SAC Quarterfinal Preview

December 1st, 2023 11:00am

SAC Quarterfinal Preview

We are down to the elite eight in this years D2 football season. Last weekend delivered some nail-biting finishes and some more great football. It was a lot better than the blowouts that took place in the first round. The quarterfinals have a tough act to follow! In the SAC, Lenoir-Rhyne continues to run, making their 3rd regional final appearance since 2018, after defeating top seed and unbeaten Benedict. We will see if Coach Jacobs and company can continue the run this week down in South Georgia.


Last Week: 1-0

Season: 59-20


Lenoir-Rhyne (12-1) at Valdosta State (12-1)

  • Location/Time: Valdosta, Georgia / 1 PM
  • Last Meeting: Valdosta State won 61-21 (2018) / Valdosta State leads series 2-0-0.
  • Line:  Lenoir-Rhyne favored by -3.5



Valdosta State

Total Offense

452.6 YPG (1st in SAC)

455.8 YPG (1st in GSC)

Passing Offense

241.5 YPG (2nd in SAC)

325.2 YPG (1st in GSC)

Rushing Offense

211.1 YPG (1st in SAC)

130.5 YPG (7th in GSC)

Scoring Offense

39.8 PPG (1st in SAC)

39.2 PPG (2nd in GSC)

Red Zone

85% (3rd in SAC)

83.1 % (2nd iin GSC)

Turnover Margin



Total Defense

248.9 YPG (1st in SAC)

370.2 YPG (5th in GSC)

Passing Defense

170.1 YPG (1st in SAC)

203.9 YPG (5th in GSC)

Rushing Defense

78.8 YPG (1st in SAC)

166.2 YPG (5th in GSC)

Scoring Defense

12.2 PPG (1st in SAC)

23.5 PPG (4th in GSC)


61.0 YPG (5th in SAC)

60.8 YPG (6th in GSC)

Lenoir-Rhyne advanced after taking down top-seeded Benedict last weekend 35-25. The Bears trailed at halftime 19-14, before outscoring the Tigers 21-6 in the 2nd half. Coach Jacobs crew put up 560 yards of offense, with Dwayne McGee leading the way on the ground (21-216-1) and Sean White having another solid day through the air (27 for 35, 310 yards and 2 TD). The Bears had some trouble stopping big plays and the pass defense repeatedly got cooked. The Tigers defensive line also was a massive problem, sacking White 4 times on the afternoon. But the Bears, once again, found a way to get the job done and seem to be peaking at the right time.

The Blazers got a massive win over conference rival Delta State last weekend, exacting revenge on the Statesmen for their only regular season loss. Valdosta scored 10 points in the last 2:42 of the game, capped off by B.K. Smith’s 24-yard pass from Harlon Hill Finalist Sammy Edwards with nine seconds remaining. Edwards would finish the game with over 400 yards of total offense and was assisted with a solid effort from the Blazer defense. It is a tall task to try and shut down Patrick Shegog from Delta State, but Valdosta did about as good a job as anyone has this year.

Lenoir-Rhyne at Valdosta State; the matchup I had in my super region two final. And the Bears are hoping it is not like the last trip to Valdosta, when they got absolutely smashed by 40. For the Bears, they need to try to score a bunch early and often. You can’t let the Blazers stay in the game. Don’t let the foot off the gas. I like how this Bears offense matches up against the Valdosta defense. On the flip side, I worry that Sammy Edwards is going to have a field day against the Bears pass defense and create some running lanes for himself and the Blazer backs. L-R has struggled against the pass in some games this year (Limestone, Wingate, Benedict for example) and Valdosta absolutely can scorch you with big plays in a hurry.

I’m going with the Blazers of Valdosta State in this one, despite not feeling overly confident. I think Valdosta is the best offense the Bears have seen this year and if it turns into a track meet that favors the Blazers. But L-R is possibly the best defense Valdosta has faced this year, especially the front 7. Jefferson and Maye are so much fun to watch. The two primary reasons I am going with Valdosta are because they are great at home especially in the playoffs, and I cannot get the beating they put on Limestone out of my head. The same Limestone team that Lenoir-Rhyne was fortunate to come out with a win against. The level of competition Valdosta has played also plays into their edge for me as well.  I wouldn’t be shocked with a Lenoir-Rhyne win though and the winner likely is heading to Arkansas or Michigan assuming Colorado Mines wins.

If you have any questions or comments you’d like answered, please feel free to contact me. If there is something specific, you’d like to see covered, let me know as well. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Threads, etc.

Don’t forget to join us at Inside D2Football each Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern