* Southern Conference game
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• Wofford returned to the top of the SoCon standings with its 30-17 win over ETSU on Saturday, handing the Bucs their first league loss and snapping their five-game winning streak to force a tie at 4-1 in league play. The Terriers once again control their own destiny in their bid to repeat as SoCon champions and claim the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. Lennox McAfee ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
• Wofford moved up from No. 12 to No. 7 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 and No. 9 in the STATS FCS Top 25, while ETSU dropped four spots to No. 25 in both. Chattanooga is receiving votes in both polls, while Mercer and Samford received votes in the STATS poll.
• Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges had yet another record day for the Bulldogs on Saturday in a 38-25 win at Furman, setting the SoCon’s career passing yardage record (13,377) and the FCS completions record (1,198). The two-time SoCon Player of the Year completed 40 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns and was named the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week. Hodges has thrown for 1,437 yards over his last three contests, a SoCon record for games in three consecutive games.
• Furman kicker Grayson Atkins also earned STATS FCS honors, as he was named the national special teams player of the week after matching an NCAA Division I record with three field goals of 50 yards or more.
• Samford receiver Kelvin McKnight had seven catches for 106 yards against Furman on Saturday, becoming the Bulldogs’ career receptions leader with 283. The 100-yard game was the 20th of his career and seventh this season. He was added to the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award watch list on Oct. 18.
• ETSU defensive end Nasir Player was added to the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award watch list Thursday, as well.
• Mercer running back Tee Mitchell became the Bears’ career rushing leader in their 59-46 win over Western Carolina on Saturday. Mitchell ran for 157 yards and a score on the day, pushing his career total to 2,640 yards. He is the SoCon’s active rushing leader by more than 1,000 career yards. Wofford’s McAfee is second in the league at 1,623. Mitchell also caught a 61-yard touchdown pass in the contest to account for 216 all-purpose yards on the day.
• Mercer freshman wide receiver David Durden returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score against the Catamounts, setting a school record for the longest return. Durden also had two receptions for 51 yards and a TD.
• VMI quarterback Reece Udinski continued to put up impressive numbers Saturday, completing a SoCon-record 49 passes for 447 yards and five touchdowns in the Keydets’ 34-32 loss to rival The Citadel.
• Citadel linebacker Willie Eubanks had the best statistical game of his career at VMI, recording 12 tackles, forcing a fumble and interception a pass. His interception helped set up a Bulldog field goal in the fourth quarter that ended up being the difference in the game.
• ETSU defensive back Tyree Robinson registered an interception for the third straight game Saturday, picking off a pass in the Bucs’ loss at Wofford. He also recovered a fumble in the end zone for an ETSU touchdown and matched his career high with eight tackles.
DID YOU KNOW?
• There have been 51 400-yard passing games in SoCon history, and eight of them have happened this year. Samford’s Devlin Hodges has four of them, while VMI’s Reece Udinski has three and Western Carolina’s Tyrie Adams has one.
• Hodges and Udinksi are 1-2 in the FCS this season in completions per game. Hodges averages 34.5, while Udinksi averages 32.0.
• Samford’s Devlin Hodges is just one passing touchdown back of Elon’s Scott Riddle’s SoCon record of 106. Hodges passed Riddle for the career mark in passing yards on Saturday against Furman.
• Hodges is currently fifth in FCS history in passing yards, as he jumped three players against Furman. Up next is SFA’s Jeremy Moses (whose FCS completions record Hodges broke Saturday), who had 13,401 yards in his career. Hodges enters Samford’s bye week with 13,377 career yards.
• Should Hodges maintain his current pace of 384.5 yards per game over Samford’s last three contests, he’d finish with 14,530 career yards, just ahead of Alcorn’s Steve McNair’s FCS record of 14,496. No quarterback in FCS history has surpassed 14,000 yards other than McNair. Hodges is also on pace to smash his SoCon record for single-season yards (4,088), set in 2016. He’s on pace for 4,229.
• With 14,303 yards of total offense to his credit in his career, Hodges is also on pace to set the SoCon record in that category. If he maintains his current pace of 412.2 yards per game, he’d finish the season with 15,539 yards, easily outdistancing SoCon record-holder Armanti Edwards of Appalachian State, who posted 14,753 from 2006-09. Edwards is second in FCS history behind McNair (16,823), while Hodges is currently fifth.
• Wofford kicker Luke Carter made both of his extra-point attempts in the Terriers’ win over ETSU on Saturday to extend his streak to 69 consecutive makes, the seventh-best streak in SoCon history. Carter, a junior, has yet to miss in his career.
• Five of the SoCon’s nine teams – ETSU, Furman, Samford, Chattanooga and Wofford – have appeared in the national rankings this season. Wofford is the lone league program to appear each week of the season. The Terriers have appeared in 26 consecutive polls, dating back to Nov. 14, 2016. ETSU has now appeared in three straight.
• ETSU linebacker Dylan Weigel is the FCS’ active career leader with 389 total tackles.
• Samford wide receiver Kelvin McKnight leads the FCS with 986 receiving yards, while Chattanooga’s Bryce Nunnelly is seventh at 817.
• Mercer leads the FCS in net punting with an average of 42.52 yards per punt. Graduate student punter Matt Shiel is second in the SoCon and fifth in the FCS with an average of 44.5 yards per punt and has boomed eight more than 50 yards this season.
• Western Carolina linebacker Mitchell Clancey has recorded seven consecutive games with double-digit tackles. He has a SoCon-best 80 this season, good for 11.4 per game, which ranks fifth in the FCS.
• Furman has faced the third-toughest schedule in the FCS so far, as its opponents have a winning percentage of .684.
STATS FCS National Players of the Week (link)
Offense: Devlin Hodges, Samford, QB
Special team: Grayson Atkins, Furman, K
SoCon Players of the Week (link)
Offense: Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina, QB
Defense: Ahmad Gooden, Samford, DL
Special teams: Grayson Atkins, Furman, K