Happenings This Week In the Gulf South Conference Football Lineup

By  //  September 10, 2015

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Trevor Sand breaks up the middle in last Saturday’s 31-28 defeat to Newberry. (Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Week Two of the 2015 season features six non-conference contests and is headlined by Game One of the Florida’s Space Coast GSC-TV on ESPN package.

Traditional GSC rivals North Alabama and Mississippi College kick off the package for the second consecutive season, when the No. 13 UNA Lions host the MC Choctaws on Saturday at 6:00 pm (CT). The contest marks the first Conference clash of the season and is the first meeting between the two former GSC rivals in Florence, Ala. since 1994.

The game is exclusive to ESPN3 and can be accessed at www.gscsports.org/ESPN3.

The Conference puts its impressive non-conference record on the line on starting on Thursday when West Alabama hosts NAIA member Cumberland University (Tenn.).

A slate of five non-conference clashes complete Saturday’s schedule. Shorter and No. 3 West Georgia both face in-region, non-conference foes. SU officially opens up its 2015 regular season with the first game of the day, traveling to South Atlantic Conference foe Carson-Newman. UWG seeks to up its in-region record to 2-0 later that evening, hosting Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Miles.

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No. 10 Delta State travels to No. 18 Texas A&M-Commerce in one of just two Top 25 matchups on Saturday.

No. 14 Valdosta State and Winston-Salem State lock horns on neutral ground in Powder Springs, Ga. in the “Cobb County Clash” for the second year in a row.

The final game of the week features Florida Tech which journeys to NCAA DI-FCS Southland Conference foe Southeastern Louisiana.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

Cumberland Univ., Tenn. (1-0) @ West Alabama (1-0), 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Tiger Stadium, Livingston, Ala.
Series: 0-0
Last Meeting: First Meeting
West Alabama kicks off the week, defending Tiger Stadium in its home opener versus NAIA member Cumberland University (Tenn.).
Both teams seek to build on wins last weekend in Thursday night’s first-ever matchup. UWA blew past Stillman, 52-9, while CU upset NAIA #11 Georgetown (Ky.) at home, 33-26. The Tigers are 4-1 in September under head coach Brett Gilliland since he took over the program a year ago. West Alabama has dropped the last four games at home dating back to 2014 and a win over the Bulldogs would give UWA its second straight 2-0 start.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

Shorter (0-0) @ Carson-Newman (1-0), 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Burke-Tarr Stadium, Jefferson City, Tenn.
Series: C-N leads 1-0
Last Meeting: C-N 45, @ SU 28 (2013)
The GSC and the South Atlantic Conference complete their head-to-head matchups when Shorter goes to Carson-Newman.
SU officially flips the switch on 2015 after collecting a 38-12 home exhibition win over University of Faith (Fla.) last week. C-N plays at home for the second straight week after surviving a near upset versus the Univ. of the Cumberlands (Ky.), 59-56. The Eagles have a 1-0 lead in the all-time series after topping the Hawks in Rome, Ga. in 2013, 45-28. Shorter is 1-4 all-time versus the SAC. The Hawks captured their last road win in 2014 at SAC member Mars Hill.

#14 Valdosta State (1-0) vs. Winston-Salem State (0-1), 6:00 pm ET
Location: Cantrell Stadium/McEachern High School, Powder Springs, Ga.
Series: VSU leads 2-0
Last Meeting: VSU 22, WSSU 15 (2014)
No. 14 Valdosta State and Winston-Salem State return to Powder Springs, Ga. for the second year in a row in the “Cobb Country Clash.”
The squads have battled on neutral ground in all three meetings with VSU earning victories in the two previous matchups. The Blazers collected a 22-15 win in 2014 and opened the series by cruising to a 35-7 victory in the 2012 NCAA DII Title Game. Valdosta State plays a neutral-site, regular-season game for the fourth year in a row after topping Fort Valley State in Macon, Ga. in 2013 and Angelo State in Arlington, Texas in 2012.

” FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST GSC-TV ON ESPN”
Mississippi College (1-0, 0-0) @ #13 North Alabama (1-0, 0-0), 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Braly Municipal Stadium, Florence, Ala.
Series: UNA leads 15-14-2
Last Meeting: UNA 58, @ MC 0 (2014)
GSC-TV flips the switch on the 11th edition of its annual television package when No. 13 North Alabama hosts future league member Mississippi College.
MC travels to Florence, Ala. for the first time since 1994 when the Choctaws were in their second-to-last year as an official GSC member. UNA and the Choctaws open the curtain on GSC-TV for the second year in a row after the Lions shutout MC in the 2014 opener, 58-0. The victory gave North Alabama the all-time series lead, 15-14-2, but Mississippi College still owns an 8-5-2 edge at Braly Municipal Stadium. UNA has won five consecutive versus MC dating back to 1992 and has claimed the last three matchups by a score of 123-3. North Alabama is 13-9 all-time in front of a GSC-TV audience.

#10 Delta State (1-0) @ #18 Texas A&M-Commerce (1-0), 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: Memorial Stadium, Commerce, Tex.
Series: TAMCU leads 3-2
Last Meeting: TAMCU 45, DSU 37 (2013/Dallas, Texas)
No. 10 Delta State travels six hours west to face Lone Star Conference member No. 18 Texas A&M-Commerce.
Saturday marks the sixth all-time meeting versus the squads with TAMCU owning a 3-2 edge. DSU has never beaten the Lions away from home, falling in Dallas, Tex. in 2013 (45-37) coupled with setbacks at Commerce, Tex. in 1978 (17-6) and 1993 (19-14). Delta State earned home wins in 1979 (31-19) and in 1994 (19-14). DSU is 5-14 against Texas schools in its 90-year history.

Miles (0-1) @ #3 West Georgia (1-0), 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: University Stadium, Carrollton, Ga.
Series: UWG leads 7-1
Last Meeting: UWG 26, @ MC 0 (2014)
No. 3 West Georgia hopes to extend an impressive non-conference streak when the Wolves open their home schedule versus SIAC foe Miles College.
UWG has opened the last two campaigns with back-to-back victories against in-region, non-conference opponents and a win over the Golden Bears would increase that number to three. West Georgia returns to Carrollton, Ga. after cruising past in-region Catawba last week, 44-13. UWG and Miles face off for the fifth consecutive season and the Wolves own a 7-1 lead in the all-time series thanks to a 4-0 record at home. MC plays a GSC member for the second straight week after North Alabama earned a 34-17 decision in Birmingham, Ala. last Sunday.

Florida Tech (0-1) @ Southeastern Louisiana (1-0), 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: Strawberry Stadium, Hammond, La.
Series: 0-0
Last Meeting: First Meeting
Florida Tech faces its lone NCAA DI-FCS team this year, making its first-ever trip to the Pelican State to battle Southeastern Louisiana.
FIT seeks to bounce back from last weekend’s last-second home loss to Newberry. FIT is 7-3 against non-GSC opponents since its 2013 inaugural campaign thanks to six wins in the last seven games. Florida Tech is 2-1 against FCS foes after topping in-state Stetson in 2013 and 2014 and nearly upsetting Bethune-Cookman on the road in 2014, 34-33.

GSC FOOTBALL–WEEK IN REVIEW

• Gulf South Conference Football sprinted out of the starting gate last week, posting a 7-1 record in the opening week of the 2015 season.

• Five GSC squads earned important Division II Super Region 2 victories led by four wins versus Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference members and one more versus the South Atlantic Conference.

• No. 10 Delta State kicked off the season on Thursday night at home, earning the program’s 450th all-time victory by cruising past SIAC member Fort Valley State, 48-7. The Statesmen exploded for 25 unanswered points in the first quarter, lighting the scoreboard on all four of its possessions. Quarterback Tyler Sullivan had a direct hand in all but one of DSU’s six touchdowns, passing for three and running for two more.

• No. 3 West Georgia shook off a slow start in the first half to earn a 44-13 triumph at in-region, SAC member Catawba on Saturday. UWG held a three-point lead heading into the locker room, but the Wolves took control in the final 30 minutes, rolling up 28 points while shutting out the Indians in the second half.

• No. 14 Valdosta State held on to record an exciting, 21-13 victory at nearby SIAC rival Albany State. VSU seemed to have the game in control after taking a 21-6 edge with 14:14 remaining in the game, but ASU cut into the deficit in the final 10 minutes. The Blazers’ defense stepped up on ASU’s final drive of the game icing the game for VSU.

• The West Alabama Tigers won the second annual “Tiger Bowl” at nearby SIAC rival, the Stillman Tigers, 52-9. SC led 7-3 after the first quarter before UWA outscored Stillman, 42-2 over the next 30 minutes. West Alabama limited SC to minus-2 yards rushing in the first half and just 48 for the game.
Future member Mississippi College celebrated its home opener on Saturday, blowing past NAIA Texas College, 61-6. MC scored the most points in a game since 2009 and the Choctaws tied a school record with seven rushing touchdowns registered by seven different players.
Shorter University got its feet wet, hosting University of Faith in an exhibition contest on Saturday. The Hawks controlled the game, holding a 38-0 lead until the final four minutes until UF spoiled the shutout in a 38-12 final. SU’s defense held the Glory Hawks to minus-11 yards rushing for the game and 61 total yards.
Florida Tech could not overcome injuries to three key starters, falling at home to SAC foe Newberry, 31-28. FIT led 14-3 in the second quarter until an injury ended the night for Preseason All-GSC quarterback Mark Cato. The Panthers held a four-point lead late into the fourth quarter before NC scored a go-ahead TD with 34 ticks on the clock. FIT drove inside Wolves’ territory, seeking to force overtime, but a 51-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright as time expired.

• No. 13 North Alabama wrapped up Week One, traveling to Birmingham, Ala. to battle in-state, in-region rival Miles in front of 21,834 fans at Legion Field. UNA extended its advantage to 27-3 with 12:21 left to play, but MC followed its first touchdown by recovering an onside kick and scoring another TD. Lamonte Thompson put the game away for the Lions when he reeled-off a 29-yard scamper with 2:30 remaining.


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