Aug. 29 (Thursday)
Eastern Illinois at Chattanooga (ESPN3), 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 (Saturday)
Charleston Southern at #17/19 Furman (ESPN+), 1 p.m.
#12/11 Towson at The Citadel (ESPN+), 3 p.m.
ETSU at Appalachian State (ESPN+), 3:30 p.m.
*Mercer at Western Carolina (Nexstar/ESPN+), 6 p.m.
#8/9 Wofford at South Carolina State (ESPN3), 6 p.m.
VMI at Marshall (Stadium/WatchStadium.com), 6:30 p.m.
Samford at Tennessee Tech (ESPN+), 7 p.m.
ESPN3 and ESPN+ are available on Roku
Nexstar affiliates for this week's Ingles SoCon Game of the Week:
• The 2019 season marks the SoCon's 98th year of football. College football in general is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
• Samford kicked off the 2019 season with a nationally televised contest against Youngstown State in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday, falling 45-22. The Bulldogs turned the ball over four times in the contest, leading to 14 YSU points.
• Wofford, which has won at least a share of the SoCon title in each of the last two years, is the preseason pick to win the league again in 2019 in separate voting of the SoCon's coaches and media. The Terriers earned seven of the nine first-place votes in the coaches' poll and 21 of 29 in the media poll.
• Full polls and the coaches' preseason all-conference teams can be found on page 2 of these notes. Wofford led all teams with nine total preseason all-conference selections, putting three on the first teams and a league-best six on the second teams. Mercer was second with eight total selections, putting three on the first teams and five on the second teams, while Furman and ETSU had seven total selections each. ETSU and Chattanooga shared league-high honors with four first-team selections apiece.
• Wofford and Furman claimed spots in the two major preseason national polls, with the Terriers landing eighth in the AFCA FCS Top 25 and ninth in the STATS FCS Top 25. Furman is ranked 17th in the AFCA poll and 19th in the STATS poll. The Citadel, ETSU and Chattanooga received votes in both polls, while Mercer and Samford earned votes in the STATS poll.
• Chattanooga junior wide receiver Bryce Nunnelly and Western Carolina redshirt senior quarterback Tyrie Adams were named to the preseason watch list for the STATS Walter Payton Award, which honors the outstanding offensive player of the year. Former Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges won the award last season.
• Three Southern Conference players were named to the preseason watch list for the STATS Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the outstanding defensive player of the year. ETSU redshirt senior defensive lineman Nasir Player and junior defensive back Tyree Robinson are joined on the 25-man list by Furman redshirt sophomore bandit linebacker Adrian Hope, who led FCS in sacks last year and finished fourth in voting for the STATS Jerry Rice Award (national freshman of the year).
• ETSU redshirt sophomore running back Quay Holmes finished third in the STATS Jerry Rice Award balloting last year and was the SoCon Freshman of the Year.
• The Bucs' secondary returns 11 interceptions from last year, more than any other team in the league. Western Carolina returns eight in its secondary.
• Chattanooga alum Rusty Wright will be making his head coaching debut on Aug. 29 when the Mocs host Eastern Illinois. A four-year letterwinner for UTC and a two-time assistant coach for the Mocs, Wright replaces former head coach Tom Arth, who departed after two seasons at the helm.
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