Ryan Brown

Week 8 storylines, helmet stickers, stats, and regional rankings.

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Week 8 Story lines

Déjà vu for LRU
: The Bears and Lions were facing off at 2-1 and 4-0 in the SAC respectively for the second straight year. This year though the game was played in Hickory and it looked like the road team would win for second straight year. But the paws came off for the Lions. Leading 21-3 with 3:30 left in the 3rd quarter, the Lions blinked and there was 14:09 left in the fourth and they were down 31-21. Yep, no typo there. Here we go: LR TD, 3 and out for Lions, 2 plays later, TD run for LR and its 21-17. Next play, Pick 6 for Bears defense and its 24-21. Very next play another INT for Bears defense, returned to 19 yard line. 2 plays later, TD run and it is 31-24. Absolutely shocking and crushing for a Mars Hill defense that played so well. Interested to see how Mars Hill bounces back this week against Tusculum.

Déjà vu for WU?: The Bulldogs gain from the Lion loss to get back in the SAC championship race. Wingate dominated the stat sheet against Catawba but needed overtime to win. Like Lenoir-Rhyne and Mars Hill, the Bulldogs are in the same exact spot during this week in 2011. They sit at 4-1 with the only loss to Mars Hill and a game coming up against Lenoir-Rhyne. Last year, Wingate gave up 52 points to the Bears and lost their final two games to finish at 5-6. If they Bulldogs can get by Lenoir-Rhyne, they will have North Greenville and Tusculum standing in their way to the playoffs.

Talons Up: The Eagles were quietly handling their business heading into the matchup with the Braves but after the blowout in Pembroke the rest of the region has taken notice. The Eagles have a huge opportunity ahead with 1-7 Brevard and 2-6 Tusculum in their next two games. If someone falters ahead of them, they could be in the playoffs regardless of their result against the Lions. Speaking of playoffs...

Regional Rankings

1. Miles 7-1 7-1
2. Mars Hill 5-1 5-3
3. West Alabama 4-1 6-2
4. Valdosta State 5-2 6-2
5. Carson-Newman 5-2 5-2
6. Fort Valley 5-2 6-2
7. Lenoir-Rhyne 4-2 5-2
8. Wingate 5-3 5-3
9. Newberry 5-3 5-3
10. Albany State 5-3 5-3

These usually don't mean a lot this time of the year but literally everything can change. Here is my prediction just looking at it after a few days and not including or worrying about GSC or SIAC. Just what SAC teams do.

Mars Hill beats Tusculum, stays in 2 or 3 spot then has a bye next week. They lose to C-N but because they were #2 at the time they don't drop completely out. Carson-Newman wins out and moves to 3 or 4 spot.

The winner of Wingate/Lenoir-Rhyne wins their final two games and is SAC champ. Then the SAC has a serious shot to get three teams in. Only problem will be WU/LR winner will be SAC champ and could bounce MHC if they lose and aren't share of SAC champs.

If Mars Hill beats C-N then the Eagles drop back and get knocked out by WU/LR. In conclusion, I think the SAC is getting two, and it is WU/LR winner from Saturday and CN/MHC winner on Nov. 10th. As mentioned, outside shot at 3 with help.

Offensive Helmet Stickers:

Tyron Douglas, RB & Jason Brown, WR, Carson-Newman: It was a great week for teammate combinations in the SAC. Douglas ran 117 yards on 19 carries. He found the end zone twice and averaged six yards per carry. Brown had two receptions, scoring a TD on both. The first was from 48 yards out with the second coming on a 60 yard strike. You can't fault Brown for his numbers this year in the option offense but talk about being ready when your number is called. Brown has 7 receptions on the season, with 4 ending in paydirt.

Bryan Caffrey, WR & Chris Bowden, WR, Wingate: Caffrey hauled in a career-high 133 yards on 13 receptions against Catawba including the game-winner in overtime. He is second in SAC in receptions. Bowden had his fifth 100+ yard game in the last six games and has scored a TD in seven straight. He is in top three in NCAA in receptions and yards. Both have already surpassed reception total from 2011.

Jarrod Spears, RB & Graham Duncan, RB, Lenoir-Rhyne: Both players turned in 100-yard games in the big win over the Lions. Spears rushed for 125 yards including TD runs of 31 and 47. He averaged TWELVE yards a touch. Duncan added 100 yards to help the Bears stay at the top spot in the nation in rushing offense.

(Just outside the huddle- Dimitri Holmes, WR, Mars Hill, Xavier Bond, RB, Catawba, WT Murden, QB, Newberry)


Defensive Helmet Stickers:
Cory Johnson, LB, Catawba : Johnson racked up a week 8 high 20 tackles in the loss at Wingate. He added a tackle for loss and forced a fumble. Johnson currently leads Catawba and the South Atlantic Conference in tackles in 2012. After having just 34 tackles through the first five games, Johnson has racked up 54 stops in the last three weeks.

Joe Anderson, CB, Lenoir-Rhyne : Anderson picks up a helmet sticker for second straight after returning an interception for the game-winning score. He also had a team-high 14 tackles and a forced fumble. The Bears dominated Bo Cordell the week before but allowed Richt to control the game until late. Third straight week coming with heavy pressure on the secondary.

Carson-Newman Defensive Staff: The Eagles gave up 37 points per game and 480 yards of offense in their first four games in August and September, going 2-2. In the month of October? 9 points per game allowed and just 246 yards. Yes the offenses and opponents are weaker but the Eagles have hammered their last three opponents in all facets. Should continue this weekend in the NC mountains.


Special Teams Helmet Stickers:

Curtis Duncan, PK, Carson-Newman : Duncan nailed three touchbacks on the road against UNCP. The Braves starting field position from kick-offs was their own 19. He also connected on all four extra point attempts and a 25-yard field goal.

LJ McCray, KR, Catawba : McCray led to the top 10 return team on Saturday at Wingate, averaging 25 yards per attempt. His 47 yarder just before half set up a touchdown.

(Just outside the huddle - Andy Rosetti, P, Tusculu, Deunta Jennings, KR, Mars Hill, )

SAC Week 4 Pick 'Em Helmet Stickers

"CAT U Fan" (5-0 record) : Nice win for CAT U Fan this week. Usually it is one game a week that swings it but this week it was pretty spread out. The Brevard loss cost myself and a few others for a perfect score. CAT U Fan in the lead with three left.

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

An 11 pack of stats

3:51: Game time, in minutes and seconds that it took Lenoir-Rhyne to go from being down 21-3 to leading 31-21.

38: Yards allowed on the ground by the Carson-Newman defense against UNCP, the Braves lowest total since their first season in 2007.

22.9: Tusculum's average points per game on offense, lowest since 2006.

102: The number of plays Wingate ran on offense against Catawba, the most in the SAC this season.

The number of plays Catawba ran on offense against Wingate.

: The average gain per rush for Brevard against the Crusaders.

4-0, 21: The Lions SAC record going in to the LR game and the total points scored against the Bears in 2011 and now in 2012.

4: The number of incompletions and the number of TD passes for WT Murden against Tusculum.

280: Bo Cordell's average passing yards in the last four games after averaging 367 in his first four games.

3 : Times in conference play Catawba has scored 28 points only to lose by one score. 35-28 to MHC, 35-28 to NC, and 34-28 in OT to Wingate Saturday.

15-21: Wingate's third down conversions against the Indians, good for 71%.

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Updated 10-24-2012 at 10:13 PM by Ryan Brown

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