THE LIFE OF RILEY
He may share a name with a famous basketball coach, but Benedict quarterback Pat Riley is making his own mark this season. The 6-foot, 180-pound redshirt junior from Attapulgus, Ga., put together a phenomenal game in the 28-20 victory against Fort Valley State. He rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries and added 50 yards passing. Riley needs 80 yards rushing to reach the 1,000-yard mark. In addition to 920 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns, he also has thrown for 573 yards and four scores. The Tigers (6-3, 4-3 SIAC) have won three games in a row heading into today's game at Stillman.
THE DRIVER'S SEAT
S.C. State is alone atop the MEAC after a victory against Hampton while previously unbeaten Morgan State lost to Delaware State, this week's opponent for the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-0). S.C. State, which has won 15 consecutive conference games, will look to get their running game going after picking up only 64 rushing yards last week. Fortunately, quarterback Malcolm Long completed 21-of-26 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns in the 21-9 victory.
HOSE FALLIN DOWN
Presbyterian's long season - its third transitioning from Division II to Division I FCS - under first-year coach Harold Nichols got longer in last week's loss to VMI. The Blue Hose (0-7, 0-2 Big South) do not get any favors today with a road trip to No. 23 Liberty. The Flames (5-2, 2-0) are still smarting from last season's 31-28 upset loss to PC, a defeat that likely cost them a playoff bid. That is also the last win for the Blue Hose, whose losing streak over the past two seasons has reached 10. With games remaining against Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina and Gardner-Webb after Liberty, Presbyterian is hoping to avoid its first winless season since 1957, when it went 0-8-1.
Furman's loss to The Citadel last week does not bode well for a visit from No. 7 Appalachian State (5-2, 4-0 SoCon), which has won seven of its past eight meetings against the Paladins (4-3, 3-2). ASU sports the nation's top offense at 507 yards per game, facing a Paladin defense that allows a league-worst 412 yards per game. That means Furman will need to score a lot of points, which will require a big game from senior QB Jordan Sorrells. He needs 238 yards passing to leap over Ingle Martin as the program's career passing leader.
Wofford snapped a four-game losing streak last week with a victory against Western Carolina, but the Terriers (2-5, 1-3 SoCon) will need to play their best game of the season with No. 6 Elon (6-1, 4-0) in town. Wofford has defeated the Phoenix in six of their past seven meetings. The Terriers lead the nation in rushing with 274 yards per game, while Elon is second nationally against the run by giving up 64 yards per game. Wofford has its own tough task on defense trying to slow an Elon passing attack that average 307 yards per game, led by the dynamic duo of quarterback Scott Riddle and receiver Terrell Hudgins, who has a FCS-best 71 catches for 889 yards.
- Neil White