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Week One SoCon Primer

By Robbie Ross
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The 96th season of SOCON Football begins with four league members ranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll.

The 96th season of SOCON Football begins with four league members ranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll. Wofford is ranked 11th, Chattanooga opens the season at #13, two-time defending SOCON Champion The Citadel comes in at 16th, and Samford lands just inside the top 20 at #19. Mercer and ETSU received votes in the initial poll for 2017. 

Chattanooga led the SOCON with 10 pre-season picks on the Coaches All-SOCON team, SOCON pre-season top pick Wofford garnered 8 picks, The Citadel and Samford each landed 6 on the team including Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges being tabbed Offensive Player of the Year and Kailik Williams of The Citadel named Defensive Player of the Year.

The SOCON schedule kicks off with the renewal of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry as Furman travels up I-85 to take on Wofford. The Paladins will be under the guidance of 1st year Head Coach Clay Hendrix. Hendrix, a 1986 Furman graduate, returns to Greenville after being on Air Force’s staff since 2007 following 19 years as an assistant for the Paladins. Wofford was the unanimous pick to win the SOCON for the first time in school history. The Terriers have been picked second on four previous occasions (2004, 2009, 2012 and 2013). Wofford and Furman will meet for the 91st time with the Paladins leading the series 53-30-7. The last time the Terriers and Paladins met in a season lid lifter was in 1936. 

This weeks schedule of games kicks off on Thursday night with two SOCON teams at home. Mercer will host Jacksonville University in Macon and Samford will host Big South foe Kennesaw State. ETSU opens their new stadium on Saturday welcoming Limestone College to the new William B. Greene Jr Stadium. The Citadel hosts Division II Newberry in Charleston and VMI will travel to face FBS Air Force. Early Sunday morning Western Carolina will travel to take on Hawaii which will mark the first time a SOCON team has played a game outside of the continental United States. 

Week 0 Results
(6) Jacksonville State 27 (13) Chattanooga 13

Week 1 Schedule
Thursday, August 31st Jacksonville University at Mercer, 7:00, Macon, GA, ESPN3
Thursday, August 31st (RV) Kennesaw State at (19) Samford, 7:00, Birmingham, AL, ESPN3
Saturday, September 2nd VMI at Air Force, 12:00, Colorado Springs, CO, ESPN3
Saturday, September 2nd Newberry at (16) The Citadel, 6:00, Charleston, SC, ESPN3
Saturday, September 2nd Furman at (11) Wofford, 6:00, Spartanburg, SC, ESPN3
Saturday, September 2nd Limestone at ETSU, 7:00, Johnson City, TN, ESPN3
Sunday, September 3rd Western Carolina at Hawaii, 12:00 AM, Honolulu, HI, MWC Mobile App

Robbie Ross - Robbie Ross is Southern Pigskin's lead SoCon writer. A 19-year veteran of the Furman Radio Network, Ross also spent time with the Georgia State Radio Network prior to his ventures with Southern Pigskin. He is a voter in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll.