Oct. 13 (Saturday)
*Wofford at Furman (ESPN+/CW62), 1 p.m.
Mercer at Yale (ESPN+), 1 p.m.
*ETSU at The Citadel (ESPN3), 2 p.m.
*VMI at Samford (ESPN+), 3 p.m.
*Chattanooga at Western Carolina (ESPN+), 3:30 p.m.
* Southern Conference game
ESPN3 and ESPN+ are available on Roku
• All nine league teams are back in action this week, with Mercer stepping out of conference to visit Yale. Wofford visits Furman in a rivalry that dates back to 1889.
• Samford rolled to a 66-28 win over Western Carolina on Oct. 6 for its most points in a SoCon contest in school history. Quarterback Devlin Hodges had a record-breaking day, setting or tying six school records and three SoCon records (more info in player of the week bio below).
• ETSU downed Gardner-Webb 45-0 on Oct. 6 to earn its first shutout since 2003 (the Bucs did not field a program from 2004-14). The win improved ETSU, under the direction of first-year head coach Randy Sanders, to 5-1 on the year, its best start since 1999.
• The Bucs broke into the national rankings this week, debuting at No. 24 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 and at No. 23 in the STATS FCS Top 25. The rankings are ETSU’s first since Oct. 30, 1999.
• Wofford, also led by a first-year head coach in Josh Conklin, downed Chattanooga 21-10 on Oct. 6 to improve to 4-1 overall on the season and 3-0 in league play. The Terriers got 155 yards on the ground and two touchdowns from quarterback Joe Newman, who also went 8-for-9 for 69 yards through the air. Wofford moved up two spots to No. 4 in the AFCA poll and one position into a tie for sixth in the STATS poll.
• Chattanooga, which has dropped two straight after opening the season 4-0 and making a one-week appearance in the rankings, received votes in both polls. Mercer, which was idle, continued to receive votes in the STATS poll.
• There have been just 16 400-yard passing games in the FCS this season, and the SoCon has five of them, including three of the top five. Samford’s Devlin Hodges threw for an FCS-best and SoCon-record 562 yards in the Bulldogs’ 66-28 win over Western Carolina on Oct. 6, while VMI’s Reece Udinski threw for 491 yards at Western Carolina on Sept. 22, which led FCS at the time but is now third on the list. Hodges also threw for 475 at FBS Florida State on Sept. 8 to rank fifth. Udinski threw for 434 against Mercer on Sept. 29 and Western Carolina’s Tyrie Adams threw for 424 against Furman the same day. Hodges and Udinksi are the only two players in the FCS to have multiple 400-yard games this season.
• With 400-plus yards in each of his last two games, VMI’s Reece Udinski has set a league record for passing yards in consecutive games with 925, eclipsing the previous mark set by Elon’s Scott Riddle in 2007 by 10 yards.
• Chattanooga linebacker Michael Bean had 17 tackles, 11 of them solo stops, in the Mocs’ 21-10 loss to then-No. 6 Wofford on Oct. 6. The total was the highest in the SoCon this season.
• ETSU freshman running back Quay Holmes turned in his third 100-yard rushing game of the season against Gardner-Webb, running for 105 yards and three scores.
• The Citadel’s Lorenzo Ward leads the SoCon with 99.8 rushing yards per game. The junior running back had 185 against then-No. 25 Towson on Sept. 29. The Bulldogs were idle last weekend.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Samford’s Devlin Hodges is second in SoCon history and 10th in FCS history with 12,502 passing yards. Should he maintain his current pace of 366.8 yards per game over Samford’s last five contests, he would easily surpass Elon’s Scott Riddle’s league mark of 13,264. Hodges is currently on pace for 14,336, which puts him in striking range of Alcorn’s Steve McNair’s FCS record of 14,496. No quarterback in FCS history has surpassed 14,000 yards other than McNair.
• With 13,351 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 391.0 yards per game, he’d finish the season with 15,306 yards, easily outdistancing SoCon record-holder Armanti Edwards of Appalachian State, who posted 14,753 from 2006-09.
• Twelve players in the FCS have at least 3.0 sacks in a game this season, and the Southern Conference can claim four of them, the most of any league. Western Carolina’s Solomon Clark had 4.0 in the Catamounts’ win over VMI on Sept. 22, the second-best total in the FCS this season, while ETSU’s Jared Folks had 3.5 against the Keydets on Sept. 14 and is third. Furman’s Adrian Hope had 3.0 in a win over Western Carolina and ETSU’s Nasir Player had 3.0 in a win over Chattanooga on Sept. 29 as both are among a nine-way tie for fourth.
• Western Carolina’s Tyrie Adams has been named the SoCon Offensive Player of the Month for September in each of the last three seasons.
• 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 24 consecutive polls, dating back to Nov. 14, 2016. Samford saw its streak of 26 straight appearances come to an end when it dropped out on Sept. 24 of this season.
• ETSU is limiting its opponents to just a 27.3 percent fourth-down conversion rate. The Bucs’ opponents are just 3-for-11 on the season.
• A SoCon team has ranked either first or second nationally in rushing in 17 of the last 18 seasons. Wofford is currently second in the FCS in rushing at 388.80 yards per game, just percentage points behind Davidson’s 388.83 average.
SOCON PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (link):
Offense: Devlin Hodges, Samford, R-Sr., QB
Defense: Tre’Shun Floyd, Samford, So., LB
Special teams: Mitchell Fineran, Samford, Fr., PK