2023 North Greenville vs Delta State

8 Teams Clash This Weekend In Gulf South Conference Play On FloFootball

8 Teams Clash This Weekend In Gulf South Conference Play On FloFootball

It’s a full slate in the Gulf South this week, with all 9 teams hitting the field, eight of the teams clashing in key conference games live on FloFootball.

Oct 12, 2023 by Ron Balaskovitz
8 Teams Clash This Weekend In Gulf South Conference Play On FloFootball

It’s a full slate in the Gulf South this week, with all nine teams hitting the field, eight of the teams clashing in key conference games, including a pair of top teams who look to avoid the dreaded trap game ahead of a potential monster showdown next week.

The Gulf South has started to separate itself through four weeks of conference games, with two teams still undefeated in league play, two more teams just a game back in the loss column, and four teams sitting at 1-2 or worse in the league and will look to play spoiler the rest of the way.

North Greenville (3-3, 2-2) at No. 8 Delta State (6-0, 4-0)

  • When: Saturday, 6 PM CT
  • Where: Parker Field at McCool Stadium; Cleveland, Mississippi
  • Last Week: North Greenville defeated Chowan, 31-16; Delta State defeated then No. 19 Valdosta State, 49-25.
  • Series History: Delta State leads 4-2. Delta State won last season, 47-14.

A Delta State team that comes in rolling will look to avoid looking ahead, taking on a tough North Greenville team that has one of the stronger defenses in the Gulf South.

The host Statesmen come in on a high after traveling to then-No. 19 Valdosta State and pasting the Blazers in a 49-25 romp, rushing for 417 yards as a team to hand the Blazers their first defeat.

That offensive prowess has been the norm for DSU six games into 2023, sitting fifth in the country at 2,875 total yards on the season, just under 500 per game, while also sitting fifth in the country in scoring, racking up 46.2 points per game during their undefeated start.

Things start with the play of quarterback Patrick Shegog, who is the national leader in passing efficiency with a rating of 191.4 and sits fourth in the country in passing touchdowns with 18, an average of three per game. 

Shegog is also one of four Statesmen to average over 40 rushing yards per game, part of a unit that has steamrolled defenses to over 252 yards a week, and nearly six yards per carry.

That’s a tough ask for the North Greenville defense that has more than held its own this season in helping the Crusaders to a 3-3 start. NGU sits in the top half of the league in scoring defense, giving up 22.5 points per game, part of a bend but don’t break unit that gives up 353 yards per game and is last in the GSC in turnover margin.

North Greenville boasts a tough run defense, currently third in the Gulf South in yards per game, and has held opposing passers to just over a 50 percent completion rate on the year.

The challenge for the Crusaders, if they want to pull off the upset, is finding a way to get their offense going early. In the three wins for the Crusaders, they’ve averaged over 25 points per game. In their three losses, they’ve scored just 37 points, just over 12 per game.

What’s hurt the Crusaders, who rank among the top half of the league in total offense at nearly 340 yards per game, is their struggle to score touchdowns, finding paydirt just 13 times in six games, tied for next to last in the GSC.

That’s a tough ask as they prepare to take on a Delta State defense that is second in the league in points allowed, in the top half of the league in yards allowed, and features one of the best secondaries in the league.

The Statesmen's defense has picked off eight passes this season while allowing just four touchdowns. A pair of stats made even more remarkable considering how often the Statesmen have played from ahead and forced teams to throw it more often.

A win from Delta State potentially sets up a mega clash next week against West Florida, who looks to avoid a pitfall when they travel to West Alabama on Saturday.

Gulf South Games at a Glance

*All Games Scheduled for Saturday, October 14th

Clark Atlanta (0-6) at Shorter (2-4, 1-3), Noon ET

The Hawks are the lone GSC team to play outside the league this week and look to snap a three-game skid when they host in-state rival Clark Atlanta, who is still searching for its first win.

After a 2-1 start, Shorter has dropped three straight games, with two of those coming against GSC leaders Delta State and West Florida. Shorter hung tough with West Florida deep into the second quarter before a 21-0 second half proved too much. The Hawks can match their 2022 win total with a victory.

Clark Atlanta is still looking for its first win of the year, sitting at 0-6 after falling by a single score to 5-1 Allen last week.

Valdosta State (5-1, 2-1) at Mississippi College (2-3, 1-2), 2 PM ET

One week after getting pounded for 417 rushing yards by Delta State, Valdosta State gets another big test for its rushing defense, heading west to take on a Choctaws team that currently is second in the GSC in rushing yards.

Valdosta’s offense has been on fire in 2023, among the Top-10 in the country in yards thanks in part to quarterback Sammy Edwards, who is among the Top-10 most efficient passers in the country and is fifth in passing yards with nearly 1,600 already on the season.

If Mississippi College is going to pull out the win, it’ll be on the strength of their rushing attack, which has boasted over 220 yards per game, trailing only Delta State. 

The Choctaws took last season’s game at VSU, 49-40, when they rushed for a school-record 598 yards.

No. 6 West Florida (5-1, 3-0) at West Alabama (2-4, 1-3)

Another battle of the Wests within the GSC sees West Florida head north to take on West Alabama, with the Argonauts rolling after a 42-6 romp last week over Shorter. The Argos are among the Top-10 offenses in all of Division II football, and boast the league’s best defense in scoring, yards allowed, and rushing yards allowed.

That adds up for a big challenge for West Alabama, who has dropped two straight, and comes in with the lowest-scoring offense in the league, while also being bottom three in rushing, passing, and total yards. West Florida won a closer-than-expected game in 2022, taking a 36-24 decision that saw the Tigers pull within six early in the fourth quarter.

Chowan (0-6, 0-4) at West Georgia (3-2, 2-1)

West Georgia sits a quiet 2-1 in GSC play, just a game back of Delta State and West Florida in the title race. The Wolves got things back on track last weekend with a suffocating defensive effort against West Alabama, winning 24-6 and holding the visiting Tigers to just 181 yards, while forcing four turnovers, including three fumble recoveries.

Chowan is still in search of its first victory as a GSC member, and hung tough with North Greenville a week ago, falling 31-16, trailing by just one halfway through the fourth quarter before a pair of NGU touchdowns allowed them to pull away.