SoCon Football 2022: Preview (Part 1)

ETSU QB Tyler Riddell

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH:

  1. East Tennessee State–Bucs look good for a repeat coming off an 11-win season
  2. Chattanooga–Mocs bring back seven from league’s top defense
  3. Furman–Paladins might well be the dark horse in the title race in 2022
  4. Mercer–The Bears were on the doorstep of first SoCon title last season
  5. Western Carolina–Catamounts must replace Rogan Wells at quarterback
  6. VMI–Keydets return nation’s top linebacker, Stone Snyder
  7. The Citadel–Bulldogs looking for new leader under center
  8. Samford–It could be a make or break year for head coach Chris Hatcher
  9. Wofford–Hard to see how Josh Conklin gets out of this season with a job

Individual Superlatives:

Offensive Player of the Year: Tyler Riddell (ETSU)

Defensive Player of the Year: Devonnsha Maxwell (Chattanooga)

Jacobs Blocking Award: Anderson Tomlin (Furman)

Preseason All-SoCon Team:

First Team Offense:

QB–Tyler Riddell (East Tennessee State)

RB–Ailym Ford (Chattanooga)

RB–Jacob Saylors (ETSU)

TE–Ryan Miller (Furman)

OL–Pearson Toomey (Furman)

OL–Anderson Tomlin (Furman)

OL–McClendon Curtis (Chattanooga)

OL–Colin Truett (Chattanooga)

OL–Tavon Matthews (ETSU)

WR–Raphael Williams (Western Carolina)

WR–Ty James (Mercer)

First Team Special Teams

PK–Tyler Keltner (ETSU)

P–Jack Culbreath (VMI)

LS–Chandlor Mullins (ETSU)

RS–Calvin Jones (WCU)

First Team Defense

DL–Devonnsha Maxwell (Chattanooga)

DL–Solomon Zubairu (Mercer)

DL–Michael Mason (Wofford)

DL–Ben Brewton (Chattanooga)

LB–Stone Snyder (VMI)

LB–Ty Boeck (Chattanooga)

LB– Isaac Dowling (Mercer)

DB–Travis Blackshear (Furman)

DB–Dominick Poole (The Citadel)

DB–Lance Wise (Mercer)

DB–Destin Mack (The Citadel)

Introducing the 2022 football season:

Over the past two seasons, the Southern Conference football scene has seen some drastic changes, with only an automatic bid qualifier to the FCS playoffs, and in just the calendar year of 2020-21, VMI captured its first Southern Conference crown since 1977, while East Tennessee State claimed its first outright Southern Conference title in the fall, winning a school-record 11 games in the process.

If we know anything about the league, it’s that literally anyone could win it. The SoCon is as competitive a league in NCAA Division I (FBS or FCS) as any league in the nation.

The Bucs showed well, getting a near miraculous win over Kennesaw State in the opening round of the FCS playoffs before eventually getting knocked out of the FCS postseason by eventual FCS national champion and juggernaut, North Dakota State.

Another storyline heading into the season is the sharp decline the Wofford Terriers have experienced over the past couple of seasons. After winning its third-straight Southern Conference title in 2019, the Terriers endured what was their worst season since 1987 and worst as a NCAA Division I member, having finished 1-10 overall, including going winless (0-8) in Southern Conference play.

Head coach Josh Conklin managed to retain his job for one more season, but there’s no question that he must get it done this season in order to keep his employment. He probably needs to make the postseason in order to extend his stay in Spartanburg for at least another season, and doing that against one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Southern Conference will make that goal highly difficult.

The Terriers won their season opener–a 24-22 decision at Elon–and then proceeded to lose 10-straight to close the campaign. Wofford will enter the 2022 campaign having lost 12-straight SoCon games, which dates back to Feb. 27, 2021, as the Terriers were beaten, 24-13, at Chattanooga.

The Mocs were without question the biggest disappointment in the Southern Conference race during the 2021 season. Rusty Wright’s Mocs were well-rested and healthy when the 2021 season rolled around. But despite a collection of 32 transfers–29 of them from NCAA Division I programs–as well a number of holdover starters from the 2020 and 2019 campaigns, the Mocs couldn’t live up to those expectations, finishing 6-5 overall and posted a 5-3 mark in the SoCon.

With that being said, there’s no question the Mocs had one of the most dominant defenses in all of FCS football, with their defensive line being among the best in the sub-classification.

The good news for the Mocs is much of that front seven returns from a year ago, including a player in my opinion that might be the most dominant in FCS football, in Devonnsha Maxwell. Maxwell was, at times last season, un-blockable. Just ask East Tennessee State, who saw him rack up five sacks in helping the Mocs hand the Bucs their lone loss in league play last season, taking a 21-16 decision in the Rail Rivalry.

On offense, Cole Copeland will be competing to keep his job with Preston Hutchinson, who transferred in from Eastern Michigan last season. That said, if the Mocs can get the offense settled, they have one of the career active leading rushers in FCS football returning in the backfield, in Ailym Ford.

Ford has already become the fastest Mocs running back to reach 1,500 yards rushing in a career. He has rushed for 2,546 yards in his career, which includes 22 rushing scores in his career. Ford returns as the career-active leading rusher in the Southern Conference. 

The Mocs enter the 2022 campaign looking for their first Southern Conference regular-season title since 2015, and first trip to the FCS playoffs since the ’16 season.

The other half of the league’s Volunteer State membership–ETSU–will enter the season as the favorites for the league crown in my opinion. The Bucs have won two of the past four SoCon crowns, and will have a new sheriff in town this fall, as George Quarles takes over the heading coaching reins following Randy Sanders’ sudden retirement following the season.

Quarles was previously the offensive coordinator at Furman, where he presided over one of the most explosive Paladin offensive units in recent memory back in the 2019 campaign.

A native of Jefferson County TN., Quarles was a part of Furman’s 1988 national championship team, and he is a member of the Tennessee Football and Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Halls-of-Fames, and has also been named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall-of-Fame for his accomplishments during his time as a high school head coach. 

During his time as head coach at Maryville High School, Quarles was outstanding, posting a 250-16 (.939) record, and was the fastest head coach to 250 wins in US High School football history, leading Maryville to 11 state titles and 15 state title game appearances in 18 seasons as the head coach.

He will now be charged with helping maintain and even elevate what predecessors Carl Torbush and Randy Sanders helped build when the program was brought back after an 11-year hiatus in 2014. With the Bucs’ 7-1 conference mark last season, it marked just the second conference title in school history, while it was the first-ever outright SoCon crown in program history. 

He will have Tyler Riddell returning under center, who will compete with Brock Landis for the starting job, returns as a signal-caller that was simply outstanding last season, throwing 19 scoring passes and only five INTs. Cade Larkins, who is a former standout at nearby Davey Crockett High School, has decided to enter the transfer portal.

While the school’s all-time rusher Quay Holmes has graduated, the good news is that Jacob Saylors returns after becoming the second 1,000-yard rusher in the ETSU offense last season.

His 1,019 yards rushing last season marked the eighth-highest rushing total in a season in ETSU history. His historic season was highlighted by a school-record rushing performance in the wild 55-35 win over Western Carolina, as he finished the contest with 266 yards rushing and three touchdowns. 

The Bucs defense will have some holes to fill at linebacker, with both Jared Folks and Donovan Manuel having moved on, however, there is talent still around at all three levels of the unit, highlighted by linebacker Jalen Porter and defensive backs Mike Price and Alijah Huzzie.

One of the major early tests for the defending SoCon champions will be when the Bucs square off against their head coach’s alma mater and former employer–Furman–as the two meet in an intriguing early-season SoCon battle.

The Paladins are under the direction of head coach Clay Hendrix, who enters his sixth season at the helm of the Paladin football program, leading the Paladins to a 6-5 campaign last fall, with one of those losses coming to the Bucs, as ETSU claimed a 17-13 win in Greenville last season in what was a thrilling game that came down to a late scoring drive by the Bucs to steal their first win in Greenville since 1997 and only their second all-time win in Paladin Stadium.

Furman had consistency issues in two areas last season on offense. Those two were quarterback play and lack of a consistent big-play threat outside of true freshman Joshua Williams.

The Paladins should be in much better shape in both areas this season. Veteran Hamp Sisson has decided to forego his final season of eligibility to focus on his career path, allowing for a clearer picture at quarterback entering the season.

The Paladins had one of the more explosive young signal-callers in the league last season, in Jace Wilson, who heads into fall camp as the starter.

He should be the starter when the Paladins open camp, and Furman went out and added some more depth under center, in Presbyterian graduate transfer Tyler Huff. In two-plus seasons at PC, Huff saw action in a total of 22 games, starting 12 times for the Blue Hose, connecting on 232-of-376 passes for 2,560 yards and 21 touchdowns.

The Paladins return one of the top tight ends in all of FCS football, in graduate senior Ryan Miller. Miller has caught 79 passes for 1,384 yards and has 16 receiving scores in his career.

Furman adds one of its best offensive lines in recent memory, with All-America candidate Anderson Tomlin leading the way at left tackle for running backs Dominic Roberto, Devin Abrams and Wayne Anderson Jr. returning to highlight the ground attack.

Michigan State transfer tight end Parks Gissinger and James Madison transfer wideout Kyndel Dean will provide immediate impact on the offensive side of the ball. Gerrick Vollmer a transfer from Old Dominion will have a chance to be added to the two-deep immediately along the offensive line.

The defense has a few more question marks, but the defensive line should be strong with both Bryce Stanfield back at defensive end, while Cameron Coleman returns at defensive tackle. Travis Blackshear is also back as one of the top cover corners in the SoCon.

Furman will have to navigate tough road tests in league play at ETSU (Sept. 17) and at Mercer (Nov. 12) if the Paladins hope to make it back to the postseason for the first time since 2019.

The Bears, who are under the direction of former Paladin offensive coordinator Drew Cronic, were on the cusp of their first Southern Conference title last season, and enter the season having won two-straight over Furman.

Mercer has been getting it done with defense during the Cronic era. The Bears have some of the top defensive talent returning in the league for the 2022 season, including Solomon Zubairu, who returns as one of the SoCon’s top defensive lineman, having finished the 2021 campaign with 34 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss, and five sacks.

While Zubairu was a first-team All-SoCon selection last season, he will have some stout performers lining up alongside him along the defensive front this fall, with one of those being Savio Frazier, who was a SoCon All-Freshman Team selection last season following a campaign that saw him finish the 2021 fall season with 14 tackles and 2.5 tackles-for-loss.

While Zubairu leads the defensive front heading into the 2022 season, the linebacking corps has one of the premier young LBs in the league leading the unit, with Isaac Dowling returning off a campaign, which saw him lead the Bears in tackles, completing the season with 73 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.

The Bears ranked 20th in all of the FCS in total defense, allowing just 327.5 YPG. The Bears ranked 12th nationally in passing yards allowed, surrendering just 179.4 YPG through the air in 2021.

Offensively, the Bears had big-play talent in both the backfield, as well as in the passing game.

Both Carter Peevy and Fred Payton return at quarterback for the Bears in 2022. Peevy was the primary quarterback during the spring season back in 2020-21. Payton, a transfer from Coastal Carolina, was the primary leader of the offense during the fall of 2021.

Payton was a dual-threat, but got more comfortable as a passer as the season progressed. He ended up throwing for 1,661 yards, with 12 TDs and 10 INTs last season.

The Bears have one of the best wideouts in the SoCon, with Ty James returning as the premier big-play threat. The redshirt sophomore wideout, who originally transferred in from the University of Georgia, finished off an All-SoCon season last fall by hauling in 26 passes for 611 yards and seven scores last fall.

The Bears bread-and-butter was the ground game, however, and that should again be the focus for Cronic’s offensive attack this fall. The leader of that multi-faceted and diverse ground unit this fall will once again be Fred Davis.

The redshirt freshman running back was a force to be reckoned with last season, as he finished the campaign rushing for 847 yards and 14 TDs, averaging  5.2 YPC.

Western Carolina wide receiver Raphael Williams (photo courtesy of WCU Athletics)

A team on the rise in the Southern Conference is Kerwin Bell’s Western Carolina Catamounts. Western Carolina was seemingly a completely different team at season’s end than it was at the start of the season, and a lot of that has to do with an offense that found its rhythm at midseason and became a nightmare for defensive coordinators to scheme for around the league.

While the Catamounts must replace talented signal-caller Rogan Wells under center, Western Carolina returns a quarterback, in Carlos Davis that is seemingly just as capable of making big plays in the Catamounts’ high-octane offense.

Other key returnees coming back into the fold on the offensive side of the ball include wide receiver Raphael Williams, as well as running back TJ Jones.

Williams was an elite wideout for the Catamounts, rivaling some Catamount sure-handed receiving threats of the past like Lamont Seward and Craig Aiken, as he finished the season hauling in 73 passes for 959 yards, with nine touchdowns and averaged 13.1 YPR.

Jones was a versatile weapon in the Catamount offense last season, posting 589 yards and nine TDs as a ground threat, while hauling in 33 passes for 651 yards and three scores last season.

Bell and staff would had have to deal with tragic loss of offensive line coach John Peacock due to complications from COVID-19 during fall camp, and less than two weeks later, were forced to deal with the sudden loss of legendary Hall-of-Fame wide receiver David Patten, who was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Columbia, S.C., just prior to the Catamounts’ season-opening contest vs Eastern Kentucky.

The Catamounts opened the season with heavy hearts, and the debut as head coach for Bell in Cullowhee didn’t go as well as and the Purple and Gold-clad fanbase on-hand at E.J. Whitmire Stadium had hoped, as Eastern Kentucky picked up a 31-28 win, handing the Catamounts their 11th loss in their last 12 games.

After an 0-6 start, the Catamounts would turn the season around with three-straight wins at The Citadel (W, 45-31), at Wofford (W, 41-21) and vs. Furman (43-42) before eventually seeing that streak come to an end with a 55-35 loss to East Tennessee State in the Blue Ridge Border Battle.

The Catamounts, however, would finish the season in style, as they went on the road to VMI and claimed a 52-24 win over the Keydets, and that all but assured the Keydets would miss the FCS postseason.

The Catamounts would improve towards the latter portion of the season on the defensive side of the ball, but still need plenty of improvement if the Purple and Gold hope to factor in as a serious contender for the SoCon title this fall.

The good news is there’s some talent returning within the six regulars slated to return on the defensive side of the football, led by sophomore defensive back Andreas Keaton, who was a SoCon All-Freshman Team selection last season.

After VMI broke through and won their first Southern Conference football crown since 1977 in the spring of 2020-21, the Keydets found it hard to recapture that mojo they had the previous spring last fall.

Scott Wachenheim’s club welcomes back some good talent on both sides of the football, led by quarterback Seth Morgan and versatile running back Kory Bridy on the offensive side of the football, while returning arguably the top defensive player in the SoCon on the defensive side of the ball, in Stone Snyder.

Morgan can be a dual threat, possessing some pretty good wheels. However, Wachenheim probably hopes his signal-caller will take better care of the football next season, after having thrown 11 INTs in 2021. Morgan finished off the season by connecting on 201-of-326 passes for 2,175 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Snyder was the best player on a really bad defense last fall. He finished the season by posting an impressive 120 tackles, which led the SoCon last season. He also added four sacks and totaled 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Snyder was part of a Keydet defense ranked 108th nationally in total defense (443.6 YPG). The Keydets struggled the most against the run, ranking 120th out 123 ranked teams in FCS football in rush defense last fall (232.9 YPG). In the spring and fall seasons combined, Snyder posted an impressive 208 total stops.

2021 SoCon Freshman of the Year Dominick Poole (photo courtesy of The Citadel athletics)

The other military instituiton–The Citadel–will be looking for a new man to lead them under center this fall when the Bulldogs open the 2022 campaign on Thursday, Sept. 1, against Campbell.

Jaylen Adams decided to enter the transfer portal, desiring to find a program where he could fit into the plans as a wide receiver.

A pair of talented redshirt freshmen–Varney Farhnbullah and Ahmad Green–and sophomore Graeson Underwood are among those competing to replace Adams under center this fall.

It probably comes as little surprise that the Bulldogs, running their physical, triple-option style offense are traditionally among the nation’s top 10 ground units. That will no doubt likely be the case again in 2022.

The Bulldogs had a couple of major losses as a result of graduation to that offensive front from a year ago, as both Haden Haas and Jon Barrett-Lewis have moved on from a unit that averaged 262.1 YPG on the ground last season. 

I fully expect Brent Thompson to make the necessary offensive adjustments, however. The most concerning side of the football the past couple of seasons is without question the defense.

While the losses are significant, the Bulldogs have some key pieces returning to that ground attack, which include running backs like Cooper Wallace, Logan Billings, Emeka Nwanze, Sam Llewellyn, and Nkem Njoku. 

Defense was supposed to be a strength last season for The Citadel, however, that was side of the ball struggled from the outset. The Bulldogs did rally to rank fifth in the league in total defense by season’s end, but still ended up yielding over 400 YPG for the season (422.5 YPG).

The Bulldogs should have one of the better defensive backfields in the SoCon this fall, highlighted by Dominick Poole, who was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year last fall, finishing the season with 51 tackles, a tackle-for-loss, nine pass breakups and a pair of interceptions.

The SoCon’s other Bulldogs must also answer some questions under center, with Samford having to replace do-everything signal-caller Liam Welch, who came into the 2021 season as a Walter Payton Award candidate.

Head coach Chris Hatcher has seemingly always had a player to step in under center and be able to answer the call. That will likely once again be the case this fall, with at least three solid candidates vying to be the Bulldogs starter come their Sept. 1 opener against Atlantic Sun member Kennesaw State.

Battling for the right to lead the Bulldog offense when they open the season on Sept. 1 at Kennesaw State will be JUCO transfer Michael Hiers and University of Kentucky transfer Nik Scalzo.

Whomever is able to emerge at the conclusion of fall camp as the starter will be leading an offense that routinely is one of the more explosive aerial big-play offenses in FCS football.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 2021 fall campaign, which saw the Bulldogs lead the league in scoring offense (37.9 PPG), while ranking second in total offense (448.7 YPG). The offensive highlight of note and potentially the most memorable moment of the disappointing campaign for the Bulldogs was putting up 52 points and 530 yards of total offense in a 70-52 loss at SEC East member Florida last season.

The 52 points were the most ever allowed by Florida to an opponent in a win, and the most ever scored by an FCS team against SEC opposition. 

Another area of concern on the offensive side of the ball could be wide receiver, where the Bulldogs must replace leading wideout Montrell Washington, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft just this past weekend. Expected to step into the role as the Bulldogs’ go-to-wideout this fall should be Ty King, who returns for his senior campaign in 2022. 

With those two key losses, it would be a shock if the Bulldogs weren’t again one of the most explosive passing attacks in the SoCon and FCS football. The two top performers returning on the offensive side of the football heading into the 2022 campaign are tight end Michael Vice and running back Jay Stanton.

The Bulldogs were relatively young along the offensive front last season, with the lone significant departure along the offensive front being Gavin Orr. 

Despite the vacancies on the offensive side of the ball, defensive improvement is a must if the Bulldogs hope to find themselves in the thick of the SoCon title race this fall. 

Samford ranked as the worst defense in the nation last fall, finishing the campaign surrendering 505 YPG and 39.5 PPG. Defensive linemen Tay Berry and Nelson Jordan account as two of the more significant departures on the defensive side of the ball heading into the 2022 season. 

Finally, what will the fate be for Wofford and head coach Josh Conklin. The Terriers have reached their most crucial season to date since moving to the Division I FCS level and the SoCon in 1997.

Terrier football has long been built upon a model of toughness, which was established and developed under legendary SoCon Hall-of-Fame coach Mike Ayers.

Following spring and fall seasons which saw the Terriers post a combined 2-14 record, including a 1-12 mark in SoCon play, the future for both Conklin and the Terriers looks to be on very shaky ground going forward into the immediate future.

The Terriers also face a non-conference schedule, which is seemingly tougher than usual, welcoming in an upper echelon CAA program, in Elon to Spartanburg for the home opener on Sept. 10 before back-to-back trips to Kennesaw State (Sept. 17) and ACC member Virginia Tech the next couple of weeks.

The Terriers actually kick off the season on Sept. 3 with a huge Southern Conference matchup at one of the league title favorites, Chattanooga. It was a Mocs team that came to Spartanburg and handed Wofford a 35-10 defeat last season.

On offense, the Terriers are in the process of transitioning away from the traditional wing bone offense, which has also not been an exactly smooth transition. Quarterback issues, offensive line injuries and depth, and the lack of a true offensive identity have been among the other factors that have been pre-eminent during the past couple of seasons, causing struggles along the way.

The Terriers have a decent amount of talent returning for the 2022 season, however, and they aren’t a team to be taken lightly in the SoCon. Still, this team has to find the confidence it needs that brought it plenty of success in the not-so-distant past. 

The 2022 season will see the Terriers in search of a new starting signal-caller, with veteran Jimmy Weirick accounting for the lone holdover with starting experience. Kyle Pinnix, Cade Rice, Trey Baker and Bryce Corriston are a young trio of signal-callers alongside Weirick to garner the starting responsibilities for the fall when competing to lead the Terrier offense in the season opener on Sept. 10 against Elon. 

All told in his Wofford career, Weirick has seen action in 11 games, having made six starts. He has completed 71-of-123 passes for 880 yards, with four TDs and three INTs. 

Some veteran know-how does return in the backfield at least for the 2022 season, as Nathan Walker returns for yet another season in the backfield for the Terriers. Walker rushed for 254 yards and a touchdown in the 2021 season, as he saw action in all 11 games, including starting four of those contests. 

In his career with the Terriers, Walker has rushed for 1,480 yards and 11 scores in 39-career games donning the old gold and black, including having made 18-career starts. 

The best news for the Terrier ground attack will be the return of Irvin Mulligan, who is coming off a strong season running the football for the Terriers, and he was arguably the Terriers’ biggest offensive weapon this past season, rushing for 854 yards and eight scores on 124 rush attempts, averaging an impressive 6.9 yards-per-carry last season. 

Mulligan enters his senior season for Wofford having rushed for a total of 1,324 yards and 11 TDs on 190-career attempts, averaging 7.0 YPC for his career. 

All told, Wofford finished the season ranking fifth overall in rushing offense, averaging 232.8 YPG,  which marked the 22nd-straight season the Terriers have finished the season ranked in the Top 10 nationally in rushing yardage. 

As a part of the unit paving the way for the likes of Mulligan and Walker, with two starters returning from that unit from a year ago that once again helped the Terriers rank among the nation’s best ground attacks. 

Jysaiah Cromer will anchor the unit, as he returns at left tackle for the 2022 season, while Anthony Garcia returns at center. 

The ever-evolving passing attack for the Terriers will feature some big-play threats, including leading wideout and rising junior Alec Holt, while senior R.J. Khayo adds even more experience on the other side.

In part 2, we will be ranking each position starting with the skill positions on the offensive side of the football and take a look at some fun storylines heading into the upcoming campaign.

2022 SoCon Composite schedule

Aug. 27 (Saturday)

Morehead State at Mercer, 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 (Thursday)

North Greenville at Furman, 7 p.m.

VMI at Wake Forest, 7:30 p.m.

Mars Hill at ETSU, TBA

Kennesaw State at Samford, TBA

Sept. 3 (Saturday)

Western Carolina at Charleston Southern, 12 p.m.

The Citadel at Campbell, 6 p.m.

*Wofford at Chattanooga, 6 p.m.

Mercer at Auburn, 7 p.m.

Sept. 10 (Saturday)

Bucknell at VMI, 1:30 p.m.

Furman at Clemson, 3:30 p.m.

*ETSU at The Citadel, 4 p.m.

Samford at Georgia, 4 p.m.

Elon at Wofford, 6 p.m.

Chattanooga at Eastern Illinois, 7 p.m.

Western Carolina at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.

Sept. 17 (Saturday)

Wofford at Virginia Tech, 11 a.m.

Cornell at VMI, 1:30 p.m.

Western Carolina at Presbyterian, 3:30 p.m.

*The Citadel at Mercer, 6 p.m.

Chattanooga at North Alabama, 6 p.m.

Samford at Tennessee Tech, 7 p.m.

*Furman at ETSU, TBA

Sept. 22 (Thursday)

Chattanooga at Illinois, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 (Saturday)

ETSU at Robert Morris, 12 p.m.

Furman at Charleston Southern, 12 p.m.

Mercer at Gardner-Webb, 6 p.m.

Wofford at Kennesaw State, 6 p.m.

*Western Carolina at Samford, TBA

Oct. 1 (Saturday)

*Mercer at Wofford, 1:30 p.m.

*Samford at Furman, 2 p.m.

*VMI at Western Carolina, 3:30 p.m.

*Chattanooga at ETSU, TBA

The Citadel at App State, TBA

Oct. 8 (Saturday)

*ETSU at VMI, 1:30 p.m.

*Furman at The Citadel, 2 p.m.

*Western Carolina at Mercer, 4 p.m.

*Wofford at Samford, TBA

Oct. 15 (Saturday)

*The Citadel at Wofford, 1:30 p.m.

*VMI at Chattanooga, 1:30 p.m.

*Western Carolina at Furman, 2 p.m.

*ETSU at Mercer, 4 p.m.

Oct. 22 (Saturday)

*Furman at VMI, 1:30 p.m.

*Mercer at Chattanooga, 1:30 p.m.

*The Citadel at Western Carolina, 2 p.m.

*Samford at ETSU, TBA

Oct. 29 (Saturday)

*ETSU at Wofford, 1:30 p.m.

*Mercer at VMI, 1:30 p.m.

*Samford at The Citadel, 2 p.m.

*Chattanooga at Furman, 2 p.m.

Nov. 5 (Saturday)

*Chattanooga at The Citadel, 2 p.m.

*Wofford at Western Carolina, 2 p.m.

*VMI at Samford, TBA

Nov. 12 (Saturday)

*Samford at Chattanooga, 1:30 p.m.

*VMI at Wofford, 1:30 p.m.

Virginia-Lynchburg at The Citadel, 2 p.m.

*Furman at Mercer, 3 p.m.

*Western Carolina at ETSU, TBA

No. 19 (Saturday)

*Wofford at Furman, 1 p.m.

*Chattanooga at Western Carolina, 1 p.m.

*The Citadel at VMI, TBA

ETSU at Mississippi State, TBA

*Mercer at Samford, TBA

Nov. 26-Jan. 7

NCAA Division I Football Championship

* Southern Conference game

All times Eastern

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