We are sitting at a key weekend, basically getting the conference right to the halfway mark of the schedule. Thursday's games feature two very important games as we move forward.
Tussle at the top. ETSU visits Wofford. That's two of the top five teams in the SoCon and tttheee Terriers' Eric Garcia and Spencer Collins are looking for a big home win after very difficult road loss at Furman. The Bucs have reigning SoCon Player of the Week Ge'Lawn Guyn and T.J. Cromer. This is a weekend we find out a lot about ETSU. Who can go on the road to Wofford and Furman and win both games this year? Not many teams. If the Bucs can pull it off, that would finally prove, without any doubt, that they belong at the top of the standings. The Bucs could easily lose them both. They are predicted to lose both games by some computer models. This is a chance for Wofford, who has failed to win against Chattanooga, Furman and Mercer already. A win against a top team would help prove some things about Wofford as well.
Bye Time. The UNCG game at The Citadel is deeply intriguing as well. The Spartans are yet to win a SoCon road game and this was one they had circled as a possible win. But the Bulldogs have come on out of seemingly nowhere. They beat Furman and Western Carolina and then lost in overtime at ETSU. Suddenly, The Citadel might have put themselves in good position to get the bye. They have yet to play VMI, and will need to win both of those to get there, more than likely. They probably also need to win this one. That being said, UNCG, despite not having won a road game all year, is right in the thick of the bye race as well. The Spartans need to win this one to gain some confidence away from the Coliseum. If they do, they put themselves in solid position to get a bye as well. These two teams both need this game to get into the best position possible for the bye. Obviously it is too early to say either team will get it, but I think the winner here does start to get a leg up on the competition.
Chattanooga Off. While one of the conference co-leaders (ETSU) is playing an incredibly difficult road game, the Mocs are taking the day off. This, of course, makes a lot of sense. The Mocs get to go on the road against Samford on Saturday, but they have off on this day. They have been off for nearly a week now. The Mocs get some rest. The Bucs will get their chance to either be in first or leave the Mocs alone in first by the end of the night.
Furman's Home Court. Everyone seems to be interested in the Paladins home court. Suddenly, with the addition of the lacrosse team, the Paladins home court has become intimidating. Will they attract the student attendance they got last week when they beat Wofford? The weather was keeping students on campus and at the game. Will they show up on Thursday to watch them play Western Carolina? Possibly. This is a huge moment for the Paladins and their home fans. Furman can not afford a loss to Western Carolina to keep the momentum going and the fan excitement high. This is a key moment in the Paladins program, with ETSU coming this weekend.