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Weekly Whatup, 10/13
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This is it — the biggest week of football in Statesboro this season. From Womack Field to Paulson Stadium, you might as well phone it in this week at work because there’s absolutely no way you’ll be able to function with such huge contests on the horizon.


First: The Champions Bowl.

            Georgia Southern and Appalachian State meet Saturday at “The Prettiest Little Stadium in America” in a game featuring two programs with a combined nine national titles in the past 23 seasons.

            One of the biggest crowds in Paulson Stadium history is expected and those who show up are likely to see another classic between these two rivals.

            App is off to a 4-2 start having lost to LSU and James Madison and their defense — not that it was one to write home about in the past anyway — has looked suspect. Saturday, star quarterback Armanti Edwards single-handedly beat Samford in Birmingham, 35-24.

            The Blue-and-White won last year’s battle in Boone, but that was with Jayson Foster and secret weapon Billy Lowe. Those two crafty QBs are gone. The 52-28 demolishing of Chattanooga two weeks ago will do wonders for this current team’s confidence.

            To me, this game comes down to intangibles. These two teams know each other too well for there to be any hardcore X’s-and-O’s preparation. The one x-factor for GSU is quarterback play. There’s something fishy about Antonio Henton playing every snap until the end of the fourth quarter in the UTC win. Don’t forget, the Eagles have three guys that can throw the ball in Henton, Lee Chapple and Leander Barney.

            Ol’ Tricky Hatcher may have something up his sleeve.

            Georgia Southern has had a week off to regroup for the stretch run in which they must win out to make the playoffs. The importance of that off-week can’t be underestimated.

            Eagles come out flying, hold off a furious Mountaineer comeback and recover an ASU onside kick late to preserve a 38-35 win.


Second: Ware at We Live Here!

            I could write a whole essay on the dynamics of this one. Ware County visits Womack Field in a contest with more twist-and-turns than the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster at the Fair down the street.

            Ware County will make the two-hour bus ride from Waycross and try to derail Statesboro’s season for the third straight year. In 2006, Ware handed SHS its first loss and the Devils never recovered, losing the next week to Westlake in the first round of the playoffs.

            In 2007, the Gators jumped out a 10-0 lead then played keep away the rest of the night to give SHS a loss that would ultimately send the Blue Devils to Bainbridge for the first round of the playoffs — another loss.

            This year the matchup comes a little earlier in the season, but the stakes are just as high. The Gators are 2-0 in Region 2-AAAA play and have evened up at 3-3 after a 1-3 start. Ware hasn’t allowed a point in the last two weeks and Statesboro may be without its starting quarterback come Friday night. Intrigue is thy definition.

            Can Statesboro find a way to come out on top and finally take out its recent nemesis? We shall see.


Chokin my picks away

            Just when I thought things were looking up, I took a big hit last week going 1-3 — that “1” being Elon’s narrow win over The Citadel.

            This week will be another big one in college ball. I’ll take BYU over TCU, Va Tech over BC, Buckeyes over Sparty and Oklahoma to rebound over Kansas. Upset Alert: Virginia over North Carolina.

            In state, Clemson’s falling faster than the stock market (I just used a zinger I’ve been sick of for a week), so Tech rolls them up easily.

            In Athens, it’s getting close to midterm-time, so Georgia beats studious Vandy by 10.

            Finally, Texas vs. Missouri could’ve been National Championship Part III — but Chase Daniels and Missouri couldn’t handle a hot Okie State squad. Texas could have a letdown, but not at home. Longhorns 28, The Zou 17.

            Overall record: 46-42.