UWF sets stage for showdown with Blazers

Austin Reed sat in a postgame news conference Saturday night after the University of West Florida held on for a 17-14 Gulf South Conference win over North Greenville.

The redshirt freshman quarterback talked about a performance that propels the 20th-ranked Argonauts to their seventh consecutive win, the longest streak in program history.

But he also acknowledged what’s next for UWF (7-1, 6-0 GSC). And he didn’t chime the usual chorus that it’s just another game.

He knows Valdosta State is a different kind of animal.

The Blazers (8-0, 6-0) are the reigning national champions in NCAA Division II and the No. 1 team in the country. They have won their last 23 games, including 12 at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. UWF and VSU will square off there Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST in Georgia in front of a national television audience on ESPN3.

“I’d be lying if I told you it was just another game. I’d be lying if I told you we just have to take it week by week. It’s a big game,” Reed said. “It’s the conference championship.We have to go into it and prepare like we do every game but realize it’s a bigger game.”

Setting up the big game, however, wasn’t easy for UWF. The Argos started about as poorly as a team could Saturday against the Crusaders (3-6, 2-5), who have had a knack this season for slowing down high-powered offenses.

Read the full article in the Nov. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

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