Ryan Brown

Week 7 storylines, helmet stickers, stats, and power rankings.

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South Atlantic Conference = Week 7 Story Lines

Cat on the loose: The Lions do it again. Another win by one score. If you look at the last two years for Mars Hill in SAC play,(in games excluding Brevard) the Lions have won games by 2,7,3,10,3 in 2011 and 7,6,7 in 2012. That is an average win by 5.6 points per game. I wouldn't say they are squeaking by but they sure do make it interesting. Good teams find ways to win the close games. They had big leads vs WU and CAT but gave up 21 points to each in the 4th quarter to spring some concern. The Lions only loss in the span mentioned above was to Lenoir-Rhyne, who they play Saturday. Speaking of the Bears...

Beware of the Bear: Lenoir-Rhyne is on fire. I said a few weeks ago to not forget about the Bears once Haynes got healthy and for once I was right. Still the defending champs, still pre-season favorites and still control their road to a title. They have a tough schedule the next two weeks but seem to be clicking on all cylinders. Yes I know it was against three struggling teams but when you outscore anyone 112-22 then you are playing good football. If the Bears beat Mars Hill Saturday then it sends all kind of crazy scenarios into effect for the final three weeks.

Road Rage: Wingate went into Newberry and did what no one else could do in four tries this year, win. And the Dogs move to 3-0 in the SAC on the ROAD. The Bulldogs final three SAC games are in Wingate, where they are 1-2 this year, including the loss to Mars Hill. I know it is reading too much into where the game is but if they can translate that road success into home field advantage they can be sharing the top come end of then season.

Yes, I'll take cheese with this w(h)ine: The SAC has teams and players all over the top of the national stats. Mars Hill is 5-0 in Division II play and still isn't ranked. Newberry went a solid 4-0 and didn't get in, before losing to Mars Hill. The Lions were good last year, its not like they just are randomly 5-0. There are some other good teams too. There were talks that D2 football wasn't represented well on TV so far on Thursday night games, then the SAC game comes and goes with no mentions on social feeds and no recognition of how good the game was. There are good teams and some really great players in this league. It's just not that much fun getting overlooked because of our limits, and school sizes. These men work just as hard as anyone else. Maybe it is our fault. Maybe we don't have enough posters and interest. Having said that, I wouldn't trade the SAC or all the great people that work so hard for D2 for anything. It is what it is and these are the cards we are dealt but I wouldn't mind a little help from the dealer every once in a while. So let's do our part and continue to be as vocal as we can while trying to spark more interest because the SAC is going to have an exciting final four weeks coming up. Enjoy it and be proud of it. Okay I'm done, back to football.


Red Meat Rankings:

Filet ("most tender of all cuts, prized for delicate butter-like texture")
Mars Hill. It has been good eating for the Lions so far this season and at 5-0 in D2 play, regardless of how they got here, they deserve it. And what else would you serve a lion? This is their league to win or lose but trouble is ahead with maybe the toughest remaining schedule among the top teams in league. Trips to Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman still await.

("combination of both a finely textured tenderloin steak and a flavorful top loin steak")
Lenoir-Rhyne, Wingate. Lenoir-Rhyne sits in a better spot than Wingate because they solely control their destiny to at worst a share of title, but still has two road games including Wingate next week. The Bulldogs need a LR win this week over Mars Hill, plus beating Catawba. Three SAC games remain for WU, all in Wingate which could make the difference.

T-Bone ("very similar to a porterhouse cut, but with less of the pricey tenderloin meat")
Carson-Newman, Newberry. They both sit at 2-2 in the conference with a couple of disappointing losses and needing a lot of help. The Eagles have road trips to Brevard and Tusculum remaining and will have a very meaningful finale at home against Mars Hill. We will find out a ton about Newberry's remaining intentions in 2012 when they go to Tusculum Saturday. Three straight losses and only one home game remaining, against LR, could make for a tough finish.

Flank ("thin, flat cut that is very flavorful but moderately tough")
Catawba,Tusculum, Brevard. These three teams occupied the bottom of league last year and may be headed that way again. Catawba has to go to Wingate and Lenoir-Rhyne. They need both to finish above .500 in the SAC. Tusuclum has maybe the most brutal finish to a season we have seen in quite some time. They just played LR, and finish with the other top four teams. Newberry this week may be their best chance. Brevard finished 2 out of 3 at "home" but still may be staring at a goose egg in win column for 2012 in SAC play.


Offensive Helmet Stickers:

John Richt, QB, Mars Hill : (33-52, 370yds, 4 TD, 1 INT) He passed for a career-high 370 in the win against Catawba to keep the Lions in first. Richt is an impressive 13-2 against D2 teams during 2011 and 2012. His accuracy has gone way up in the last two weeks as well. 61% vs Wingate and 63% vs Catawba to take his season percentage over 50% and has developed some real weapons in the process.

Robbie Nallenweg, QB, Wingate : (28-40, 315 yds, 4 TD 1 INT) Nallenweg had an solid performance on the road. He completed 70% of his passes to nine different targets with the interception coming on a hail mary at the end of the half. He currently leads the SAC in pass yards per game and TD passes.

Backs & Offensive Lines - Brevard, Carson-Newman, Lenoir-Rhyne: Have you seen some of the insane video game numbers these teams teams put up on Saturday? Brevard has three 100-yard rushers and FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY NINE yards rushing. Lenoir-Rhyne matches the three 100-yard rushers and does the Tornados ten yards better with FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY NINE yards on the ground. Made the Eagles look bad even though they had a solid 363 against NGU. Too many great performances to call out one player. For comparison, passing attack teams Wingate and Tusculum have 676 & 553 yards rushing on the season in seven games each.

(Just outside the huddle- Shaikel Davis, RB, Mars Hill, Chris Bowden, WR, Wingate, Nate Charest, WR, Catawba)


Defensive Helmet Stickers:

Jacob Hanes, DL, Catawba : Hanes stuffed the stat sheet Saturday at Mars Hill, finishing with 9 tackles and 3 tackles for loss including a sack. He also forced a fumble and recovered one. The Catawba defense buckled down in the second half to give the offense a chance to tie the game late but it wasn't to be. Hanes will need to be great again, with number one passing attack in Wingate this week.

Jared Seate, LB, Wingate : Seate led a dominant defensive performance for Wingate at Newberry. He had a game-high 14 tackles along with two for loss. The Bulldogs held the Wolves to 10 points which is their lowest total since October of 2008.

Joe Anderson, DB, Lenoir-Rhyne: Anderson and the LR secondary did a nice job of limiting the Pioneer offense. He ended up with 6 tackles, one for loss, while forcing and recovering a fumble. The real test comes Saturday as the first place Lions come to town. The Bears get MHC at home after pounding them by 30 last year on the road.

(Just outside the huddle - BJ Woodley, LB, Lenoir-Rhyne, Michael Gruber, LB, Brevard, Sammy Siasia, DB, Mars Hill)


Special Teams Helmet Stickers:

Andy Rosetti, P, Tusculum:
Rosetti tied the longest punt this season in the SAC with a 64 yarder against LR. He was the lone bright spot for the Pioneers, averaging 44 yards per punt with three landing inside the 20. He is currently second in the league with a 41 yard average.

Zach Neumann, PK, Lenoir-Rhyne : He connected on 3 field goals, while making all six of his extra point attempts. Neumann is 7-8 on the year on field goal attempts.

(Just outside the huddle - Curtis Duncan, PK, Carson-Newman)

Coach of the Week

Paul Hamilton, Brevard: Hamilton needed a win in the worst way and the Tornados got it against Southern Virginia. It has been a frustrating 2012 for the Tornados who have missed out on a couple wins earlier in the year and another good chance comes this Saturday at North Greenville. Hopefully the confidence from beating up on SVU will ride them to a road win.

SAC Week 4 Pick 'Em Helmet Stickers

"Bulldogfan#1, ironcheftvdinner, NewOPSUDAD, CAT-U Support" (5-0 record) : Four members pick up stickers this week. The deciding game was the WUvsNC but a couple people lost a chance for 5-0 with the CCvsMH game. Iron and NewOPSU continue to lead charge with four weeks left. I'll have totals coming up next week.

(Just outside the huddle - Everyone else that finished 4-1)

An 11 pack of Stats:

1,298: Career yards for Mars Hill's Shaikel Davis, 150 yards back of Jonas Randoplh's pace through 7 games of his sophomore year.

0: The number of times Brevard punted on Saturday against Southern Virginia.

7: The amount of fourth quarter points Wingate has allowed in 4 SAC games.

1: National ranking for Lenoir-Rhyne's rush offense.

5th: The SAC ranking for total catches for Tusuclum running back Brian Marshall. Next closest tailback in catches is teammate Chad Blakely who is 16th.

9: The number of Eagles that carried the ball between 4 and 9 times on Saturday

2: Wide receivers threw TD passes on Saturday. Washington from Newberry & Charest from Catawba.

28: Average number of passing attempts for WT Murden in Newberry's four wins.

42: Average number of passing attempts for WT Murden in Newberry's three losses.

66: Receptions for Wingate's Chris Bowden this season, which ranks #1 in the nation.

26-25: The score of the 2011 game between LR and Tusculum, a loss that kept the Bears from outright SAC title and playoff berth. LR won 51-6 on Saturday.


Column is coming up Thursday. I've received some very nice compliments and comments over the last couple of weeks in person, email, on here, and through other people and I just want to say thanks. Really appreciate it.

Ryan ( RyanBrown_PxP )

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Updated 10-18-2012 at 09:09 PM by Ryan Brown

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