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SoCon Weekend Primer

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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The Citadel hasn't beaten Wofford in 15 years, but the Bulldogs will attempt to end that streak this weekend.

Citadel at Wofford

The Citadel travels to Spartanburg this weekend to try to end its 15-year drought against Wofford. These teams are similar in that they both come out and try to punish their opponents and pound them into submission. Expect the rushing yards to pile up in this one, as a pair of top five FCS ground attacks face off. The Bulldogs are coming off a big win against Gardner-Webb, a team that beat the Terriers a couple of weeks ago. However, the Gardner-Webb that was thrashed by The Citadel was missing a number of key players that helped it get a win against Wofford. Expect a knock down, drag out fight to the very end. But when the dust settles, the Terriers will extend their streak.

Prediction: 28-24 Wofford

Western Carolina at Presbyterian

 

Western Carolina goes on the road this weekend to play Presbyterian at Bailey Memorial Stadium. The Catamounts are trying to make it four wins in a row, their only lost this season coming against an FBS opponent, South Florida, in week one. The Cats should not overlook this Presbyterian squad that is averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground. The Blue Hose are capable of winning this game, having upset Furman earlier this year and getting last week off, giving them plenty of time to prepare. Western Carolina will put it all together on both sides of the ball and win decisively, furthering its status as a dark horse contender in the SoCon.

Prediction: 35-13 Western Carolina

Mercer at Samford

Mercer heads to Birmingham, Alabama, to take on the Samford Bulldogs on Saturday. This looks like it will be a tough one for the Bears, having to go on the road against maybe the second-most talented team in the conference. Samford looks like the heavy favorite on paper, but the game isn't played on paper, and the Bulldogs still have to show up and take care of business. Samford is typically a run first team, but it opened up the playbook last week and Michael Eubanks took advantage, throwing for 244 yards and two touchdowns plus another 51 yards rushing. He will hope to cut back on the turnovers this week, tossing three picks against Chattanooga. Don't count on any upsets in this game. The Bulldogs will get the job done and win in convincing fashion.

Prediction: 42-24 Samford

VMI at Chattanooga

Chattanooga established itself as the clear favorite to win the SoCon after beating Samford a week ago. VMI has been the polar opposite up to this point. No one can reasonably expect the Keydets to win this game. All anyone can ask is that they come out and play hard from start to finish like they always do. They should use this as an opportunity to get better, as should Chattanooga. The Mocs will probably get an opportunity to rest some of their starters and let some of the backups see the field. Look for the Mocs to dominate in their homecoming game and have the the second string in by the second half.

Prediction: 48-7

Coastal Carolina at Furman

Undefeated Coastal Carolina faces a struggling Furman team this week. The Chanticleers are currently ranked third in the FCS. Furman, on the other hand, is in a state of turmoil, having gone from one of the preseason favorites to mediocre at best after losing Reese Hannon in the season opener. Furman needs time to catch its breath, but that won't come this week against one of the best FCS teams in the country. The one silver lining for the Paladins may be getting some more game experience for P.J. Blazejowski. A game like this can also ruin a young quarterback's confidence, however, so that's something of which Bruce Fowler should be wary. Expect Furman to struggle to put points on the board and for the Chanticleers to coast to a victory.

Prediction: 30-10 Coastal Carolina

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP