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More than a title on the line in Boone

More than a title on the line in Boone

More than a title on the line in Boone


Eric Breitenstein is leading the Southern Conference in rushing, and it isn’t even close.

When he and the No. 4 Wofford Terriers (8-1, 6-0 SoCon) take on No. 3 Appalachian State Saturday at 3 p.m. in Boone, N.C. for the de facto SoCon championship, the Mountaineers (8-1, 6-1) may be wondering, "What if?"

Breitenstein, a junior who averages 6.8 yards per carry and has racked up 1,189 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, almost became a Mountaineer, where his brother played his college football.

"I was at Corey Lynch’s wedding, and it was during a dead period," said ASU coach Jerry Moore. "You couldn’t really talk football or recruiting. The Breitensteins were there — Seth played for us — and I was around Eric a little bit. … Time went by and he committed to Wofford. {WC coach Mike Ayers] and I are good friends, so once that happened, I didn’t try to muddy the water at all."

For Ayers, Breitenstein, a 5-foot-11, 225-pound fullback, simply fit better into the Terriers’ triple-option system.

"Quite frankly, it comes down to you have guys that fit into your system. Our system is perfect for Eric, where in App’s he may not be as good of a fit," Ayers said. "But in our system, he was the kind of guy we look for, and he’s almost at 1,200 yards right now. [His injury] was a tremendous loss for us last year, and we’re glad to have him back."

Moore still keeps in touch with the family.

"When he got hurt last year," said Moore, "I called him and talked to him, talked to his dad."

The winner of Saturday’s game, which will be televised on SportSouth, will claim the SoCon’s automatic bid to the 2010 20-team Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Figuring things out

Elon (4-5, 3-3) may have beaten The Citadel 27-16 last Saturday, but for Citadel coach Kevin Higgins, it was a step forward.

While the Bulldogs (2-8, 0-7) gave up 13 unanswered points after leading 16-14 in the loss, they played a clean game. They did not commit a turnover, punted only once, committed only two penalties and saw true freshman Ben Dupree get his second start at quarterback.

"We had out team meeting [Monday]," said Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins, "and those offensive guys looked at one another and said, ‘Yes. This is what the coaches have been talking about. This is what it’s supposed to look like when you don’t turn the football over and you execute some assignments.’ I think they have a better understanding of that now."

The Bulldogs are idle this weekend.

 

New QBs everywhere

The Citadel wasn’t the only team starting a new quarterback late in the season.

With Elon quarterback Scott Riddle out with an arm injury, sophomore Thomas Wilson took over, completing 15 of 21 passes for 145 yards in the win over The Citadel.

When the Phoenix face Furman (5-4, 3-3) Saturday at 1:30 p.m., the return of preseason SoCon offensive player of the year Scott Riddle is still uncertain.

"It’s still day-by-day," said Elon coach Pete Lembo. "He’s doing all the treatments and trying to get mobility back in that arm. We’ll just have to see where he is at the end of the week."

Furman also started a new quarterback in its 31-17 win over Western Carolina Saturday. Sophomore Dakota Derrick got the start, passing for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns and rushing for 79 yards.

"I just felt like it was time for a change," said FU coach Bobby Lamb. "Our offense needed a spark. We felt like the way to give the offense a spark was to let Dakota Derek start the game."

NOTES

 

 

: Samford (4-5, 2-4), who fell to Wofford 10-3 Saturday, will travel to Chattanooga Saturday for a 2 p.m. kickoff. The Mocs (5-4, 4-2) were defeated by No. 2 (FBS) Auburn 62-24 Saturday. … Coming off its upset of then-No. 1 Appalachian State, Georgia Southern (5-4, 3-3) travels to Western Carolina (1-5, 2-7) Saturday for a 3 p.m. kickoff in Cullowhee, N.C.

 

Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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