2022 West Alabama vs Delta State

GSC Games of the Week: Surprising West Alabama Tries To Slow Delta State

GSC Games of the Week: Surprising West Alabama Tries To Slow Delta State

West Alabama's win over Valdosta State has the Tigers in the mix for the GSC title. The Tigers try to keep it going against undefeated Delta State.

Oct 11, 2022 by Ron Balaskovitz
GSC Games of the Week: Surprising West Alabama Tries To Slow Delta State

With three league games in the books for each team in the Gulf South, the league continues to surprise Three of the top four teams in the standings were predicted to finish in the bottom half before the season began.

Conversely, league favorites like West Georgia and Valdosta State may already be out of the race for the league crown, and barring a surge over the final weeks, a berth in the NCAA Playoffs may be out of reach.

This week, two of those surprise teams will square off, while a pair of struggling favorites may face their last chance to get things back on track for a postseason push.

West Alabama Vs. Delta State

The first of two meetings between the two, the second will close out the season but is non-conference, so this is the big one in the GSC championship chase.

Delta State continues its dream season, rolling past a solid North Greenville squad last week to reach 6-0, 3-0 in the GSC, while West Alabama exercised its demons against Valdosta State. The Tigers went on the road to pull out a 34-31 victory to climb to 4-2, 2-1 in the league.

The Statesmen continued to do what they have all season against North Greenville: Force turnovers, while holding onto the ball. DSU gave up 472 yards of offense, but the secondary swarmed, picking off four passes, in a 47-14 win, dominating the final three quarters with a 47-7 advantage.

The big play in that win came from Malik Jones, who — in the shadow of his own end zone — picked off a pass and ran it back 99 yards for a score. Jones’ interception turned a potential tie game into a two-touchdown Statesmen lead.

Jones also added to a recurring theme on the season: DSU ranks among the Top 15 in the country in turnover margin, gaining 13 takeaways in their six wins, while giving the ball up just six times.


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Quarterback Patrick Shegog continued his campaign for GSC Player of the Year, passing for 275 yards and a pair of scores, while adding 61 more rushing and another touchdown.

DSU saw four different players rush for 54 yards or more, totaling 271 yards on the ground, and 568 overall.

West Alabama threw its name into the conference title race by holding off Valdosta State’s fourth-quarter comeback attempt, keeping them within a game of DSU, and a showdown with West Florida still on the schedule.

The Tigers, who boast a strong rushing defense that has given up only 3.4 yards per carry this season, is coupled with a rushing attack that put up 327 yards against the Blazers. It could be a fast game between two teams that love to run the ball.

That defense has been the calling card for UWA this season, with the 31 given up to Valdosta the most they’ve allowed this season. As a team, the Tigers are in the Top-25 at just 283 yards allowed per game.

While the defense has been the most consistent unit, as the UWA offense has gone, so has the team. In their four wins, the Tigers have averaged 31.5 points per game, in the two losses, they scored 17 total.


Delta State took last season's game at UWA in a 35-30 thriller, holding off the Tigers who nearly rallied from down 12 in the fourth quarter.

Mississippi College Vs. Valdosta State

Raise your hand if three weeks into the GSC schedule you had the Choctaws ahead of the Blazers in the standings. That’s exactly what’s happened after MC defended its home turf last week, topping cellar-dweller Shorter by a 35-21 final to stay within a game of Delta State.

Mississippi College got a monster game from John Henry White to down the Hawks. He ran for 270 yards on 35 carries, leading a Choctaws ground game that amassed an astounding 527 yards in the win.


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Mississippi College is third in the country in rushing at 321 yards per game, one of three teams to average over 300 yards on the ground.

We keep saying it, but that spells bad news for Valdosta State, which finds themselves at 3-3 on the season, 1-2 in league play, and clinging to playoff hopes.

The VSU defense again was gashed by an opponent’s running game, giving up 327 to West Alabama. Out of 163 teams in Division 2 football, the Blazers are 153rd in rushing defense at 240.3 yards per game, giving up 17 touchdowns and over five yards per carry.

The Blazer offense, sixth in the country at 487 yards per game, will likely need to put up points if they’re going to get the season back on track.

West Georgia Vs. North Greenville

Like Valdosta State, it’s put up or shut up for West Georgia, which also sits at 1-2 in the league, after dropping its last two games. The slide pushed the Wolves out of the national Top 10, and into a hole in the GSC title race.

West Florida dropped UWG last week when the Wolves up 28 second-half points. Penalties and a 6-of-16 third-down conversion rate proved too costly for UWG to rally.

After hanging tough in every game against Division II opponents, North Greenville was handled by Delta State in a 47-14 loss, its defense torched on the ground. The Crusaders are the worst rushing defense in the GSC, conceding 257 yards per game, which could spell bad news against a Wolves offense that averages 180 yards on the ground.

The Wolves dominated last season’s game, 34-12, building a 34-6 lead through three quarters, while holding the Crusaders to just 288 yards of offense.