Valdosta Daily Times

October 26, 2013

VSU faces rival North Alabama

Dominating defenses meet in Valdosta

Staff Reports

VALDOSTA — Two of the top defenses in the Gulf South Conference meet as Valdosta State welcomes North Alabama to Bazemore-Hyder Stadium for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

UNA enters the game ranked first in the GSC in scoring defense while the Blazers are right behind in second.

Valdosta State is averaging 38.5 points and 432.7 yards of total offense per game, including 202.7 rushing and 230.0 passing. The Blazers are led by sophomore running backs Cedric O'Neal and Austin Scott, who have combined to rush for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns on the year.

O'Neal leads the GSC in rushing at 93.7 yards per game while Scott is third at 79.8. Quarterback Cayden Cochran has passed for 1,120 yards and 10 scores while a balanced receiving corps features five receivers with at least 13 catches on the year, led by Seantavius Jones, who has 31 receptions for 437 yards and six touchdowns.

 Defensively, the Black Swarm surrenders just 19.5 points and 365.5 yards a game.

Linebackers Chris Pope and Jeremy Grable lead the unit with 57 and 48 tackles, respectively, while fellow linebacker Justin Williams has 43 tackles, including a team-best 7.0 tackles for loss.

The Blazer defense has tallied 15 sacks on the year while creating 12 turnovers.

North Alabama has rushed for 1,227 yards and passed for 1,032 through its first six contests while averaging 37.5 points and allowing only 17.7 points a game.

Sophomore quarterback Luke Wingo has passed for 878 yards and seven touchdowns while carrying the ball for 216 yards and seven more scores.

Senior fullback Chris Coffey has a team-high 406 rushing yards while sophomore Lee Mayhall has a team-best 19 catches for 187 yards.

The Lions' defense surrenders 330.0 yards of total offense each game, including 151.8 on the ground and 178.2 through the air.

Senior linebacker Tavarius Wilson has tallied a team-high 63 tackles while fellow linebacker Gabe Poe has 56 for a North Alabama defense that has recorded 16 sacks and has forced 13 turnovers on the season.