Southern Virginia Football: VU-Lynchburg Preview

Written by Wesley Evans

Southern Virginia University vs. Virginia University of Lynchburg

Date: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Place: City Stadium (Lynchburg, Va.)
Southern Virginia all-time versus VU-Lynchburg: 0-1
Last Meeting: Sept. 29, 2012 at Southern Virginia (L, 19-16) 

Follow it Live

Audio of Saturday's game will be broadcast by AM-1450, WREL

Preview

The Southern Virginia University football team will travel to City Stadium in Lynchburg, Va., this Saturday to play Virginia University of Lynchburg for its second of three consecutive road games. This will be only the second matchup between the two teams, with Virginia-Lynchburg winning the first meeting last season. The Knights are looking for revenge as the Dragons snagged a close 19-16 victory last year in Buena Vista on Alumni Day. Southern Virginia University led last season's contest 16-0 before Virginia-Lynchburg scored three touchdowns in the final 16:50 of regulation, the last score coming on the final play of the game to steal the win.

The Knights will enter this week's contest with momentum as they earned a close 24-21 overtime victory against a good North Carolina Wesleyan squad in Rocky Mount, N.C. last Saturday. The win improved Southern Virginia's record to 1-1 on the year. Virginia-Lynchburg is still looking for its first win of the season after back-to-back losses to Lane College and Winston Salem State University, both NCAA Division II programs.

Fitzgerald on Virginia University of Lynchburg

"In their third season as a football program, Virginia-Lynchburg is a very, very athletic team with an experienced coaching staff.

"Their head coach, Willard Bailey, has been coaching for close to 50 years and has won over 230 games during his career. He won 180 games at Virginia Union, another 30-40 games at Norfolk State, some 10-15 games at Saint Paul's College, and now he's won a handful of games at VU-L.

"This will probably be the biggest team we're going to play this fall. Offensively, they run straight with some two-back sets. Mostly it's a one-back set up. Their quarterback is very athletic and their two tailbacks are something we have to concern ourselves with because they can run well. They're also very athletic at the wide receiver position. The offensive line is the biggest we are going to see this year, so we need to contend with that.

"Defensively, they run a base 4-3 with two high safeties. They blitz quite often. Their defense is also very athletic and their interior guys are big.

"We're going to have to line up on Saturday and compete for a full 60 minutes."

Southern Virginia Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald 

DeLane Fitzgerald is in his fifth season as head football coach at Southern Virginia and is in his 12th 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 four-plus years as Southern Virginia's head coach, Fitzgerald has posted a 17-29 overall record, including a 5-6 record in 2012. 

Fitzgerald became the winningest coach in Southern Virginia football's 11-year history in 2011, passing Mike Smith who went 9-13 overall from 2007-08.  

Virginia University of Lynchburg Head Coach Willard Bailey

Willard Bailey is in his third season as head football coach and athletic director at Virginia University of Lynchburg and is in his 41st season as a head football coach at the collegiate level. 

Prior to Virginia-Lynchburg, Bailey was head coach at Saint Paul's College (NCAA DII) located in Richmond, Va., from 2004-2010. Bailey spent most of his years at Virginia Union University (NCAA DII) on two different occasions. He started his coaching career at Virginia Union staying 13 years (1971-1983) and leading the Panthers to five conference championships (1973, 1979, 1981-83). His second stint ran from 1995-2003 where he led the program to 44 victories. 

In between his two stints at Virginia Union, Bailey coached at his alma mater Norfolk State University beginning in 1984 while leading the Spartans to an NCAA Division II playoff appearance. 

As the all-time winningest football coach in Virginia history at 238 wins, Bailey was recently inducted into Club 35 of the American Football Coaches Association. He was also recognized by the Touchdown Club of Richmond, where he had the Annual NCAA Division II, III, and NAIA College Coach of the Year Award named after him.