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  • Writer's pictureCoach Gene Clemons

Week 7 Shakeout In The SoCon!

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Week 7 of the college football season has some intriguing matchups but none more impactful than in the Southern Conference. Conference leader Western Carolina has a bye this week after starting the season 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference. That includes two road conference wins. While they surprisingly sit at the top of the SoCon, the battles this Saturday not only hold in their balance positions beneath first place but also bragging rights and recruiting footholds.

Furman at Samford 1pm ET

At the beginning of the year, this game was circled as one of the most intriguing in the country. Most following the conference believed that it would be the game that decided the king of the hill in the SoCon. While Furman has kept an unblemished FCS record this season, Samford has not held up their end of the bargain. It started with the 30-7 shocker at Western Carolina which started a three-week losing streak to the Catamounts, Auburn (45-13), and Chattanooga (47-24). With two losses in conference they would need a lot to happen to have a shot at a title so their attention has to turn to spoilers. What better way to get the program going in the right direction, than to beat the FCS Nation Radio fifth-ranked Paladins at home. For Furman, they need this game to keep pace with Western Carolina and set up a massive showdown in Cullowhee North Carolina on October 21st.

This Samford team does not look like last season’s squad and this Furman unit will smell blood in the waters. I expect this to be a multiple touchdown Paladin beatdown that Catamount fans will be getting ready to deal with soon enough and we will say goodbye to any postseason talk from the Bulldogs.

Furman Rolls 41-17!

Chattanooga at Mercer 4pm ET

The Mocs were clipped at home in a 52-50 shootout against Western Carolina. A win would have given them a 4-0 record in the conference sitting atop heading into the weekend to face a Mercer squad that is desperate for a win to keep pace. While the goal will be the same for the Bears, the Mocs are now fighting to stay connected near the top. It is difficult to see two losses in conference getting it done this year with all of the parody around the country. The Bears will hope that the Mocs are still licking their wounds after such a crushing loss late in the game. They have rattled off two wins over VMI and ETSU after falling 38-14 at Furman back in late September. This is a perfect situation for the Bears who have the Mocs licking their wounds and hitting the road for a matchup. That late afternoon atmosphere in Macon Georgia will be electric.

This feels like a true coin flip game. Points will be abundant and you can expect another shootout. Both teams sit at 4-2 but I will give the edge to the home team and say that the Bears will find a way to make one more play than the mocs and come away with a tight victory.

Bears Stay Alive 41-34

VMI at The Citadel 1pm ET

While all of the conference positioning is going on, there will be a game in Charleston that has zero conference significance but a lot of intrigue. VMI coming off a bye week will travel to face their arch rivals The Citadel in the Military Classic of the South, played for the Silver Shako trophy. Both teams are going through similar transitions and are breaking in new head coaches this season. VMI have only won two games this season and one of them was in conference over Wofford but they have struggled against credible competition. The Citadel has not found victory this season. It has been a line of great opponents but they showed life last week in their 28-14 loss to Furman. This game will be a "who will get things straight sooner" game. Both teams recruit the same type of people and they both need to show that they are heading in the right direction.

This should be a spirited affair between two teams that not only need a win but would love nothing more than to get that win against their arch rival. Turnovers have been an issue for The Citadel but if they can clean that up, they have a chance to get their first win of the Maurice Drayton era.

The Citadel wins 24-21


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