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Tigers host West Georgia

By Staff
From school reports
Oct. 18, 2002
LIVINGSTON, Ala. With the Gulf South Conference schedule heating up, a pair of 3-3 teams will do battle in Livingston on Saturday when the West Georgia Braves (3-3, 1-3 GSC) come to Tiger Stadium to face off with West Alabama. The Braves lead the all-time series 13-6, including wins in the last 10. UWA's last win over UWG came back in 1991 32-21.
Both teams are coming off of tough home losses. West Georgia welcomed unbeaten Harding to Carrollton, Ga. and came up on the short end of a tough defensive struggle 13-0. West Alabama stayed in the ballgame versus Henderson State despite allowing 393 rushing yards, only to fall just short 30-27.
West Georgia will enter Saturday's contest with a balanced offense that averages 89.8 yards per game on the ground and rolls up 187.3 yards per game via the pass. Three UWG signal callers have completed 20 or more passes for at least 250 yards led by Corry Strange's 45-of-88 passing for 520 yards and four touchdowns. Detronn Harris has been the favorite target of West Georgia quarterbacks, catching 24 passes for 376 yards and two scores. Brandon Glover leads all Brave rushers with 228 yards on 58 carries and three touchdowns.
UWA's Red Raid offense continues to roll up big numbers through the air, and is now averaging 293.2 yards per contest via the pass. The Tiger ground attack adds an additional 67.5 yards per game. Brett Gilliland remains well on pace to make a run at 3,000 yards, and would be only the second Tiger to achieve the feat (Marty Washington 3,062 in 1993). Gilliland is currently 146-of-239 passing for 1,594 yards and has 11 touchdowns to go against a mere five interceptions.
Gerald Gales has proven to be Gilliland's favorite target, totaling 54 catches for 527 yards. Gales is on pace to shatter UWA's single season reception record of 88 set by Hall-of-Famer Matt Carman in 1993 and is currently tied for the national lead in receptions. Kyle Henderson continues to be UWA's deep threat with eight touchdowns to go along with 536 yards on 22 catches. Derick Spellers continues to lead all West Alabama rushers with 205 yards on 59 carries.
On defense, free safety Michael Sims continues to lead all Tiger tacklers with 61, including 27 solos to go along with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Sims is also tied for the team lead with two interceptions. Matt Lavender and Bobby Seiler have totaled 44 and 42 tackles respectively. Lavender has five tackles for a loss and one interception, while Seiler has seven tackles for a loss, including 1.5 sacks to go along with one interception. Ra-Shun Judge has 28 tackles from his cornerback spot to go along with two interceptions and one 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
Devin Johnson leads all UWG tacklers with 45, including 29 solos and two for a loss. Forrest Jackson has 44 tackles and is tied for the team lead with one interception.
Bo Williams leads the Braves with three fumble recoveries from his defensive end spot to go along with two sacks and 26 tackles.
Despite a pair of .500 records, UWA and UWG both have opportunistic defenses that feast on turnovers. The Tigers are currently plus 10 in turnover margin, while West Georgia enjoys a plus nine mark.
The Tigers and Braves are set to do battle at Tiger Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on WZNJ 106.5 FM (Demopolis).