Argos gear up for key showdown with Statesmen Saturday

When the University of West Florida plays Delta State Saturday night, a lot will be on the line.

The Argonauts and Statesmen are two of the three remaining teams unbeaten in Gulf South Conference play. Reigning NCAA Division II champion Valdosta State is the other.

A year ago, UWF came away with a 30-21 win over DSU on the road.

UWF (3-1, 2-0 GSC) is coming off a thrilling 27-21 overtime win Saturday night against Mississippi College. Austin Reed’s 18-yard scoring strike to Kevin Grant secured UWF’s first OT win in program history.

The Argos trailed 14-0 in the first half and led 21-14 before the Choctaws forced OT. The win is the third in a row for UWF.

“We come in and want to be 1-0 every week. We got a big win and we feel we can keep it going,” Grant said.

Delta State (3-1, 2-0) scored 28 unanswered last week to crush North Greenville 34-9. It was the first road win for the Statesmen since a first-round playoff victory over Bowie State in 2017.

Breck Ruddick threw for 198 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown as well. Rico Owens led the team in rushing with 99 yards. He also scored two touchdowns.

DSU gave up just 100 rushing yards last week and is allowing a league-best 74.8 per game.

UWF has had success running the ball as of late, going over 100 in three consecutive games. It tallied 196 against MC, with Jervon Newton picking up 100 to go along with a touchdown.

“I feel like our rotation is the biggest thing,” Newton said. “Our offensive line is getting a good push and we switch up running backs to keep them fresh. The more fresh legs we have, the better our running game will be.”

The Argos go into the 6 p.m. game Saturday knowing they will get DSU’s best shot.

“We know when we show up, we are getting someone’s full focus and attention,” UWF head coach Pete Shinnick said. It’s making us a better team.”

Noteworthy

The Argos have cranked out 1,783 yards of offense, going over 500 yards twice.

Austin Reed has thrown for 1,000 yards this season as well as 10 touchdown passes.

Former Navarre Raider Quentin Randolph leads UWF in receiving with 13 catches for 311 yards. He’s caught one touchdown pass and has caught at least two passes in every game this year.

Trent Archie has made 19 tackles and recorded two sacks.

UWF has forced at least one turnover in 37 of the 41 games it has played in program history.

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