This Week in Gulf South Conference Football, Oct. 28
By Florida Tech // October 28, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – With just three weeks left in the 2015 regular season, GSC Football squads begin to set their sights on the post-season after Monday’s release of the first set NCAA DII regional rankings.
West Georgia enters Week Nine as the No. 1 team in both of the national polls and in the NCAA Super Region Two Top 10. UWG travels to the Magnolia State for the second time in three weeks, journeying to Mississippi College for the first time since 1993.
North Alabama returns home after suffering its first Conference loss of the year at UWG. The Lions are still in great position for a post-season bid, entering at No. 3. UNA hosts Delta State on Saturday in the 59th all-time meeting.
The Florida’s Space Coast GSC-TV on ESPN3 package kicks off Saturday’s action at Noon (ET) when Valdosta State hosts West Alabama in Game Eight. The matchup received added importance after the regional spots were announced, as UWA came in at No. 8 and VSU at No. 10. A loss by either team would be a severe blow to any post-season aspirations. The game is exclusive to ESPN3 and can be accessed HERE
Florida Tech returns to Panther Stadium for the first time in four weeks. FIT has built its first-ever four-game winning streak and earned a No. 9 regional ranking this week. Shorter comes to Melbourne, Fla. seeking to even its road record which stands at 2-3.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
“FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST GSC-TV ON ESPN3”
West Alabama (6-2, 2-2 GSC) @ #24 Valdosta State (5-2, 2-2 GSC), 12:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, Valdosta, Ga.
Series: VSU leads 30-4
Last Meeting: VSU 24, @ UWA 17 (2014)
No. 24 Valdosta State and West Alabama play in front of a GSC-TV audience for the third consecutive season and fourth time overall.
VSU hosts it’s first-ever TV clash versus UWA after the Tigers hosted the previous three. West Alabama took the first two contests, 24-21 in 2010 and 49-30 in 2013. The Blazers secured their first TV win in the series a year ago, 24-17. UWA’s two wins also came against nationally ranked Valdosta State squads. UWA is 1-0 in GSC-TV games this year and are 16-11 all-time, while VSU is 1-1 and 15-11 all-time.
The Blazers own a 30-4 edge in the all-time series, but the rivals have traded victories dating back to 2009. Valdosta State hosts the rivalry for the first time since 2012 when it split a pair of matchups capped by a 49-21 decision in the NCAA Playoffs. VSU is also 17-1 at home against UWA with the Tigers’ lone victory coming in the 2012 regular season, 39-28.
Delta State (5-3, 1-3) @ #21 North Alabama (5-2, 3-1), 1:30 p.m. CT
Location: Braly Municipal Stadium, Florence, Ala.
Series: UNA leads 31-26-1
Last Meeting: @ DSU 33, UNA 28 (2014)
Delta State and No. 21 North Alabama each hope to get back on the winning track in Florence, Ala. on Saturday.
UNA suffered its first league loss of the season at West Georgia a week ago, while DSU fell for the second week in a row at home versus West Alabama. Saturday marks the 59th meeting between the two charter GSC members with the Lions holding a 31-26-1 advantage. The Statesmen have won five of the last six matchups, including back-to-back triumphs inside Braly Municipal Stadium after outlasting UNA in overtime in 2011 and a squeaking past the Lions in 2013, 37-34. The Lions are 3-0 at home this year, while DSU is 2-0 away from home.
#1 West Georgia (8-0, 4-0 GSC) @ Mississippi College (2-5, 0-4 GSC), 3:00 p.m. CT
Location: Robinson-Hale Stadium, Clinton Miss.
Series: MC leads 8-5
Last Meeting: @ UWG 55, MC 14 (2014)
Mississippi College defends its home turf for the second straight week when No. 1 West Georgia journeys to Clinton, Miss. for the first time since 1993.
The former GSC rivals restarted their series a year ago after a 21-year hiatus. MC is 8-5 all-time versus UWG, led by a 5-1 home record. The Wolves have reeled off four straight versus the Choctaws dating back to 1993 when the Wolves secured a 27-25 win in their last trip to MC. West Georgia has hosted the last three meetings in 1994, 1995 and 2014.
Shorter (2-5, 1-3 GSC) @ Florida Tech (5-3, 3-1 GSC), 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Florida Tech Panther Stadium, Melbourne, Fla.
Series: FIT leads 2-0
Last Meeting: FIT 34, @ SU 30 (2014)
Florida Tech returns to Panther Stadium for the first time in three weeks and just the fourth time all season when Shorter travels to Melbourne, Fla.
FIT is seeking to stretch its best-ever winning streak to five after reeling off four straight led by three road triumphs. The Panthers is 2-0 in the series, but only four points has secured the victory in each triumph. The Panthers collected a 28-24 home win in the series opener in 2013 and recorded a 34-30 road win a year ago. Both of Shorter’s wins have come on the road this season, while FIT is 2-1 at home.
GSC–WEEK IN REVIEW
There is a new No. 1 in the GSC and in the nation, as West Georgia took over sole possession of first-place in the league standings and jumped to the top of the latest AFCA Top 25 poll.
UWG and North Alabama matched up in a show down between the league’s co-leaders in Saturday’s Game 7 of the Florida’s Space Coast GSC-TV on ESPN3 clash in Carrollton, Ga. The Wolves defense held UNA to just 139 rushing yards, while their rushing attack was keyed by 100-yard efforts by quarterback Dallas Dickey (123) and running back Devonte Jackson (142). The victory, coupled with a loss by Minnesota State, opened the door for the Wolves to climb to No. 1 in the AFCA poll for the first time in school history.
Valdosta State opened the week, claiming a 37-22 win at Shorter in Thursday’s edition of GSC-TV. The in-state rivals combined for 732 rushing yards and the game was headlined by impressive running efforts by SU’s B.J. McCoy and VSU’s Cedric Jones. McCoy surpassed the 200-yard mark for the second week in a row, racking up 256 yards which was good for seventh in the GSC Record Books. Jones scampered for 191 yards, including a 91-yard TD run which ranked as the fourth longest rush in Conference history.
Florida Tech remained a game back of UWG after recording a 31-14 triumph at Mississippi College that gave the Panthers their first-ever four-game winning streak. Quarterback Mark Cato had a hand in all four of FIT’s touchdowns, including three scoring strikes and one rushing TD.
West Alabama upset No. 22 Delta State on the road, 41-38, after trailing by 18 points in the final nine minutes. DSU trailed by three at the half, but seemed to grab control of the game with 21 unanswered points in the third quarter. UWA quarterback Harry Satterwhite started the comeback by tossing two touchdowns in a 10-second span at 9:02 and 8:52.
The Tigers answered a DSU field goal via another TD strike by Satterwhite and Mark Grant put the game away by nailing a 27-yard field goal with 19 ticks on the clock. Statesmen signal caller Tyler Cameron had a career-day, passing for a GSC season-high 491 yards and five touchdowns.