Week 11 features four ranked vs. ranked FCS top 25 matchups, but a battle between two SoCon opponents takes center stage when No. 9 Samford visits No. 11 Chattanooga in this week's FCS game of the week.
Week 11 FCS game of the week
Samford enters the FCS game of the week undefeated against FCS opponents and on a seven-game win streak. The streak is the longest since 1971’s Bulldog team achieved the feat to close the season. Last week, Samford defeated VMI giving the Bulldogs their sixth win of the season by two or more scores. Samford’s top-15 passing offense has led the way, averaging 281.1 yards per game.
Chattanooga hosts its home finale in need of a win to stay in the SoCon race. The Mocs have won seven straight games over Samford, but enter Week 11 only two games removed from their first FCS loss. As Chattanooga looks to end the season on a winning streak, it’ll need its eighth-ranked FCS scoring defense at 17.78 points per game to step up and slow down a prolific offense.
Players to watch
- QB Michael Hiers
- WR Chandler Smith
- WR Kendall Watson
- DE Nick Jackson
- LB Noah Martin
Michael Hiers has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the FCS, completing 27 touchdowns to just three interceptions this season. His top targets Kendall Watson and Chandler Smith have combined for 16 of those touchdowns. On defense, Noah Martin leads the team with 63 tackles.
- QB Preston Hutchinson
- RB Ailym Ford
- DL Devonnsha Maxwell
- DE Jay Person
- LB Ty Boeck
- DB Kameron Brown
Ailym Ford is one of the best running backs in Chattanooga history. He needs just one more 100-yard rushing game to stand alone atop the program record books. Defensively, Jay Person and Devonnsha Maxwell lead a pass rush that has 27 sacks this season, the best in the SoCon. The backend of the defense is paced by Kameron Brown, whose five interceptions rank third in the FCS.
Week 11's FCS game of the week could impact conference and playoff positioning. Samford could clinch at least a share of the SoCon title with a win, and maybe the conference outright with some help. Meanwhile, a Chattanooga win gives the Mocs a chance to win the conference title next week. If the Mocs lose, it won't knock them out of the FCS playoff picture, but it will make things closer when it comes to at-large bid selections.
By the numbers
Samford is ranked 9th and Chattanooga is ranked 12th, respectively, in Week 11's FCS Coaches Poll.
Here's how the two programs stack up:
|8-1 (6-0)||Record (Conf)||7-2 (5-1)|
|31.56||Points per game||29.7|
|407.3||Yards per game||394.7|
|397.2||Yards allowed per game||304.0|
|126.2||Rush yards per game||161.9|
|152.9||Rush yards allowed per game||108.3|
|281.11||Pass yards per game||232.8|
|244.33||Pass yards allowed per game||195.7|
Chattanooga leads the all-time series 33-10-3. Here's a history of the series over the last decade:
|2013||Samford||Chattanooga||17-14 (OT)||Birmingham, AL|