14 victory over the Golden Eagles in Spartanburg, Saturday night. Wofford rushed for a total of 444 yard and picked up and additional 111 yards passing, while holding Tennessee Tech to 274 total yards. Purple & Gold's pick was: "(Terriers) edge out the Golden Eagles, 35-28"
Maryville at ETSU - For the second straight week, the home standing Bucs dropped a game in Johnson City. This week, Division III Maryville upset the Bucs 28-21 in front of a disappointed home crowd. While the Bucs out gained Maryville in total yardage 416 to 356, twice in the second half, Maryville forced the Bucs to turn the ball over on downs. Purple & Gold's pick was: " ETSU rolls over the Fighting Scots 35-10."