GSC Week One Preview

September 3rd, 2019 9:00pm

GSC Week One Preview

A good afternoon to all of my fellow GSC fans out there and welcome to another year of GSC Football. The Season preview is in the books and now on to the matchups of Week 1. We have three games kicking off this Thursday as the appetizer, and then six games on Saturday for the full course meal. Let’s buckle up those chin straps, toss the coin, and kick this thing off.

West Florida (0-0, 0-0 GSC) at Carson-Newman (0-0, 0-0 SAC)

When: Thursday, September 5 at 6:00 P.M.

Where: Jefferson City, Tennessee

Series: West Florida, 1-0

Last Matchup: 2018 – West Florida 19-9

Live Stats: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statbroadcast.php?t=1&gid=cars

Radio: http://espnpensacola.com/

Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/cneagles/

 

Analysis: Last year, Carson-Newman went into Pensacola and played a tough game that pretty much was on the line until very late, losing 19-9 to West Florida. This year, West Florida will travel up to Jefferson City, Tennessee to take on a Carson-Newman team that’s looking to impress in front of their home crowd and to start the season off right with a big win.

West Florida returns 14 starters, 7 on offense and 7 on defense. On offense, they will be led by a transfer quarterback from Colorado State in J.C. Robles. Keep an eye out on the offense though since coach Pete Shinnick will be calling the plays this season after the sudden departure of offensive coordinator Jammie Deese. Will it be too much for Coach Shinnick to call the offense as well as manage the entire game? The offense needs to do a better job in getting Touchdowns versus field goals. Last year, Austin Williams kicked 4 field goals to assist in the victory. West Florida’s strength to start this season should be their defense. Carson-Newman’s option running offense ran up over 300 yards on the ground last year so the defense is going to have to try and create some turnovers and slow down this option as much as possible. Carson-Newman only threw for 14 yards in last year’s game. West Florida’s Trent Archie, Gulf South Conference Defensive Player of the Year from 2016 is back also after sitting out a year. Carson-Newman’s senior running back, Antonio Wimbush will be looking to have a great game.

Prediction: In a nail biter, I think a little payback is in the mind of this Carson-Newman squad and I think they will beat West Florida in front of their home crowd, which might be a little too much for breaking in a new quarterback.

Carson-Newman 27 West Florida 25

Tusculum (0-0, 0-0 SAC) at Delta State (0-0, 0-0 GSC)

When: Thursday, September 5 at 6:00 P.M.

Where: Cleveland, Mississippi

Series: Delta State, 1-0

Last Matchup: 2008 – Delta State 27-19

Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=264023

Radio: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/dsu/

Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/dsu/

Analysis: It’s been a long time since these two teams have met, with the last one being a playoff game in 2008 where Delta State pulled out the victory. Delta State is coming off a disappointing 2-8 season and Tusculum went 5-5 last season.

Delta State will be led by quarterback Patrick Shegog on offense. Shegog will have to decrease the number of interceptions this year compared to the 11 he threw last year. Points per game need to improve also. The Statesmen scored around 21 points per game last year. Delta’s running game needs to improve as well from a 140 yards per game average last year. Tusculum allowed defensively about the same point average and rushing yards average per game as Delta State was able to achieve on offense.

Prediction: I think Delta State will be ready to take a step towards improving off of last year’s record, and along with some key transfers, and playing at home, I’m giving the edge to the Fighting Okra.

Delta State 34 Tusculum 17

Newberry (0-0, 0-0 SAC) at North Greenville (0-0, 0-0 GSC)

When: Thursday, September 5 at 7:00 P.M.

Where: Tigerville, South Carolina

Series: Newberry, 12-3

Last Matchup: 2016 – Newberry 29-28

Live Stats: http://livestats.streamlinehosting.net/nguathletics/football/xlive.htm

Radio: https://www.youtube.com/northgreenvillesportsnetwork/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/northgreenvillesportsnetwork/

Analysis: Newberry will be making the drive over to Tigerville, South Carolina this Thursday night, assuming Hurricane Dorian doesn’t try and intervene. Obviously safety comes first, no matter what, and so our thoughts are with everyone in SC and all along the Atlantic Coast. Newberry is coming off a 5-6 record and North Greenville is coming off a 4-6 record.

North Greenville will be looking to improve offensively with transfer quarterback Logan Byrd taking the controls from now departed Will Hunter. North Greenville averaged about 250 yards passing a game last year, and so I imagine that number should improve now with Byrd behind center. North Greenville will have to cut down on the interception to touchdown ratio though (last year 16 interceptions to 17 touchdowns). The running game needs to improve as well from surprisingly low average of 82.6 yards per game, even though at times, I thought the running backs for North Greenville ran hard and pretty much north and south in most games, but probably needs a little more quickness back there to improve on a 2.4 yard average per rush. Defense should be salty again led by defensive back Aaron Watson. Newberry will try and establish the run quickly in this game and show some physical toughness against North Greenville. A big game for both teams to kick 2019 off.

Prediction: I think it will be close, possibly a typical hardnosed defensive slug fest, but I think Logan Byrd is the key and it’s at home for North Greenville.

North Greenville 16 Newberry 14

 

#14 West Georgia (0-0, 0-0 GSC) at Catawba (0-0, 0-0 SAC)

When: Saturday, September 7 at 12:00 P.M.

Where: Salisbury, North Carolina

Series: West Georgia, 2-1

Last Matchup: 2016 – West Georgia 23-3

Live Stats: http://gocatawbaindians.athleticsite.net/livestats/fb/xlive.htm?_ga=2.145015860.1800346393.1567614027-37913117.1563910662

Radio: http://www.mainstreamnetwork.com/listen/player.asp?station=wcks-fm&_ga=2.145015860.1800346393.1567614027-37913117.1563910662

Video: Not Available

Analysis: This Saturday, West Georgia, led by the legendary coach David Dean, will be making that short drive over the Appalachian Mountains to the home of the Catawba Braves with the expectations of bringing back home a 1-0 record. West Georgia is coming off a playoff run year of 10-2 and Catawba was 4-7.

West Georgia quarterback Willie Candler looks to lead a high flying, high scoring offense again this year even without the great Devontae Jackson, who now plays on Sunday’s. Catawba’s defense, which is plugging in some new faces this year, will try to improve on allowing 427 yards a game last year, and they will need to if they have any hope in staying in this game with this West Georgia offense. The bright spot is probably on offense for Catawba, led by quarterback Ken Avent, unfortunately, he along with the rest of his teammates will have to face probably the strength of West Georgia in their defense. This could perhaps be the best defense that Dean has had in his 3 years at West Georgia. Led by Clemson transfer linebacker Korie Rogers, and defensive end Chad Price, the defense looks mean and nasty and doesn’t look to be nice towards anyone this year, if they can stay healthy.

Prediction: Too much for Catawba right now. West Georgia, who has the coach and the resources, is on a mission and I don’t see Catawba stopping them.

West Georgia 41 Catawba 13

 

Limestone (0-0, 0-0 SAC) at #25 West Alabama (0-0, 0-0 GSC)

When: Saturday, September 7 at 6:00 P.M.

Where: Livingston, Alabama

Series: West Alabama, 1-0

Last Matchup: 2018 – West Alabama 16-13

Live Stats: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=weal

Radio: http://us7.maindigitalstream.com/2063/

Video: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=weal

Analysis: After a last second field goal to win the game last year, West Alabama will do everything they can to not allow this year’s matchup be so close, but a winless team of 0-10 from last year in Limestone will be making that long drive in order to hopefully break this awful losing streak.

West Alabama will have a new quarterback in the huddle going into this game Saturday night, either transfer Jack McDaniel or returning letterman Jacob Murphree. Whoever is reading the defense of Limestone, they will be protected by all five returning starters on the offensive line, led by two pre-season GSC selections. The running game should improve this year for West Alabama, and the receiving corps is very talented led by tight end Qua Boyd and wide receiver Christian Saulsberry. Limestone will have four out of their top five key defensive players from last year ready and with valuable playing experience under their belt. Limestone’s offense, which averaged about 18 points per game and 318 yards per game, will be returning their quarterback and top two running backs, but will be searching for a go to guy at wide receiver. West Alabama will be led by Jordan Jones at defensive end and Tavarius Hutchinson in the secondary for a defense that was 4th overall and 1st in stopping the run in the GSC.

Prediction: West Alabama has too much talent overall and will be focused more than last year’s close game in order to make a statement I believe.

West Alabama 38 Limestone 3

 

Mississippi College (0-0, 0-0 GSC) at Alcorn State (0-1, 0-0 FCS-SWAC)

When: Saturday, September 7 at 6:00 P.M.

Where: Lorman, Mississippi

Series: First game of Series

Last Matchup: Never played previously

Live Stats: https://alcornsports.com/sidearmstats/football/summary

Radio: https://www.gochoctaws.com/watch/?Live=48&type=Live

Video: https://alcornsports.com/watch/?Live=92&type=Live

Analysis: Mississippi College will drive over to Lorman, MS this Saturday to take on Alcorn State in a in-state Division 2 versus FCS game. Alcorn State has already played one game against Southern Miss last Saturday and lost 38-10 while this will be Mississippi College’s season debut. Mississippi College is coming off a 3-7 season from 2018, but played tough in every game up until the second half.

Alcorn State, an FCS opponent, will be looking to right the ship this Saturday along with playing some younger guys in what they hope to be a blow out. Mississippi College is coming in with 18 starters returning from last year. With electric Detric Hawthorn coming back at quarterback and defensive back Turner Rotenberry leading the defense, there should be some significant improvement on this Choctaw’s squad, however I think Alcorn State might be a tad too much for them at this point, if for no other reason, depth personnel.

Prediction: It’ll be a squeaker and will surprise some folks in the GSC who might be watching from a distance.

Alcorn State 23 Mississippi College 17

 

Valdosta State (0-0, 0-0 GSC) at Albany State (0-0, 0-0 SIAC)

When: Saturday, September 7 at 6:00 P.M.

Where: Albany, Georgia

Series: Valdosta State, 18-2

Last Matchup: 2018 – Valdosta State 45-14

Live Stats: https://asugoldenrams.com/sidearmstats/football/summary

Radio: http://talk921.com/

Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/albanystate/#live

Analysis: The 2018 National Champions Valdosta State Blazers will begin defending their title in a Region 2 game with in state rival Albany State of the SIAC. Valdosta State will be led by new coach Gary Goff, who has always been able to get the most out of his players, along with all everything quarterback Rogan Wells, a Harlon Hill finalist, running back Jamar Thomkins who will once again be following big offensive tackle and preseason all American Brandon Kemp. Albany State, defensively, will do its very best in order to stop Valdosta State or at least slow them down some. After a 7-4 season, Albany State, who is returning their top 4 defensive playmakers from a year ago, looks to improve on allowing 21 points per game and 315 yards per game. Valdosta State, defensively, will be led by defensive tackle Joseph Mazzone and so they shouldn’t lose a beat on defense. Albany State also returns their quarterback, top wide receiver, and top two running backs from last year, along with former North Greenville running back Tracy Scott.

Prediction: Valdosta State might see a little drop off this year, but it won’t be much and it won’t be against Albany State on Saturday either.

Valdosta State 38 Albany State 17

 

Florida Tech (0-0, 0-0 GSC) at Savannah State (0-0, 0-0 SIAC)

When: Saturday, September 7 at 6:00 P.M.

Where: Savannah, Georgia

Series: First game of series

Last Matchup: Never played previously

Live Stats: Not Available

Radio: Not Available

Video: Not Available

Analysis: This will be the first time ever for these two teams to meet and while we are hoping Hurricane Dorian continues to move out of harm’s way, we will be keeping an eye on this one since the game is being played in Savannah, GA. Savannah State is in year two of dropping down from division 1 to division 2, so look for Savannah State to be pretty competitive with Florida Tech early on in this game.

Florida Tech, coming off a playoff year, will be trying to start back where they left off last year as a playoff contender under coach Englehart. Led by quarterback Trent Chmelik, the Florida Tech offense will attempt to spread out the Savannah State all over the field. When Savannah State is on offense, a John McClure led defense will be attempting to lower that 23 points per game allowed average from last year as well as recovering more fumbles when the opportunities arise. Last year out of 24 fumbles caused, only 10 were recovered by the Florida Tech defense.

Prediction: Tough game to predict, but I am going to go with the home field advantage of Savannah State. I haven’t seen them, but I am thinking that the depth based on scholarship numbers from years past will be too much for a Florida Tech squad that is still very talented for division 2, so an upset would not surprise me either.

Savannah State 28 Florida Tech 26

 

Shorter (0-0, 0-0 GSC) at East Tennessee State (0-0, 0-0 FCS-SOCON)

When: Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 P.M.

Where: Johnson City, Tennessee

Series: First game of series

Last Matchup: Never played previously

Live Stats: Not Available

Radio: http://www.995thejock.com/

Video: ESPN +

Analysis: Shorter will travel for the fifth straight year to play an division FCS opponent in East Tennessee State, led by coach Randy Sanders, former Tennessee Volunteers offensive coordinator. East Tennessee State is coming off an impressive 8-4 season as well as making the FCS playoffs so they not only have the depth that goes with being an FCS team, but they have the confidence and expectations to go even deeper in the FCS playoffs this year.

Shorter, led by energetic coach Zach Morrison, who is in his second year with the Hawks, will be returning some key pieces in his quarterback Tyler Pullum who owns most of the passing records at Shorter along with defensive back Nehemiah Reddish, a preseason Gulf South Conference selection, who is the leader of that defense. Although Shorter is on a 39 game losing streak dating back to 2015, at some point all streaks of any kind must come to an end, but I’m just not convinced it will be this weekend.

Prediction: Shorter will be tough in the first quarter, but East Tennessee State will flex its muscles and the rout will begin unfortunately.

East Tennessee State 62 Shorter 6

 

All questions and comments can be sent to me at jc071172@yahoo.com . Also, feel free to connect with me on twitter at @jc071172_jay.