Nov. 3 (Saturday)
*Chattanooga at Furman (ESPN3/CW62), 1 p.m.
Tusculum at VMI (ESPN+), 1:30 p.m.
*ETSU at Mercer (ESPN3), 3 p.m.
*Wofford at Samford (ESPN3), 3 p.m.
*The Citadel at Western Carolina (ESPN+), 3:30 p.m.
* Southern Conference game
ESPN3 and ESPN+ are available on Roku
• ETSU and Wofford each won on Oct. 27 to remain tied atop the SoCon standings at 5-1 in league play. Four two-loss teams lurk behind them with just three weeks left in the regular season.
• The Bucs rallied past Western Carolina in triple overtime, scoring 15 points in the final 5:02 of regulation before getting a pair of Jacob Saylors TD runs in overtime for the 45-43 win.
• ETSU’s margin of victory in its five SoCon wins is just 2.6 points per game, as the Bucs have routinely found ways to win their close contests. ETSU has won three league games by three points and two by just two.
• Wofford doubled up Mercer, 42-21. Andre Stoddard ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns, while receiver TJ Luther caught two passes for 121 yards and two scores. Luther had TD catches of 71 yards and 50 yards en route to Wofford’s first 100-yard receiving game since 2013.
• Wofford and ETSU remained ranked this week, with the Terriers moving to No. 8 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 and remaining No. 9 in the STATS FCS Top 25. ETSU moved up from No. 25 in both polls, to No. 23 in the coaches’ poll and No. 22 in the STATS rankings. Chattanooga is receiving votes in both polls and Samford received a vote in the STATS poll.
• Wofford visits Samford in one of the marquee games of the season, as it pits the defending SoCon champion Terriers and their stingy defense against preseason league favorite Samford and its high-octane offense. Wofford ranks 10th in the FCS is scoring defense (18.5 ppg) and ninth in total defense (280.1 ypg), while the Bulldogs are first nationally in passing yards per game (389.1), third in total offense (529.8 ypg) and seventh in scoring offense (40.4 ppg).
• Furman hosts Chattanooga in a battle of teams with two SoCon losses. Overall, the Paladins have won three of four after opening the season 0-3, while the Mocs have won consecutive games after a two-game slide.
• VMI steps out of conference to host Division II Tusculum on Saturday. Keydet quarterback Reece Udinski notched his fifth 300-yard passing game of the season in a 34-27 loss at Chattanooga on Oct. 27, netting 313 yards and two touchdown tosses.
• Western Carolina defensive back Marvin Tillman recorded a career-best 16 tackles against ETSU on Oct. 27, also adding his second interception of the season.
• Citadel wide receiver Raleigh Webb hauled in a 91-yard touchdown reception against Furman on Oct. 27, good for the longest pass play in school history.
• In his last outing, against Furman on Oct. 20, Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges set the SoCon’s career passing yardage record (13,377) and the FCS completions record (1,198). Hodges now trails Alcorn’s Steve McNair’s FCS passing yardage record by just 1,119 yards and needs just 137 yards to pass Bruce Eugene of Grambling for second in FCS history.
• Hodges enters play Saturday with 14,303 yards of career total offense, exactly 450 back of Appalachian State’s Armanti Edwards’ SoCon record. Hodges has 1,733 career pass attempts, 46 back of Elon’s Scott Riddle’s league record, and 105 passing TDs, one back of Riddle’s SoCon mark.
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 31.75.
• Hodges’ completion percentage this season is 71.3, good for second in the FCS. His mark would be good for second in a season in SoCon history, trailing only his own record of 74.5 from 2016.
• 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.
• ETSU kicker JJ Jerman has hit 1.67 field goals per game this season, good for fourth in the FCS. He is the SoCon’s active career leader with 41 since the Bucs joined the league in 2016. Jerman is 15-for-18 this season.
• Wofford kicker Luke Carter made all six of his extra-point attempts in the Terriers’ win over Mercer on Saturday to extend his streak to 75 consecutive makes, the seventh-best streak in SoCon history. Carter, a junior, has yet to miss in his career.
• At halftime against Mercer on Oct. 27, Wofford unveiled a new gateway field entrance and officially name the field at Gibbs Stadium in honor of former coach Mike Ayers, who retired following the 2017 season.
• 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 27 consecutive polls, dating back to Nov. 14, 2016. ETSU has now appeared in four straight.
• Samford wide receiver Kelvin McKnight is third in the FCS with 986 receiving yards, while Chattanooga’s Bryce Nunnelly is fourth at 953.
• McKnight has seven 100-yard receiving games this season, while Nunnelly and VMI’s Kris Thornton have five each.
• Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams has posted four games this season of at least 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, and in three of those contests, he’s thrown for more than 200 yards.
• Adams and Mercer’s Tee Mitchell lead the league with four 100-yard rushing games this season. Adams is third in the league in rushing at 83.9 yards per game. Wofford’s Andre Stoddard leads the SoCon with 90.1 yards per game.
• Making his collegiate starting debut for the injured Harris Roberts, Furman QB JeMar Lincoln completed 9-of-12 passes for 140 yards and rushed 17 times for 31 yards and three of Furman’s four touchdowns in leading the Paladins to a 28-17 SoCon road victory over The Citadel on Oct. 27.
SoCon Players of the Week (link)
Offense: Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina, QB
Defense: Donavan Perryman, Furman, LB
Special teams: Grayson Atkins, Furman, K