College Football around Alabama: October Comes to a Close
While Alabama and Auburn look ahead to pivotal SEC weekends to usher in November, several teams around the Yellowhammer State closed out October with a bang while one team nearly pulled off an impressive comeback despite numerous turnovers.
Troy and UAB Win Convincingly
The Troy Trojans and UAB Blazers both won big on Saturday.
The Trojans cruised past winless Georgia Southern 38-16 on Homecoming. Troy scored on their second snap from scrimmage as wide receiver Josh Johnson threw a 40-yard scoring pass to fellow receiver Tray Eafford.
Troy scored three touchdowns in their first 10 offensive snaps and never trailed in the game. Running backs Josh Anderson and Jamarius Henderson paced the Trojans combining for 173 rushing yards on 19 carries with two scores.
With the victory, Troy improves to 6-2 and becomes bowl eligible.
The UAB Blazers took a step closer to bowl eligibility by winning at Southern Miss 30-12.
Freshman running back Spencer Brown rushed for a game-high 209 yards with a TD while the defense limited Southern Miss to 81 yards rushing and 14 first downs.
Quarterback A.J. Erdely performed solidly for UAB throwing for 209 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for a score.
Jacksonville State Earns Homecoming Win over SEMO
Jacksonville State won their sixth straight game with a 23-7 victory on Homecoming over Southeast Missouri.
The Gamecocks dominated on defense by holding SEMO to 209 yards of total offense including 22 yards rushing. Marlon Bridges, Jonathan Hagler and Traco Williams each led JSU with nine tackles each.
While the defense stole the show, the Gamecocks struggled offensively leading 13-7 going into the fourth quarter but a Cade Stinnett 36-yard field goal and a Roc Thomas 27-yard touchdown run put the game out of reach.
Samford Upset at Home by Chattanooga
One week after upsetting fifth ranked Wofford, eighth ranked Samford fell to Southern Conference rival Chattanooga 23-21.
The Bulldogs opened the contest by marching 75 yards for the first touchdown of the game which came via a 21-yard scoring pass from quarterback Devlin Hodges to wide receiver Kelvin McKnight.
From that point forward, Samford struggled to take care of the football. Despite outgaining Chattanooga by almost 100 yards in total offense, the Bulldogs turned the ball over seven times leading to 17 of Chattanooga’s 23 points.
Samford battled back from a 20-7 deficit by scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 21-20 lead. Following a Bulldogs fumble, the Mocs drove 56 yards and saw placekicker Victor Ulmo split the uprights with a 39-yard field goal.
UWA Clinches a Share of the Gulf South Conference Title
The West Alabama Tigers earned at least a share of the Gulf South Conference title with a 35-18 win over West Florida on Homecoming.
The Tigers offense struggled through three quarters as UWF hung around down just 14-12 heading into the final 15 minutes of play.
In the final quarter of play, UWA scored 21 points and intercepted two UWF passes to seal the victory.
UWA was led by quarterback Harry Satterwhite who threw for 190 yards along with three touchdowns and an interception. Running back Lakendrick Thomas rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown.
The difference in the game was the red zone as UWA scored four touchdowns in four opportunities while UWF managed three field goals and a touchdown in their four trips inside the red zone.
UNA Handles Delta State
The North Alabama Lions used a stifling defense to defeat GSC rival Delta State 20-7.
After giving up a touchdown early in the first quarter, the UNA defense kept Delta State off the scoreboard. For the game, Delta State totaled 181 yards on offense including 103 on the ground and just 78 through the air.
North Alabama intercepted three passes from Delta State signal caller Brett Ruddick. The game changing play of the game came late in the second quarter as UNA running back Rico Bruton galloped 89 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions the lead for good at 10-7.
The win marks UNA’s third straight in GSC play and keeps them alive in the conference title chase with two games to go.