GSC Playoffs Preview & Picks - Second Round

November 24th, 2023 6:00am

GSC Playoffs Preview & Picks - Second Round

What better way to continue the Thanksgiving celebration than to break out the leftovers and watch MORE college football on Saturday?! We have another Gulf South Conference rematch on the horizon in Super Region 2 as Delta State and Valdosta State square off in Mississippi following dominant First Round victories.


Gulf South Playoff Results - First Round

No. 14 Valdosta State 62, Limestone 41
No. 8 Delta State 49, No. 19 West Florida 14


NCAA Division II Playoffs - Second Round (all times Eastern)

No. 14 Valdosta State (11-1, 7-1 GSC) at No. 8 Delta State (10-1, 7-1 GSC)
Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2:00 PM | Cleveland, Miss. | Audio | Stats | Video 

Valdosta State’s offense put up big numbers in last week’s First Round win over Limestone, tallying 62 points and 585 yards of total offense scoring at least one touchdown in each quarter of play. Quarterback Sammy Edwards cemented his name in the VSU records books, throwing for a program playoff record six touchdowns in the win, including two each to Council Allen and Rodney Bullard. The offense also found success in the run game as sophomore back Bud Chaney ran for 132 yards and a score on just 14 carries against a porous Limestone defense.

However, despite the offensive success for the Blazers, the defense surrendered 41 points and 498 total yards to the Saints. The unit was able to force two turnovers in the contest (one interception and a fumble), but have allowed an average of 373.8 yard per game to opposing offenses including over 160 yards per game on the ground.

Delta State will certainly look to take advantage of its strength in the run game as the Statesmen average 224.3 yards per game on the ground. In last week’s dominant win over West Florida, DSU had just 129 rushing yards but reminded everyone that two-time reigning Gulf South Player of the Year Patrick Shegog can produce in a variety of ways as the signal caller threw for 318 yards and six touchdowns. His six touchdown scores were spread across five different receivers and seven total Statesmen caught a pass.

Defensively, the Statesmen made a statement in holding UWF to just 14 points and 83 rushing yards as the unit had 10 tackles for loss and three sacks. Senior lineman Timaje Porter had his way up front, totaling nine tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.

The regular season contest between these two programs was one-sided with Delta State claiming victory on the road in a tough Valdosta environment. Now the Statesmen are in front of their home crowd which should provide all the added momentum they need to stay alive in the playoffs.

My pick: Delta State