VSU Football Weekly Preview: The West Florida Game

| September 23, 2016


VALDOSTA, Ga. – With Saturday’s matchup representing the first Gulf South Conference skirmish in West Florida football history, the contest already represents a historic one before it even begins.

The Blazers (1-1, 0-1 GSC) enter the game looking to avenge a tough road loss last week against the rival Lions of North Alabama, where Valdosta State periodically surged on offense throughout but struggled to find the endzone. In fact, the Blazers outgained the Lions by nearly 75 yards, a stat which failed to reflect the lopsided 44-19 result in favor of UNA.

This week, the Blazers will face a familiar foe at the quarterback position in the form of Kaleb Nobles, who served as a backup quarterback for Valdosta State throughout the previous two seasons. Nobles has been a force so far this year for UWF (2-1, 0-0 GSC), and even claimed a GSC Player of the Week honor on September 12th in recognition of a performance against Missouri S&T that included career highs of 503 passing yards and six touchdown passes. His yardage in that game represented the ninth-highest single game total in Gulf South Conference history, and his touchdown total marked the seventh-most.

Under this year’s new coaching staff, a period of progression is expected for Valdosta State. With conference play in full force now, however, the Blazers will need to right the ship quickly. To do so, the Blazers will aim to improve their red zone performance after a host of missed opportunities last week against UNA. Valdosta State made their way into the red zone six different times in the contest but were denied a touchdown on five of those chances.

Expect Valdosta State to continue to utilize wide receiver Damien Strange, who has recently emerged as a primary target among the Valdosta State receiving corps. Strange, a senior transfer out of Williston, Fla. currently leads the team in both receptions with 10 and receiving yards with 179. His average of 17.90 yards per catch places him first on the team, and he currently ranks third in the Gulf South Conference with an average of 89.5 receiving yards per game.

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES: The Zeta Tau Alphas are hosting their annual Breast Cancer Awareness event at Saturday’s game. The game has been dubbed a “Pink Out Event.”

The Georgia Lottery will giveaway $1,000 dollars to two lucky students during Saturday night’s game. Registration will be available at the student entrance on the southwest corner of the stadium. Must be present to win.

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