For the third time in a year, Valdosta State will take on rival West Georgia and there is plenty at stake for the Blazers.
It’s all about the Peach Basket in Carrollton Saturday. It's been kept in Valdosta for the last year, and the Blazers hope to keep it that way.
For that to happen though, VSU will have to pull the road upset over the #2 Wolves.
VSU took last year's regular season meeting, but the Wolves won in the national quarterfinals.
Now West Georgia is unbeaten, and the Blazers would love to hand their rivals their first loss of the season.
Head coach David Dean says this is a game that is always circled on the VSU calendar.
“This is a huge rivalry for us. There’s a lot of bragging rights in the state of Georgia, within the Gulf South Conference, a lot of recruiting rights that go along with this game,” Dean says. “But more importantly, the race for the Gulf South championship. The two of us will be battling for that, so I think this is a huge game for our players.”
As with any conference rivalry, there is plenty of familiarity between these two, especially on the coaching staffs.
VSU defensive coordinator Chad Williams spent last season as the special teams coordinator and LBs coach for West Georgia.
Former Blazer QB Cayden Cochran led VSU to the 2012 national title. Now he’s coaching the signal callers on the Wolves sidelines.
Dean says because of those connections, he expects both teams to do things a little differently this Saturday.
“We're both smart staffs so you're going to see a few different things, just so we're not sitting in a situation where we're being very predictable,” he says.
The Blazers and Wolves kick off at 2:00 Saturday in Carrollton.
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