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franklin county times

UWA takes to the road

By Staff
Special to The Star
Oct. 11, 2001
LIVINGSTON, Ala. Following a difficult 32-10 home loss to nationally ranked Arkansas Tech, the University of West Alabama football team takes to the road Saturday for a matchup with yet another ranked opponent.
This time, the 15th-ranked Braves of West Georgia (5-1, 3-1 in GSC play) provide the competition for the Tigers. West Alabama will be in search of their first road win of the year, as well as their first GSC win under Head Coach Randy Pippin.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
The Braves are coming off an impressive 37-26 win over the Muleriders of Southern Arkansas. West Georgia led from the outset, but a third quarter touchdown from SAU running back Rodney Evans cut the Brave lead to three. However, UWG would score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a quarter that saw 34 total points scored, to pick up an 11-point road win.
West Alabama opened the season with a heartbreaking loss at home to Belhaven College 21-0, before coming back in week two to post big numbers in a 35-12 win over Miles College. Since then, the Tigers have fallen to defending national champion Delta State, Arkansas-Monticello, Southern Arkansas and Arkansas Tech. Still, Pippin remains optimistic about his team and ITS chances in the near future.
West Georgia looks to run their consecutive win streak over West Alabama to 10 in a row, with the last Tiger win coming back in 1991 (32-21). The Braves possess a balanced offensive attack that nets 184.5 yards per game on the ground and 165.7 yards per contest through the air.
Junior quarterback Corry Strange leads the attack for first-year Head Coach Gary Otten, completing 73-of-149 passes for 940 yards and six touchdowns. Senior Nick Price continues to put up big numbers, totaling 684 yards (114.0 per game) on 118 carries, and is coming off yet another 100-yard performance from a week ago.
Detronn Harris leads all UWG receivers with 21 receptions for 357 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Tigers have shown flashes of moving the ball via both the run and pass this season. Sophomore tailback Jerry Washington rushed for 56 yards against ATU, and currently stands second on the team with 159 yards on 37 carries.
Presley Gilmore still leads the team with 174 yards, despite fighting through some difficult injuries over the past few weeks. Bakari Bryant leads the all Tiger passers with 464 yards on 36-of-70 passing. However, it appears as though sophomore Brett Gilliland will get his second starting nod of the season versus West Georgia. Gilliland has connected on 20-of-46 passes and is third on the squad in rushing with 69 yards. Gerald Gales continues to impress his coaches, hauling in eight catches last week to move his team-leading total to 21 for 302 yards.
Defensively, Lorin Lovely heads a stingy Tiger defense with 57 tackles, including 22 solos and two sacks. He is also third on the team with three pass breakups. After a pair of interceptions last week, the Tigers have already surpassed last season's total of five. Cedric Coleman continues to lead the way with two, while standout senior Tony Badger has one and is tops on the team with five breakups.
Nate Coggins paces an opportunistic West Georgia defensive unit with 55 tackles, including 24 solos and 2.5 sacks. Coggins has also picked off two opposing passes, but is third on the team behind Marquis Floyd (4) and Daetwan Wells (3). The Braves have 19 takeaways on the season (9 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries).
Saturday will mark the third road trip of the year for West Alabama, with the first two not having been kind (47-7 loss to Delta State and 38-7 loss to Southern Arkansas).
The Tigers have rectified some early season turnover problems, but have still given the ball away 16 times. Taking care of the ball and establishing a rhythm on offense is at the top of Pippin's priority list.

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