VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - For the sixth time ever, Valdosta State and North Alabama will meet with both ranked in the top 10.
It is sure to be a shootout at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium Saturday.
Both teams enter this weekend's contest unbeaten on the season, and you can expect fireworks similar to both meetings last season.
In the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs last season, VSU won the game, but only after giving 511 passing yards to Lions QB Luke Wingo.
Wingo is back with several other weapons for North Alabama, so the Blazers offense will have to keep up. VSU is fully capable of doing that, averaging 36 points a game.
Head coach David Dean says the key though will be VSU defensively staying focused even if the Lions start racking up yards.
"We know they're going to get their yards. We know they're going to score some points. What we have to do is match score for score, and we have to win the battle of field position," Dean says. "What we have to do is play better in the red zone, and not give up the touchdowns. If we can hold them to field goals when they get in the red zone, we'll be a lot more successful in the ball game."
Valdosta State has lost four straight to the Lions at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, and they haven't been particularly close. UNA has won those four games by a combined score of 192-77.
The Blazers will try to break that streak Saturday afternoon at 2:00.