2022 Delta State vs West Florida

GSC Games Of The Week: League Favorites Open Conference Play

GSC Games Of The Week: League Favorites Open Conference Play

The Gulf South's league slate kicked off last week, and there are a few more high-profile games on the schedule for this week.

Sep 21, 2022 by Ron Balaskovitz
GSC Games Of The Week: League Favorites Open Conference Play

The Gulf South's league slate kicked off last week with North Greenville bouncing back from an 0-2 start to earn a road win over Mississippi College by a 41-19 score and temporarily move to the top of the league standings.

This week, a trio of league games highlight the schedule, including the league's favorites opening conference play, and a pair of teams that are trying to play their way into the league's elite, squaring off in the opening game for each team.

Valdosta State Vs. Shorter

After struggling to a 1-1 mark in its first two games, Valdosta State got back on track last week in a 55-7 romp over Miles College.

A week after giving up over 300 yards on the ground, the Blazers held Miles to 115 yards on 44 attempts, just 2.6 yards per carry, a much-needed improvement.

While the defense had its issues prior to last week, the offense has continued to hum along, with Harlan Hill candidate Ivory Durham averaging over 315 yards per game and totaling 12 passing scores against one interception.

His efforts have helped the Blazers average over 560 yards of offense per game through three contests.

Shorter comes in at 2-1, dropping its first game of the season last week at home against a ranked Albany State team, 42-20. 

While the Hawks fell short, they hung tough with a good Rams team for more than a half, trailing by seven at halftime, before the guests pulled away in the third quarter.

The key for Shorter this season through three games has been an improved defense that's holding opponents to under 300 yards per game, but they'll face a big task in Valdosta State's offense.

Valdosta took last season's game by a 49-13 final score, a game that was 14-13 Valdosta at halftime.

West Georgia Vs. West Alabama

The teams picked third and fourth in the preseason GSC poll face what might be a must-win game, if either team hopes to make the playoffs, particularly West Alabama.

West Georgia comes in having had two weeks to prepare for the Tigers and will enter at 2-0, following a pair of blowouts over Carson-Newman and Morehouse.

The Wolves gave up just seven points and 104 combined passing yards in those two wins.

Offensively, the Wolves have spread the ball around, with three running backs who have posted over 80 yards on the season. Quarterback Frost Harrison has five touchdowns in limited duty.

After a pair of road wins to open the year, West Alabama comes in licking its wounds after dropping its home opener to rival Tuskegee, 13-10.

In that loss, the UWA offense was held to just 230 yards of offense, including 23 rushing yards on 16 attempts, while going just 18 for 44 through the air.

While the offense stalled, the Tiger defense continued its strong play, allowing Tuskegee just 308 yards on 72 plays. 

Through three games, UWA has given up under 900 total yards of offense, so points could be at a premium Saturday.

West Alabama took last season's game at UWG by a 38-20 final score, using a big third quarter to pull away.

Delta State Vs. West Florida

Delta State comes in on a high, going on the road last week and pulling off a 28-17 win over FCS Mississippi Valley State. The victory included building an 18-0 halftime lead, then holding on in the second half.

Statesmen kicker Nick Herber was the hero last week, going 4-for-4 on his attempts, while quarterback Patrick Shegog totaled over 300 yards of total offense, plus two scores. 

The Delta State defense also shined in the win, racking up six sacks.

At 3-0, the Statesmen have won each of those games on the road, and Saturday's game will mark the end of their four-game trip to open the season.

West Florida comes in after a week off and at 2-0, having crushed Warner and Southwest Baptist in its first two games by a combined score of 101-13.

The Argo defense conceded less than 250 yards of offense in each of those wins, while forcing four turnovers. 

Quarterback Peewee Jarrett has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions on just 31 attempts.

Delta State nearly pulled off the upset a year ago, leading 30-10 at halftime, only to see the Argos rally for a 29-3 second half and a 39-33 win.