Written by Sean Dahlin and Chris Pendleton
Date: Sept. 10, 2011
Time: 1:00 pm EDT
Opponent: Lindsey Wilson College
Mascot: Blue Raiders
All-Time Series: 0-1
Last Meeting: Sept. 11, 2010 at Lindsey Wilson (L, 3-44)
Live audio of Saturday's game will begin at 1 p.m. and can be accessed at Southern Virginia's game portal.
The Southern Virginia University football team returns to Buena Vista, Va. for a two-game home stand beginning on Saturday, Sept. 10 against Lindsey Wilson College—the Knights' third consecutive opponent from the NAIA's Mid-South Conference.
The Knights (0-2) hope to collect their first win of the 2011 season as they host the second-year Lindsey Wilson football program. The Blue Raiders (0-1) are also looking to rebound from a 23-13 loss in their season opener against NAIA-18th ranked Cumberland University.
Saturday's matchup between Southern Virginia and Lindsey Wilson marks the second meeting between the two schools. The Knights and Blue Raiders met for the first time on Sept. 11, 2010 when Lindsey Wilson defeated Southern Virginia 44-3 in front of its home crowd recording the school's first football victory.
DeLane Fitzgerald is in his third season as head football coach at Southern Virginia and is in his tenth year of coaching collegiate football, making previous stops at his alma mater James Madison University (NCAA DI-FCS), the University of Tennessee at Martin (NCAA DI-FCS) and Bethel College (NAIA).
In his two plus years as Southern Virginia's head coach, Fitzgerald has posted a 7-17 overall record, including the program's second-best season in program history in 2010 (4-7).
Fitzgerald needs only three victories this season to surpass Mike Smith (2007-2008; 9-13) as the winningest coach in Southern Virginia football's nine-year history.
Chris Oliver is beginning his second season as the head football coach at Lindsey Wilson. In 2010—Lindsey Wilson football's first season of competitive play since 1935—Oliver coached the Blue Raiders to a 4-5 overall record while finishing third in the Mid-South's East Division after going 4-2 in conference play.
Before reviving the Blue Raiders football program following a 75-year hiatus, Oliver helped begin the Ohio Dominican University football program as lead assistant and recruiting coordinator from 2003-2008. Serving as the Panther's offensive coordinator in 2007, Oliver helped Ohio Dominican's offense become one of the most prolific in the NAIA resulting in a 2007 NAIA National Championship Series quarterfinals appearance.
Oliver began his collegiate coaching career as student assistant from 2001-2002 at Ohio State University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State and his master's degree from Ohio Dominican University.
Last Saturday, Southern Virginia fell to Pikeville College 63-18 as the Bear's new head coach Dudley Hilton collected his first collegiate win.
The Pikeville offense rolled early scoring the game's first three touchdowns as the Bear's entered halftime with a 35-3 lead over Southern Virginia. The Knights' defense was unable to slow the Bear's attack giving up 63 total points and 623 yards of total offense, including 209 yards on the ground and 414 yards through the air.
Despite its struggles on defense, Southern Virginia's offense racked up season highs in total offensive yards (475), rushing yards (268) and passing yards (207).
In his second collegiate game, freshman running back Jerry Washington (Gloucester, Va.) had a breakout performance leading Southern Virginia's rushing attack while netting 103 yards on 20 carries, including a three-yard touchdown run.
Senior linebacker Tommy Davidson (Paradise, Calif.), led Southern Virginia's defense in both unassisted tackles (8) and total tackles (9) for the second consecutive game moving him to 231 total tackles in his four-year Southern Virginia career—only 51 tackles shy of Matt Mellor's all-time career record set in 2010.
Lindsey Wilson will be playing its first away game of the season against Southern Virginia on Saturday hoping to defeat the Knights' for the second time in as many matchups.
Head Coach Chris Oliver hopes to build upon the Blue Raiders' accomplishments in 2010 going 5-6 overall (4-2 conference; third place) with a roster primarily comprised of freshmen.
Last Saturday, Lindsey Wilson lost its first game of the 2011 season in front of a home crowd falling 23-13 to NAIA-18th ranked Cumberland University. The Blue Raiders struggled offensively against Cumberland netting only 34 rushing yards while committing six turnovers.
Lindsey Wilson's signal caller is freshman quarterback Branden Cresap who played well in his collegiate debut against Cumberland completing 26-of-49 passes for a school-record 363 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Sophomore running back Richard Kennedy was one of Cresap's primary targets last week reeling in five catches out of the backfield for 107 receiving yards, including a 66-yard touchdown catch. Cresap will also look for freshman wide receiver Chaz Barnes who caught six balls for 75 yards and the other Blue Raider touchdown against Cumberland.
Though they struggled last week against Cumberland's run defense, sophomores Kennedy and Dakota Brown should get the bulk of the carries against Southern Virginia on Saturday.
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman Eric Shaw led Lindsey Wilson's defense against Cumberland with eight tackles while sophomore defensive back Taylor Head finished with four tackles and an interception.