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Saturday Reshuffling in the SoCon

By BJ Bennett
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Balance throughout the conference is on display.

It was another competitive Saturday in the Southern Conference as undefeated frontrunner VMI was defeated by East Tennessee State, potential playoff at-large contender Furman was topped by surging Mercer and The Citadel, winless entering the weekend, upset Wofford, which has won at least a share of three consecutive league championships. Balance throughout the conference is on display. 

The victory by the Bucs moves them into potential contention for the SoCon title at 4-1. ETSU will finish the spring schedule at Mercer, while VMI will host their archrival Bulldogs. A win by the Keydets or a loss by the Bucs would give VMI the SoCon championship. That said, ETSU still has a chance at the title with a win and a loss by the Keydets. Furthermore, the Bucs, even without a championship, may be able to play their way into the postseason via an at-large berth into the FCS playoffs. Their comeback in Lexington, with Quay Holmes running for 135 yards and two touchdowns, was a step towards that.

Mercer continues to play well, now with consecutive wins over ranked opponents. The redhot Bears have now won three games in a row and four of their last five overall. In Saturday's victory against Furman, quarterback Carter Peevy threw for 406 yards and scored three total touchdowns. Ty James and Ethan Dirrim both went over 100 yards receiving. During its three game win streak, Mercer is averaging over 35 points per game. The Bears, in an extended year one with Drew Cronic, have quickly joined VMI and ETSU as the only SoCon teams with at least four league wins.

In what has been a disappointing spring season for The Citadel, the Bulldogs rallied for an impressive victory that came with resolve and persistence down the stretch. Down 24-7 to traditional power Wofford late in the third quarter, a Javonte Middleton interception turned into a quick touchdown. The Citadel, on a Sam Llewellyn run, a pass from Jaylan Adams to Cole Owens and a late game-winner from Clay Harris, ultimately scored the final 21 points of the afternoon. After three one score losses this spring, Saturday's win was a meaningful one.

Even as the regular season comes to a close, the SoCon standings continue to take shape.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports