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Tensions grow in last week of regular season

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Posted: November 16, 2010 10:12 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2010 10:11 p.m.
Tensions grow in last week of regular season


 

Just one more week of regular season remains, and there are four Southern Conference teams left — Appalachian State, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern and Wofford — with a chance to punch a ticket to the 2010 Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

The only one with its spot already determined is Appalachian State (9-1, 8-0), which won the SoCon title and the league’s automatic bid last Saturday with its 43-13 drubbing of Wofford (8-2, 6-1).

"I think one of the big things for us was, did we have the ability to bounce back after the loss to Georgia Southern," said ASU coach Jerry Moore. "I think at least we tried to put that into perspective during the week, and I think we really practiced well on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were focused on Wofford, and put the Georgia Southern loss behind us."

Appalachian State closes out the regular season today in Gainesville, Fla. against the Florida Gators (6-4) of the Southeastern Conference. Although UF hasn’t had the season it was hoping for after the departure of quarterback Tim Tebow, don’t try to tell Moore that it is having a down year.

"I don’t know if there’s a down time for any of those SEC schools," said Moore. "They obviously miss Tebow. He’s been such a consistent quarterback for them, but their defense is still playing well. The fact that they’re shuttling two and three quarterbacks in there to get help — they’ll get that straightened out."

Kickoff in The Swamp is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

 

A lot to play for

Even with Wofford’s loss to ASU, the Terriers are still considered a lock for an at-large playoff berth. They will face Chattanooga (6-4, 5-2), which needs to win the regular-season finale to reach seven Division-I wins. According to the NCAA selection committee, a team without seven D-I wins is "in jeopardy" of missing the playoffs.

Mocs’ second-year coach Russ Huesman isn’t fooled by Wofford’s performance last weekend against the Mountaineers.

"I know they stumbled against App a little bit," Huesman said, "but they’re not only one of the best teams in our league, but in the country. They’re well coached — everybody knows that around the country — and they’re playing for a lot, just as we’re playing for a lot, too."

Wofford hosts the Mocs Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Still alive

Georgia Southern’s playoff hopes remain still remain largely in doubt after its 28-6 win over Western Carolina (2-8, 1-6) last Saturday, and if they want to remain in the conversation, the Eagles (6-4, 4-3) need a win on the road against arch-rival Furman Saturday at 2 p.m.

While much of the Eagle Nation is discussing playoff possibilities, the team is staying focused on the task at hand — most likely, anyway.

"I don’t hear our kids talk about it," said first-year GSU coach Jeff Monken. "Of course, I don’t dress in the locker room with them. I don’t hang out with them in the dorms. They talk about whatever they want, and if they’re talking about it I don’t know about it. We’re not talking about it. We’re talking about the Furman game, and that’s the only one that matters. That’s the only game we’re promised."

NOTES

 

 

: The rest of the SoCon will close out its season Saturday. Elon (5-5, 4-3) hosts Western Carolina at 3 p.m. in Elon, N.C. … Samford (4-6, 2-5) plays host to The Citadel Bulldogs Saturday at 2 p.m. in Birmingham, Ala.

 

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

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