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Brian Saunds (2) is tied for second in receiving touchdowns in the Gulf South Conference with five.

Saunds breaks program record, adds trust factor

Halfway through the football season, the Blazers have no intentions of slowing down. Neither does junior wide receiver Brian Saunds.

Saunds had a jaw dropping performance setting a new career-high and school record with 246 receiving yards against Florida Tech on Oct. 19, winning 55-28 at home.

He was named Gulf South Conference Player of the week.

Head Coach Gary Goff seems to think highly of his team and the plays that were executed to help secure the win.

But when talking to Coach Goff about Saunds in particular, he made it loud and clear that his star receiver is just a smart player.

“He did a great job of reading their coverages and making some adjustments to his routes,” Goff said. “It wasn’t like we went into this game saying give Brian the ball, it just kind of happened that way.”

Even Goff was surprised about the record.

“We really didn’t know he was on the verge of breaking any school record until halfway through the third quarter,” he said. “I joked with him saying ‘I might have to bench you cause that’s my record…. It wasn’t my record at all.”

Saunds leads all receivers in the GSC with 729 receiving yards.

The Blazers are currently riding a 23-game win streak with their most recent win coming in a nail-biter on the road at North Greenville, ending 20-15. Saunds racked up 106 yards on eight receptions in the matchup.

It was the first of many challenges, but Goff understands that more are bound to arrive.

“We understand that there might be some games we win 55-50, or there might be some games we win three to nothing,” he said. “They’re excited to get out there and compete.”

Saunds is one of the veterans on the team. Being a veteran comes with trust and Goff sees that so far this season.

“I think now we’re at the point where it’s [about] trust,” Goff said. “I didn’t know these guys very well until the season started and we started getting into the competition. I think now the chemistry is there. I trust them to go out and execute and they work hard.”

The players trust each other, which has sometimes negated play calling from the coaching staff. Goff said the players take matters into their own hands.

“I’ve been very pleased of how they have responded in some games,” Goff said. “And we have had some games that have been close, even when going into the fourth quarter, and there’s been no panic. There’s just been ‘hey coach, this is what we’re seeing and let’s get out there and attack.”

Written by Jacolby Porter, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of VSU Athletics.

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