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Week Eight SoCon Award Winners

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Highlighting the Southern Conference's top performers during week eight.

Offensive Player of the Week: Devlin Hodges, Samford quarterback passed for 402 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Furman 38-25. Hodges became the SOCON’s career leader in passing yards with 13,377, became the SOCON and FCS career leader with 1,198 completions and notched at least 400 yards in the air for the third straight game.  

Defensive Player of the Week: Samford’s Ahmad Gooden led the Bulldogs defense with 9 tackles and recovered a Furman fumble and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter that sparked a Samford comeback with a 21-point third quarter.   

Special Teams Player of the Week: Furman’s Grayson Atkins matched an NCAA Division 1 record for most 50-yard field goals in the same game with three in the Paladins 38-25 loss to Samford. Atkins made kicks of 50, 51 and 53 yards as part of his four field goal day. 

Coach of the Week: Wofford Head Coach Josh Conklin led the Terriers back atop the SOCON standings defeating previously league unbeaten East Tennessee State 30-17 on Homecoming in Spartanburg. Conklin’s Terriers bounced back nicely after dropping their first league game last week to Furman 34-14 putting them in a tie with ETSU in the SOCON but holding the all-important tie-breaker with the Bucs for the automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs.   

X-Factor of the Week: Mercer quarterback Kaelan Riley led the Bears to a big SOCON win over Western Carolina in a shootout 59-46 in Macon. With the win the Bears are a half game back of first place in the SOCON at 3-1 and control their own destiny over the next two weeks as they face Wofford and ETSU. Riley completed 16 of 27 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears.