NO PLACE LIKE HOME
After opening the season with a pair of games in Florida, S.C. State plays host to Winston-Salem State. The Bulldogs, who defeated Grambling and Bethune-Cookman to start the season, seek their first 3-0 start since 2005. The non-conference matchup has been controlled over the years by S.C. State, which has won six of the past seven meetings. The Bulldogs are winning despite standout running back Will Ford not gaining 100 yards in either of the first two games. The defense allowed only 97 yards to Bethune-Cookman two weeks ago and was led by linebacker David Irby, who was last week's MEAC Player of the Week.
JUMPING INTO THE SAC
Newberry (2-1) begins South Atlantic Conference play at league favorite Carson-Newman (2-2). The Eagles, a perennial Division II power with five national championships and 20 SAC titles, have struggled to start this season. The home team has won the past three meetings in the series after a dominating run by the Eagles, who won 18 in a row prior to that. A Newberry win would place first-year coach Todd Knight's team in the driver's seat in the conference race. Senior quarterback Brandon Gantt, a former Heathwood Hall star, has completed 71-of-108 passes for 745 yards this season.
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TRYING ON NEW HOSE
The Citadel is playing a long-lost opponent when Presbyterian comes to Johnson Hagood Stadium for its home opener. While this is the 61st meeting between the programs, it is the first time since 1991 the two have played. This matchup marks the first time they have played since PC's move to the FCS level. New coach Harold Nichols is still searching for his first victory with the Blue Hose, who compete in the Big South. After three consecutive losses to Southern Conference foes, this one will not be any easier. The Bulldogs have won six of their past seven home openers and lead the series 48-11-1.
SOMEBODY'S GOTTA WIN
Two state schools will try to get one in the win column today when Charleston Southern (0-3) plays host to North Greenville (0-4). As a FCS school, the Bucs will have the advantage against the Division II Crusaders. CSU, which is playing its home opener, has won eight of nine meetings against North Greenville, which has not won a game against a FCS foe since 2006. With a victory, CSU coach Jay Mills will become the winningest coach in program history. Mills, who is 34-36 with the Bucs, is familiar with his counterpart on the other sideline, Jamey Chadwell, who spent the past five seasons as a CSU assistant before taking the North Greenville job.
LICKING THEIR WOUNDS
Both Wofford and Furman were shelled in their Midwestern forays into FBS territory. The Terriers were thumped by Wisconsin 44-14, and the Paladins were pounded by Missouri 52-12. The two return to Southern Conference play with Wofford (1-2) traveling to Chattanooga (2-1) and Furman (2-1) heading to Western Carolina (0-3). The Terriers, who have already fumbled five times, two less than all of last season, will need to hold onto the football against the Mocs. The Paladins should have an easier time of rebounding, however, given that they have defeated the Catamounts in nine of their past 10 meetings.
- Neil White