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VSU Football Notebook: Running the table

No matter how much they win by or how high they climb up the rankings, it seems like nobody realizes that VSU is about to run the table.

The Blazers have been steamrolling through their season with a perfect 5-0 record, and it’s hard to think that they won’t continue to do the same as they have their sights set on Delta State (0-5) this Saturday.

Provided that game goes according to plan, the calm before the storm will fade, and the competition heightens during their final four games.

A road trip to Florida Tech on Oct. 13 and the homecoming game against North Greenville on Oct. 20 will lead the Blazers into their bye week. That break couldn’t have been placed in a better spot for VSU, as the team will then face No.11 West Florida on Nov. 3 and host No.5 West Georgia on Nov. 10 for their season finale.

Even with the increase in competition, none of these teams matchup with VSU statistically. The Gulf South Conference is a tough conference, but don’t let the rank and hype fool you. The Blazers are the top dog, and it’s time to wake up and realize.

PLAYING WITH A CHIP:  Picked as fifth best in the GSC preseason polls, the Blazers are proving that they were clearly disrespected with that spot. Currently, VSU is placed on top of the GSC and are No.10 in the nation. So far, the Blazers have made all the doubters look foolish and will continue to do so.

“All offseason we sort of said that’s not who we are, last year 5-4,” Head Coach Kerwin Bell said. “We knew we were young, played a lot of young kids and our guys really worked hard to get better over the offseason. These young kids started to grow up, and we’re still playing a lot of young kids, but man, they’re starting to really play at a high level.”

A DEFENSE’S NIGHTMARE: 273. This is how many points the Blazers have put up so far throughout 5 games. Bell’s cathexis with his fast-paced offense has them as the No.1 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 54.6 points per game.

Quarterback Rogan Wells (19 TDs) has an artillery of weapons at his disposal this year. He can hand the ball off to his two lethal running backs in Jamar Thompkins and Seth McGill, who are both capable of breaking big plays. The duo has already combined for 845 yards on the ground on just 73 total carries.

To complement the backfield, Wells is surrounded by shifty and explosive receivers in Kenny Benjamin, Brian Saunds, David White, and Lio’undre Gallimore. Saunds leads the GSC in touchdowns (7) and Gallimore is third in yards (301) on just 12 catches.

THE SWARM: As one of the best pass rushes in Division II, the VSU defense does more than just apply pressure to the pocket. They swarm the ball and take pride in doing so. The 20 sacks and 3 pick-sixes are impressive, but there’s no stat that really details how this Blazer defense operates.

No matter if it’s a jet sweep, run-option, or a throw down the sideline, the Black Swarm is always around the ball. It’s rare to see just one Blazer defender in on a play, usually there’s at least three defenders in the vicinity. This defense imposes their will and can keep games within reach if the offense ever struggles.

WOLVES OVERRATED:  The ranking of West Georgia is highly questionable. How does a team that’s not No.1 in their respective conference get ranked ahead of their conference rivals in the national rankings? Honestly, what has West Georgia done to garner all this praise as No.5 in Division II?

The two teams they played outside of the GSC were cupcakes at best. The combined record for those two South Atlantic teams is 1-8. On top of that, the Wolves don’t win in the same fashion as the Blazers when it has come down to GSC play, and they haven’t even played a ranked opponent yet. So, what are these voters seeing?

FOR THE DOUBTERS:  It’s clear VSU was supposed to win their first five games, that’s no surprise. But what people aren’t getting is that the Blazers are supposed to win these next five games as well. Running the table is the standard for this year, and there are no reasons why it shouldn’t be.

Written by Josh Miller, Social Media Editor. Photo by Bethany Davis.

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