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Football notes - week nine
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/26/2017
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Courtesy: Furman Athletics

Oct. 28 (Saturday)
*Wofford at ETSU (ESPN3), 1 p.m.
*VMI at The Citadel (ESPN3), 2 p.m.
*Chattanooga at Samford (ESPN3), 3 p.m.
*Furman at Western Carolina (ESPN3), 3:30 p.m.

Notes

• Samford topped then-No. 5 Wofford on Saturday, 24-21, to hand the Terriers their first loss of the season. Quarterback Devlin Hodges threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to the victory.

• Chattanooga’s Darrell Bridges ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in the Mocs’ 20-14 loss to The Citadel on Saturday. His 61-yard TD run in the first quarter was the longest rush by a Chattanooga player this season.

• Furman is the league’s hottest team, as the Paladins have won five straight after opening the year 0-3 and now sit in a three-way tie for first place in the league standings with Western Carolina and Wofford at 4-1 in SoCon play.

• With Samford moving into the top 10 in both the FCS Coaches Poll and STATS FCS Top 25 this week after its win over Wofford, the SoCon has two teams in the top 10. Samford, which is in the top 10 for the first time since 1993, leads the way at eighth (tied) in the coaches’ poll and is No. 9 in the STATS poll. Wofford is 10th in the coaches’ poll and eighth in the STATS poll, while Western Carolina is ranked 20th and 18th, respectively.

• Eight of the nine SoCon teams have either received votes or been ranked in one or both of the two major national polls at some point this season. In addition to Samford, Wofford and Western Carolina, who are all currently ranked, The Citadel and Chattanooga have also spent time in the polls this year. ETSU, Furman and Mercer have each received votes.

• A week after posting a season-high 17 tackles against Furman, VMI’s Allan Cratsenberg had 18 in Saturday’s loss against Western Carolina. He leads the league with 88 tackles and 11.0 tackles per game.

• Samford defensive lineman Ahmad Gooden was added to the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award watch list last week. He joins Citadel defensive back Kailik Williams, who was placed on the watch list in the preseason.

• A pair of SoCon student-athletes appeared on the initial STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award watch list, announced this Wednesday. Furman linebacker Reynard Ellis and Mercer quarterback Kaelan Riley are both in the running for the national freshman of the year award.

• Since the start of the 2013 season, 64 of 146 (.438) league games have been decided by one possession, including 10 of 22 (.455) this season.

• Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams leads the SoCon with 71.9 rushing yards per game and is fourth in passing with 209.8 yards per game.

• Three of the four league games on Oct. 21 were sealed with late interceptions. The Citadel’s Aron Spann III picked off his second pass of the day with just over a minute left to lock up the Bulldogs’ 20-14 win over Chattanooga, while Samford’s Omari Williams grabbed a pick in the corner of the end zone with six seconds left in Samford’s 24-21 win over Wofford. Furman’s Joe Farrar made his game-preserving interception in the end zone with just three seconds left in the Paladins’ 28-21 win over Mercer.

• VMI is the least-penalized team in FCS, as the Keydets commit just 3.13 infractions per contest.

• Mercer’s defense has recovered 10 fumbles this year, good for second in the FCS. Linebacker Lee Bennett shares the SoCon lead with two fumbles recovered.

• Samford’s Kelvin McKnight shares the FCS lead with 10 receiving touchdowns this season. He has recorded at least one TD in six of his seven contests this year and had multiple scores in three of them.