UWA prepares for Delta State

Published 10:18 am Thursday, October 3, 2013

West Alabama football coach Will Hall won’t predict the outcome of his Tigers’ Gulf South Conference football matchup against Delta State Thursday at Tiger Stadium, but he is certain of one thing.

“The two hardest playing teams in our conference are playing in Tiger Stadium Thursday night,” Hall said. “Delta State plays with a lot of passion. I expect them to come in here and give their best effort and I like our football team, where we are headed.”

West Alabama is 3-1 overall, 1-0 in GSC play and ranked as high as 12th in the nation in one Division II poll. Delta State is also 3-1, but the Statesmen are 2-0 in league play after wins over North Alabama and Florida Tech.

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“It’s going to be a tremendous game,” Hall said. “We feel like that even though we won the conference last year we haven’t gotten much credit for that, so we hoping to gain some respect. That’s been our theme for this week.”

The game features the top two offenses and two of the top three defenses in the GSC. West Alabama is averaging 571 yards and 50 points per game, both good for fifth the nation. The Statesmen average 523 yards and 37.5 points per game. The total yards per game is 11th in the country.

“Delta State is a tremendous opponent. They throw it around on offense and play really fast,” Hall said. “Travis Champion has thrown for a ton of yards (1,378, 10 TDs) and they have great skill guys.”

West Alabama also leads the league in total defense, allowing just 292 yards per game, while Delta State is third in the GSC, allowing 324 yards an outing.

“They have a lot of guys back on defense from last year. Rory Island at mike linebacker makes a lot of tackles,” Hall said. “Kenny Barnes at safety makes a lot of plays. Those are guys that GSC fans ought to know who they are.”

West Alabama won last year’s matchup, 37-7, at Delta State, but the Statesmen hold a 34-21-3 advantage in the series and have won 10 of the last 13 meetings.

West Alabama leads the conference in scoring offense, total offense, total defense, rushing offense, passing efficiency, third down conversions and red zone offense. The Tigers have recorded 13 plays of 30 yards or more on offense.

The GSC-TV LIVE Network will televise the game. West Alabama is 11-8 all-time on GSC-TV. Kickoff is set for 6:35 p.m.