Written by Tiarra Bell, Staff Writer
After their first win in the Gulf South Conference last week against Mississippi College (2-4, 0-3 GSC), Valdosta State looks to even out their conference record tonight against the in-state foe Shorter University.
Shorter has had trouble holding onto the ball in their past games, which can be the Blazer’s advantage. The Hawks coughed up the ball 15 times in their last two contests in which 9 were recovered by the opposing team. The costly turnovers gives the Hawks a 2-4 overall record and 1-2 in conference play.
Averaging 271.8 rushing yards a game, the Shorter Hawks have solely relied on the running game all season as opposed to averaging 71 passing yards per game.
Among their top running backs, their go-to man is running back B.J. McCoy who has a total of 830 yards on the season.
In last week’s loss against West Alabama, McCoy had a career-high of 210 yards, fourth most yards in a single game in Hawk’s history – and two touchdowns, a 30-yarder and a 92-yard spree that was the Hawks’ fourth longest.
Quarterback Aaron Bryant left the game in the first half due to an injury with 93 rushing yards and one touchdown during the West Alabama matchup and failed to complete all five passes. Similarly, backup QB Devante James did not complete any of his four passes, but rushed for 73 yards and one TD. James will be starting for the Hawks against Valdosta State.
In the past, Valdosta State has controlled the Hawks in all three showdowns between the two schools.
Last season, the Blazers defeated the Hawks 37-6 after Shorter turned the ball over on multiple downs and a fumble. Defense steered the game for the Blazers as the Hawks’ couldn’t get into the end zone, settling for a pair of field goals.
If Shorter continues to turn over the ball, the Blazers have a very good chance
Valdosta State overcame its two-game losing streak so far this season by winning against Mississippi College and look at Shorter University to continue for a two-game winning streak and hopefully more.
There will be no doubt the Blazers will use the home-field advantage to not only secure their fourth consecutive win against Shorter and even out their 1-2 GSC record, but also to lift their record to 5-2.
The Blazers and Hawks’ had a short week and will go toe-to-toe on tonight in the GSC Game-of-the-Week in Rome, Ga. on ESPN3. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.