* Southern Conference game
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• ETSU topped Mercer 21-18 on Nov. 3 to clinch at least a share of its first-ever SoCon title. The Bucs are idle this week but could still secure the title outright if Furman, Samford and Wofford all lose Saturday. Should any of those three win, ETSU will play for the outright title when it closes the regular season at home against Samford on Nov. 17.
• At 8-2 overall and 6-1 in SoCon play, the Bucs have notched their most league wins since going 7-1 in 1996 en route to their only FCS postseason berth.
• ETSU’s margin of victory in its six SoCon wins is just 2.7 points per game, as the Bucs have routinely found ways to win their close contests. ETSU has won four league games by three points and two by just two.
• Samford, which went 0-4 in September, has recovered with a four-game win streak to move to 4-2 in league play and keep its hopes alive for a share of the regular-season SoCon title and the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. The Bulldogs dropped No. 8/9 Wofford on Nov. 3, 35-20.
• Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges continued his charge through the SoCon and FCS record books against the Terriers, throwing for 399 yards and four touchdowns and running for 18 yards and a score. Hodges’ career total offense yardage now stands at 14,720, just 33 back of Armanti Edwards’ SoCon record and good for a tie for third in FCS history. He moved up three spots on the FCS career passing yardage list, and with 13,776 to his credit, now trails only record-holder Steve McNair, who posted 14,496 for Alcorn State from 1991-94. Hodges’ four TD passes made him the SoCon’s career leader at 109, which ties for 12th in FCS annals.
• Furman downed Chattanooga 16-10 on Nov. 3 in a defensive battle that saw the squads combine for just 519 yards of total offense.
• VMI downed Tusculum 20-11 on Nov. 3 for its first win of the season. The Keydets, who entered the contest averaging 340.5 yards per game through the air and just 39.4 on the ground, switched gears to run for 173 and pass for just 172.
• Making his first career start at quarterback, Brandon Rainey rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown to lead The Citadel to a 38-24 win at Western Carolina. The Bulldogs also got a boost from their defense and special teams, which held the Catamounts scoreless in the second half and blocked a pair of punts.
• Western Carolina linebacker Mitchell Chancey maintained his torrid pace on defense, recording a career-best 19 tackles for his ninth straight game in double digits. He leads the SoCon with 12.1 per game.
• Furman kicker Grayson Atkins is the first specialist to earn three straight weekly honors from the SoCon since Samford kicker Anthony Pistelli did so in the final three weeks of the 2015 season. He is the first player overall to take three straight since Samford’s Devlin Hodges did so from Oct. 3-17, 2016.
• Wofford and ETSU remained ranked this week, with the Terriers dropping to No. 14 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 and No. 15 in the STATS FCS Top 25. ETSU moved up to No. 17 in the coaches’ poll and No. 19 in the STATS rankings. Chattanooga and Samford are receiving votes in both polls and Furman received votes in the STATS poll.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges has thrown for 1,836 yards over his last four games, a SoCon record for a four-game span. He has 18 touchdown passes in that stretch.
• Hodges’ 30 TD passes this year are good for a tie for fourth in a season in SoCon history. Hodges set the record of 36 in 2016 and had 31 last season.
• There have been 51 400-yard passing games in SoCon history, and eight of them have happened this year. Hodges has four of them, while VMI’s Reece Udinski has three and Western Carolina’s Tyrie Adams has one.
• 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 386.1 passing yards per game over Samford’s last two contests, he’d finish with 14,548 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 4,247.
• Furman redshirt freshman bandit Adrian Hope recorded 2.5 sacks against Chattanooga on Nov. 3 to up his season total to 10.5. His 1.31 per game rank second in the FCS.
• 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 28 consecutive polls, dating back to Nov. 14, 2016. ETSU has now appeared in five straight.
• Samford wide receiver Kelvin McKnight leads the FCS with 1,157 receiving yards, while Chattanooga’s Bryce Nunnelly is fifth at 1,005. Nunnelly had 52 against Furman to become just the fourth Mocs wide receiver to record a 1,000-yard season.
• McKnight moved into third place in SoCon history in career receiving yards against Wofford, as he now has 3,848, passing former teammate Karel Hamilton, who had 3,803 from 2013-16.
• 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, ETSU’s Quay Holmes and Mercer’s Tee Mitchell lead the league with four 100-yard rushing games each this season.
• Third string quarterback and redshirt freshman Harrison Frost made his first career start for Mercer against ETSU on Nov. 3, going 15-for-31 for 186 yards and two interceptions. Bears QBs Robert Riddle, a member of the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award watch list, and Kaelan Riley, the 2017 SoCon Freshman of the Year, were out with injuries.
• Mercer’s Tee Mitchell was also out with injury against ETSU, but sophomore Tyray Devezin filled in admirably, running for 113 yards and a score on a career-best 29 carries.
• Wofford fullback Andre Stoddard leads the league in rushing with 87.8 yards per game and has turned in the only 200-yard game in the SoCon this season. He ran for exactly 200 yards in the Terriers’ 45-14 win over Gardner-Webb on Sept. 29.
SoCon Players of the Week (link)
Offense: Devlin Hodges, Samford, QB
Defense: Artevius Smith, ETSU, DB
Special teams: Grayson Atkins, Furman, K