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• Southern Conference champion and automatic qualifier Wofford is joined in the 2018 NCAA Division I Football Championship field by fellow SoCon champion ETSU, which earned an at-large selection.
• The SoCon put multiple teams in the field for the fourth straight season and the 31st time in the last 37 seasons. The league has gone 108-73 (.597) all-time in the FCS playoffs, winning eight national titles.
• Wofford went 8-3 with a 6-2 SoCon mark during the regular season, winning a share of its sixth league championship and its second straight. The Terriers, making their third straight FCS playoff appearance and ninth overall, have been ranked in the top 15 nationally all season, peaking at No. 4. Wofford won four of its last five games, capping the regular season with a 45-21 win over Presbyterian on Saturday.
• The Terriers will host Elon on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Gibbs Stadium. The Phoenix, which earned its second straight at-large selection and will make its third FCS playoff appearance, went 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Elon was ranked as high as fifth nationally this season.
• In the last 11 years, Wofford has made the FCS playoffs seven times, reaching the quarterfinals five times.
• The Terriers lead the series with Elon, their former SoCon brethren, 26-11. Wofford went 9-2 against the Phoenix when both were in the SoCon, winning the final four meetings.
• SoCon teams are 26-17 (.605) against Colonial Athletic Association teams in the FCS playoffs.
• ETSU also went 8-3 overall and 6-2 in league play, winning a share of its first-ever SoCon title after being picked eighth of nine teams in the preseason polls by both the coaches and media. The Bucs, whose six conference wins came by a combined 16 points, will be making their second FCS postseason appearance and first since 1996.
• ETSU, which has been nationally ranked for the last seven weeks, will head to Jacksonville, Alabama, to take on Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The Gamecocks, ranked as high as No. 4 this season, finished the regular season 8-3 overall and 7-1 in the OVC.
• The series between ETSU and Jacksonville State is tied at 1. The teams last met in 1960.
• SoCon teams are 12-6 (.667) against Ohio Valley Conference teams in the FCS playoffs.
• The SoCon announced its all-conference honors and individual awards Tuesday. Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges was named the league’s offensive player of the year by both the coaches and media for the third straight season.
• ETSU claimed three of the five awards, with running back Quay Holmes being named freshman of the year and Randy Sanders being named coach of the year by both the coaches and media. Offensive lineman Matt Pyke was selected by the coaches as the winner of the Jacobs Blocking Award.
• ETSU paced the league in selections from both the coaches and media, earning 14 all-conference and all-freshman picks from the coaches and 11 all-conference selections from the media.DID YOU KNOW?
• Finalists for the STATS FCS legacy awards were announced Monday, and the SoCon had nine. Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges and wide receiver Kelvin McKnight and Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams were among the 25 finalists for the Walter Payton Award, which honors the FCS Offensive Player of the Year. ETSU defensive lineman Nasir Player, Samford defensive end Ahmad Gooden and Chattanooga defensive lineman Isaiah Mack were among the 25 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, which honors to the FCS Defensive Player of the Year. ETSU running back Quay Holmes and Furman bandit Adrian Hope were among the 20 finalists for the Jerry Rice Award, which recognizes the FCS Freshman Player of the Year. Finally, ETSU head coach Randy Sanders was among the 15 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the FCS Coach of the Year.
• In his final career game, Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges threw for 404 yards in a 38-27 upset of No. 17/19 ETSU, passing Alcorn State great Steve McNair to become the FCS career leader in passing yards with 14,584. He also finished his career with FCS records for pass completions (1,310) and attempts (1,896) and second behind McNair in total offense with 15,601 yards.
• Hodges broke his own SoCon records for single-season total offense and passing yards, finishing with 4,596 and 4,283, respectively.
• Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams leads the SoCon in rushing this season with 1,006 yards and 91.5 per game. Needing just 12 to reach 1,000 for the season, Adams ran for 18 on the final play of the game in the Catamounts’ loss at FBS North Carolina on Nov. 17, becoming just the 10th FCS player to ever throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season. Three of the other nine players were also SoCon student-athletes (list on page 10).
• ETSU running back Quay Holmes has rushed for 13 touchdowns this season, tied for the second-most in school history.
• Defensive back Tyree Robinson notched his fifth interception of the season in the Bucs’ regular-season finale against Samford, matching ETSU’s team total from all of last season.
• Wofford placekicker Luke Carter is perfect on point-after tries in his career, including a 46-for-46 mark this season. He currently has the fifth-best streak of consecutive makes in SoCon history, as he has converted all 88 of his collegiate attempts. The Terriers’ do-it-all kicker also earned second-team all-conference honors at punter this season, leading the league with a 44.6 average, a mark that would rank fourth in the FCS if he weren’t five punts shy of the minimum to qualify.
• Citadel freshman running back Dante Smith ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns against FBS No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 17, breaking off scoring runs of 45 and 44 yards, the two longest runs allowed by the Crimson Tide since 2015. Smith joined Ezekiel Elliot, Darren McFadden and Todd Gurley as the only running backs to run for over 100 yards and two touchdowns against a Nick Saban Alabama squad.
• Furman redshirt freshman bandit Adrian Hope recorded 2.5 sacks in the Paladins’ season finale against Mercer, pushing his total to a school freshman-record 15.0 on the season. The mark is good for third overall in a season at Furman and ties for fourth in a season in SoCon history.
• Paladin senior quarterback Harris Roberts threw for 189 yards and five touchdowns in leading Furman to the win over Mercer on Nov. 17, helping clinch a share of the SoCon regular-season title.
• 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 30 consecutive polls, dating back to Nov. 14, 2016. ETSU has now appeared in seven straight.
Recent news (links):
All-Southern Conference coaches awards (11/20/18)
All-Southern Conference media awards (11/20/18)
SoCon Players of the Week (11/19/18)
SoCon finalists for STATS FCS legacy awards (11/19/18)