College Football around Alabama: Midway Point in the Season
As Alabama fans settle in for a homecoming weekend against Arkansas, other college football teams from around the state are gearing up for the back half of their regular season schedules.
In addition to top ranked Alabama, schools like Auburn, Troy, Samford and Jacksonville State are in position to make runs for conference championships.
Auburn Tigers (5-1, 3-0 SEC)
Through their first six games Auburn sits in good shape with a 5-1 record along with a No. 10 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll and a No. 11 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Tigers have steamrolled through their first three SEC opponents by averaging 48 points per game while holding them to 15.7 points per game.
Although Kamryn Pettway is considered the top running back on the team, junior Kerryon Johnson has picked up the slack in conference play by rushing for 11 scores and totaling 368 yards on 69 carries.
Auburn begins the first of a three-game road trip this weekend at LSU as CBS will air the game at 2:30 PM.
Troy Trojans (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt)
After their 27-24 win at LSU to end the month of September, Troy University returns to campus for their in-state rivalry matchup against South Alabama (1-4, 0-1 Sun Belt).
The Trojans have rattled off four consecutive wins after beginning the season with a 24-13 loss at Boise State.
Defense has carried the team this season as they lead the Sun Belt Conference in rushing defense (108.8 yards/game), total defense (339.8 yards/game) and scoring defense (18.6 points per game).
Kickoff for Troy vs. South Alabama is Wednesday at 7 PM on ESPN2.
A pair of FCS teams inside the borders of Alabama have experienced top 20 level success this season.
Jacksonville State (4-1, 2-0 OVC) has been among the top 10 teams nationally in the FCS over the past three seasons and rank third this week in both the FCS Coaches Poll and STATS FCS Poll.
Former Auburn running back Roc Thomas is second in the OVC with 532 rushing yards along with five touchdowns.
The Gamecocks host Eastern Kentucky Saturday for a 3 PM kickoff.
A short drive west of JSU, Samford (4-2, 2-1 SoCon) is positioning itself for an opportunity to make their second straight trip to the FCS Playoffs. The Bulldogs moved into the top 20 of both the FCS Coaches Poll and STATS FCS poll thanks to back-to-back wins in conference play over The Citadel and VMI.
Junior quarterback Devlin Hodges leads the SoCon and is eighth nationally averaging 314.3 passing yards per game.
Samford has the week off before traveling to Wofford for a big conference tilt on October 21.
West Alabama (5-1, 4-0 Gulf South Conference)
With one month left in the Division II regular season, the UWA Tigers have their sights set on their first playoff appearance since 2012.
Head coach Brett Gilliland’s rose to No. 15 in this week’s D2Football.com Top 25 Poll and has done so through an explosive offense.
The Tigers have scored 40 or more points in four of their six games this season and rank sixth in Division II scoring 43 points per game.
After toppling No. 20 Delta State on the road, UWA has a tough test at home Saturday as No. 17 West Georgia comes into Livingston for a 4 PM kickoff.