FloFootball’s season-long coverage of the SIAC begins this weekend, when Fort Valley State takes its show on the road to Miles College on Saturday.
Who: Fort Valley State (0-1) vs. Miles College (0-2)
When: Saturday, Sept. 15, 5 PM CT
Where: Fairfield, Ala., Sloan Alumni Stadium
Watch: LIVE on FloFootball
After a disappointing performance in the opener, Miles gave highly-touted West Alabama all it wanted last week, trailing 20-14 at the break, before the Tigers pulled away in the second half to hand the Golden Bears their second defeat in as many games.
Daniel Smith completed 24-of-43 passes for 278 yards, two touchdowns and two picks in the losing effort. Leonard Tyree led the way with eight receptions for 125 yards and hauled in both Smith touchdown tosses.
Fort Valley State entered the Okefenoke Classic with high hopes, but those aspirations were quickly dashed by a game Valdosta State squad that raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Wildcats clawed their way back within 18 in the third quarter, but a 28-point fourth quarter eruption turned a bad day into a blowout loss.
Tyree and LeAnthony Robinson combined for 16 receptions, 200 yards and two scores in Miles’ loss to West Alabama last week—not bad for a duo who hauled in just one pass (Tyree’s eight-yard reception) the week before.
This team goes as quarterback Daniel Smith goes and Smith will need Tyree and Robinson to make their week two performance a habit rather than an aberration.
The Tackling Machine
Junior linebacker Austin Stephens made 12 stops a week ago, running his season tally to 26—including 2.5 for loss—and doubling up the next highest individual tackle total on the defense.
Fort Valley State wants to run the football. The Wildcats tried it 38 times a week ago, despite facing a major deficit for the majority of the game. With that in mind, it could and should be a big week for Stephens.
Key Matchup: FVSU Secondary vs. Miles Passing Attack
The Wildcats’ secondary surrendered 243 yards and four touchdowns on 38 passing attempts a week ago.
The aforementioned Smith will be looking to throw early and often—and he’ll be looking in the direction of Tyree and Robinson, each of whom broke out last week. If Fort Valley State hopes to keep Miles at bay, limiting the Golden Bears’ effectiveness through the air is paramount.