Ryan Brown

Two weeks in the books for the SAC. Storylines, Helmet Stickers, & Stats

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South Atlantic Conference = Week 2 Story Lines

Dogs bite back : Wingate quiets the critics with a 37-9 blowout of the #16 Albany State Rams. The Bulldogs won by four touchdowns even with two fumbles inside the ASU five yard line. The running game is still struggling but the offensive line is protecting Nallenweg well and the wide receivers proved how deep the position is with talent. The defensive secondary will be tested once again this weekend with UNC Pembroke heading to Wingate.

CATU spells QB with a B & J : After much speculation to why Charest didn't play, we found out (via CAT U FAN through the Salisbury Post) that he was dismissed from the team which opened the door for freshman BJ Sherrill. Credit coach Hester for getting him ready right away and leading the offense to a much needed offensive outpour. He will have his hands full this weekend though, having to play at the graveyard against the Wolves.

Wolves don't come up Short : Newberry was the most impressive in week one but had to survive a bit of a letdown in week two, coming from behind to beat Shorter. The Wolves were just 3 for 12 on third down and struggled in the red zone. I think coach Knight will be happy to use the close call to get his team refocused (while still being 2-0) for the upcoming matchup with Catawba.

Lions cash in : Even though they sit at 0-2, Mars Hill has to be feeling positive about the two games against D-1 schools. They earned some solid funds for the football program along with taking on two opponents that will no doubt get them ready for SAC play. Richt has only completed 40% of his passes but Davis and Holmes have been real bright spots early in the sophomore years. The defense has some emerging stars as well. The Lions will finally be at home Saturday and they better make it count. After Saturday only three games remain in Lion Country.

Growing Pains : The Brevard defense continues to go through growing pains early in the season. None of the top five tacklers are back on this years unit and the offense will need to score more points to keep them in games. Brevard has always played just about everyone tough during SAC play. Four of the six SAC losses were by one possession. We will find out if that trend continues when the Tornados head to Mars Hill this weekend.

'Neers Head Home : Tusculum suffered another tough loss Saturday at up and comer West Georgia. SAC board member "Mountain Lion" made an interesting point : "TC will never have a good defense as long as they run that offense." One could assume that right now but remember, Urbana and West Georgia are pretty good teams and both contests were on the road. In both TC games this year, the scoring drives for the offense have averaged 7 plays each, but only 2:08 on average of game time. Which translate into little time for the defense to rest. Read it how you want but a close loss at UWG can't be pinned totally on the D. Cordell threw five interceptions along with a Smith fumble and to only lose by 9 means they are close. They play next three out of four at home and being at Pioneer Field will be a huge boost.


Offensive Helmet Stickers:

Robbie Nallenweg, QB, Wingate : (30-44, 68%, 292 yds, 4 TD, O INT). The redshirt-junior bounced back after week one, completing almost 70 percent of his passes against #16 Albany State in a Wingate blowout. He found nine different receivers with three different players catching seven passes and a TD each.

Xzanvion Smith, WR, Tusculum : (14 rec, 219 yds, 2 TD). Smith had a school record breaking afternoon with the TV cameras bearing down in the loss to West Georgia. He continues to impress as the number one target for Cordell after being buried down the depth chart last season.

BJ Sherrill, QB, Catawba : (19-24, 79%, 314 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT ) : According to reports, Sherrill didn't find out he was starting until late in the week and you have to be impressed with the results of his first career start. Sherrill was able to get his feet wet against a struggling Livingstone team and the real test for the redshirt freshman comes this Saturday against Newberry.

(Just outside the huddle- Dimitri Holmes, WR, Mars Hill, Austin Beatty, RB, Lenoir-Rhyne)

Defensive Helmet Stickers:

Joe Anderson, DB, Lenoir-Rhyne : He helped the Bears defense completely shut down Davidson on Saturday with 10 tackles and a pair of break-ups. Anderson also returned an interception that led to an offensive touchdown. He and his teammates needed a game to refocus and they earned it going into the matchup with the Eagles.

Troy Harris, DL, Mars Hill : Harris shines once again versus a D1 opponent. This week he has nine tackles, four tackles for loss, and two sacks. I'm sure other SAC coaches are taking note of the success during past two weeks and it should only go up this week against Brevard.

Wingate Defense : Only gives up 34 yards rushing and one TD to the #16 Golden Rams, one week after giving up 28 points at St. Aug's. The Bulldog defense was last in the SAC in yards and points allowed in 2011 and outside of the big plays, appears to have turned it around in 2012.

(Just outside the huddle - Sammy Siasia, DB, Mars Hill, Myer Nolan, DB, Lenoir-Rhyne )

Special Teams Helmet Stickers:

Eric Watts, P, Brevard : Watts earns a second straight sticker after 6 more booming punts in the loss to Virginia Union. He continues to be the bright spot for Brevard. Two straight weeks with at least a 43 yard avg and a TD reception.

Jumal Rolle, DB, Catawba : Senior special teamer blocked two kicks in the win against Livingstone. First came on a punt with the second on a late field goal. The win for the Indians sets up a showdown with Newberry Saturday.

(Just outside the huddle - Austin Anthony, P, Wingate)

Coaches of the Week

Mike Houston, Lenoir-Rhyne : Credit Houston and his staff for getting the offense and defense back on their feet after the fourth quarter mess in Concord. LR shut down a struggling Davidson program defensively, while the LR coaches adjusted with a new quarterback running the option. They will need every bit of practice this week to prep for Carson-Newman.

Joe Reich, Wingate : The Bulldogs made the biggest improvement from week one, having their best all-around game in recent memory over Albany St. Reich has always been an even-keeled coach and it showed in his team after some Bulldog fans hit the panic button at the end of the St Aug's loss. Another tough opponent is coming up in rival UNC Pembroke this weekend at home.

SAC Week 2 Pick 'Em Helmet Stickers

"CAT U FAN" , "NewOPSUDad" , 'LegalEagle' , "BleedCatBlue" , "ironcheftvdinner" (6-1 records) : Since the entire board picked Albany St, everyone missed the Wingate game. Second straight helmet sticker for CAT U FAN to take early lead.

(Just outside the huddle - Everyone else that finished 5-2)

A 6 pack of Stats: (not as thirsty this week)

23 : Games since Wingate held an opponent under 10 points, until Saturday's beatdown of ASU.

1 : It only took Catawba quarterback BJ Sherrill one play to complete his first pass and touchdown of his career, finding wideout Payton McCollum on 57 yard bomb.

+17:48 : The difference in time of possession in favor of Shorter on Saturday against Newberry, including the Wolves offense having the ball for just 1:48 in the second quarter.

0 : The number of points Brevard scored in the second half after trailing 17-14 at the half.

23 : The number of catches for Xzanvion Smith through two games this season, after pulling down 17 in 11 games during 2011 season.

25 : The passing percentage for Lenoir-Rhyne's three quarterbacks this season so far.


As always, feedback is welcomed. Coming up Wednesday will be week 2 of the SAC Podcast with Mars Hill coach Tim Clifton & Wingate coach Joe Reich, and the preview column on Thursday. As always, thanks for reading.

- Ryan ( @RyanBrown_PxP )

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Updated 09-12-2012 at 09:26 AM by Ryan Brown

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  1. mgcomedy's Avatar
    Good work Ryan!!!! Enjoyed reading it!