Sept. 29 (Saturday)
*Mercer at VMI (ESPN3), 1:30 p.m.
*Western Carolina at Furman (ESPN+/CW62), 2 p.m.
The Citadel at Towson (CAA.TV), 4 p.m.
Samford at Kennesaw State (ESPN3), 6 p.m.
Wofford at Gardner-Webb (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
*Chattanooga at ETSU (ESPN+), 7:30 p.m.
* Southern Conference game
ESPN3 and ESPN+ are available on Roku
• All nine league teams are in action Saturday. Chattanooga visits ETSU in a battle of first-place squads, and in nonconference play, Samford visits No. 4 Kennesaw State and The Citadel heads to No. 25 Towson.
• The Mocs downed No. 17 Samford 27-20 on Saturday, improving to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in SoCon play and earning their first national rankings of the young season. Chattanooga entered the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 at No. 24 and the STATS FCS Top 25 at No. 20. Samford, which peaked at No. 9 in both polls, dropped out of both after suffering its third straight defeat.
• Idle Wofford remained sixth in the AFCA poll and moved up one spot to seventh in the STATS FCS Top 25. Samford and Western Carolina are receiving votes in both polls, while ETSU and Mercer are receiving votes in the STATS poll.
• All four games in week four were one-score affairs. The Citadel downed Mercer 38-31 on a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 57 seconds left, while Western Carolina survived VMI 52-50 when the Keydets were unable to convert a tying 2-point conversion with 22 seconds left. ETSU scored 23 unanswered points to stun Furman 29-27, tying the game on a touchdown with 2:23 left and getting a Dylan Weigel safety just 13 seconds of game time later to complete the comeback. Samford drove 64 yards to the UTC 15 on its final drive but ran out of time in its attempt to tie things up.
• The SoCon’s offensive prowess was on full display on Saturday. Three backs ran for more than 100 yards, with The Citadel’s Grant Drakeford (139), Western Carolina’s Tyrie Adams (117) and ETSU’s Quay Holmes (102) all surpassing the century mark. Three quarterbacks surpassed 300 yards passing, including Mercer’s Robert Riddle (school-record 347), Samford’s Devlin Hodges (366) and VMI’s Reece Udinski (school-record 491). Four wide receivers reached at least 100 yards, including VMI’s Javeon Lara (143), Mercer’s Marquise Irvin (132), Samford’s Kelvin McKnight (128) and Chattanooga’s Bryce Nunnelly (108).
• ETSU’s Holmes was named the STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week for his efforts against Furman, as he ran for two touchdowns and added 14 yards receiving and 45 yards on kickoff returns. He has notched a pair of 100-yard rushing games in just four career contests.
• Nunnelly (163.5 yards per game) and McKnight (141.5) have both recorded at least 100 receiving yards in all four of their contests this year and rank second and sixth in the FCS in yards per game.
• Western Carolina’s Adams also threw for 229 yards against VMI, giving him 346 yards of total offense on the day. It marked the second straight game that he had run and thrown for more than 100 yards each.
• Furman’s Grayson Atkins and Wofford’s Luke Carter have the seventh-best and ninth-best consecutive PAT conversion streaks in league history, respectively. Atkins has converted all 60 of his career attempts so far, while Carter his connected on all 56 of his.
• ETSU kicker JJ Jerman hit a pair of first-half field goals against Furman on Saturday to become the Bucs’ career leader with 39 makes in his career.
• Western Carolina defensive lineman Solomon Clark recorded 4.0 sacks for 40 yards in the win over VMI on Saturday, matching the Catamounts’ single-game sacks record. Clark’s total was the highest in the SoCon since Furman’s Mitch McGrath had 4.0 on Oct. 29, 2011.
Offense: Reece Udinski, VMI, So., QB
Defense: Marshall Cooper, Chattanooga, Jr., LB
Special teams: Rod Johnson, The Citadel, Jr., RB/KR