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SoCon Stars: Week Six

By Southern Pigskin Staff
SouthernPigskin.com
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The top performers in the Southern Conference from week six.

Caleb Dowden, Mercer: 6 Punts, 44.5 AVG, 50+ x 2, 2 downed inside the 20, 5/5 XP
Want to upend a top-10 team? You’re going to need all three phases of the game. Caleb Dowden held it down for the special teams unit for Mercer in the Bears’ 35-28 win over No. 9 Chattanooga. Dowden blasted two punts 50+ yards, including a 56 yarder in the 4th that was downed at the 8. He also had two punts muffed, one of which was recovered and led to a Mercer score, and was perfect on PATS for the day. Having a great punter is a true weapon, as Dowden proved on Saturday. Without his performance this one would have absolutely gone a different way. More like Caleb “Downed-em’ inside the 20”, am I right?

Liam Welch, Samford: 19-35, 306 passing yards, 139 rushing yards, 4 total TD
Another game, another 300 yard passing performance for Welch. Welch has now thrown for 300+ yards in three consecutive games, and four out of the five this season. The Samford offense had their way against The Citadel, winning 55-7 and improving to 3-3 on the season.  Ten different receivers hauled in a pass in the game, with Jai’Rus Creamer and Marcus Washington both going for over 90 yards. Welch has been a dual-threat all year, and finally broke the 100-yard mark, going for 139 yards on 13 carries. As good as Udinski has been at VMI, Liam Welch is making a real push for Offensive Player of the Year.

Seth Morgan, VMI: 25-34, 375 passing yards, 4 TD, 92 rushing yards
Welcome to being QB1. Everyone wants to start, but replacing a guy like Reece Udinksi is a unique challenge. Before his injury, Udinksi had passed the 1,000 yard mark on the season, was completing 72% of his passes, and had led the Keydets to their first ever top 25 ranking. Add on to that the fact your team is looking for their first 5-0 start since 1960, and you have all the trappings of being “the guy that replaces the guy”. Enter Seth Morgan. The redshirt freshman had attempted a total of 7 passes entering Saturday’s matchup at Wofford. None of it mattered. Morgan was elite. Making his first college start, Morgan led the Keydets back from multiple deficits, including a game-winning 22-yard touchdown toss to Max Brimigion. His main target, Jakob Herres, had a monster game as well, hauling in 15 passes for 207 yards and 3 scores. With Udinski now reportedly out for the year, Morgan has the task of carrying this season across the finish line for the Keydets. He’s off to a good start.