Unsuccessful trips to Gulf South conference rival territories these upcoming two weeks could steer the Blazers towards missing the playoff for the second consecutive year for the first time since 1999.
The VSU football team suits up every season with one goal in mind which is at seasons end becoming national champions.
High expectations are not surprising in title town however the Blazers are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs again if they don’t start a win streak quickly.
The expected 58-10 clobbering over Edward Waters last week has gotten the Blazers winning mojo back and is now focused on the tough tasks ahead.
“We got to keep it constant,” said junior linebacker Chris Pope. “We got the team to do it, we just got to put all the pieces together and we’ll be fine.
VSU faces conference rivals on the road for the next two weeks starting with West Georgia this Saturday and North Alabama next week.
Even though the season opener loss against (non-region, non-conference) Saginaw Valley State doesn’t hurt VSU’s chances of making playoffs, suffering two early losses before the heart of the schedule, leaves the Blazers no room to lose any more games.
Although UWG (2-2) hasn’t had a great start to their season either, the historic matchup against the Wolves Saturday should be rowdy atmosphere on homecoming weekend in Carrolton.
Nevertheless, VSU last lost against UWG in Carrolton in 1999.
“We feel like we still have an oppourtunity to go to the playoffs,” said head coach David Dean. “We have to have some help in the Gulf South Conference but our goal now is put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Blazers the following weekend playing foe UNA.
If the Lions are upset at home, VSU will surely jump back into the discussion of possible conference contenders with West Alabama and North Alabama.
This game could foreshadow since UNA beat Delta State last week; the other conference team VSU faces the following week on homecoming weekend.
The Lions, who are currently on a three game winning streak, last faced the Blazers in Florence, Ala. during the 2010 season. VSU won 5-0.
Not shading the significance of the season finale against Texas A&M Kingsville or Delta State but these next two weeks are crucial.
VSU is still very capable to finish the season strong with momentum heading into the playoffs however they have much to prove these upcoming weeks.
No.18 ranked West Alabama, the only GSC team left in the Division II top 25, should win the conference. This happening will eliminate another of the Blazers season goals of winning the GSC but a shot at a championship is still alive.
Earning a playoff berth is still much attainable but the window won’t be open for long.
Coming off the UWA loss, VSU has narrowed the rest of the season to its final six games.
It would dust off the national champion possibilities if they can go undefeated to end the regular season.
“Our backs are against the wall. We can’t afford another loss this season.,” coach Dean said.