Mercer starts SoCon play with Wofford

Stephan Houzah made a huge impact in his first Mercer home game

Image: Jenna Eason

Stephan Houzah made a huge impact in his first Mercer home game

Justin Baxley, Sports Editor

Following a 29-22 loss to Tennessee Tech, the Mercer Bears are entering Southern Conference play against Wofford.

The extra week gave the Bears a chance to correct the mistakes from the first few games and catch a breather after playing two or three games on the road.

“If there is a team in the league that you would need an week for it would be Wofford,” Mercer head coach Bobby Lamb said. “It kind of fell into our lap like this and hopefully, we can take advantage of it.”

The seven point loss to Tennessee Tech marks the 6th loss by a touchdown or less in the last two seasons.

“The Bears have to find a way to finish,” Head Coach Bobby Lamb said

Mercer will need to be on their A-game as they take on the only team to beat the Bears by more than a touchdown last season. The Terriers routed the Bears 34-6 at Wofford.

The Bears struggled on offense as they only mounted 151 yards total against the Terriers last year.

The offense has looked better in the first three games this season, averaging 492 yards per game including a program record 623 against the Stetson Hatters.

The Bears’ John Russ is putting together his best season statistically in his third year as the starter and has already been named to the FCS Player of the Year watch list. Russ faces a defense that is giving up 269 yards per game through the air.

Wofford comes into the game 2-2 coming off a shutout against Gardner Webb.
Wofford’s only losses have come against FBS programs Clemson and Idaho. The Terriers almost pulled off the upset against Idaho falling 41-38.
Mercer’s defense will face a tough assignment as Wofford has run the ball effectively over their first three games. They averaged 298 yards on the ground over the first three games but struggled against Gardner Webb with only 159 yards rushing.

There is no real standout performer in the back field as they have run the ball well with a committee of players.

The Bears tout their own rushing duo of Alex Lakes and Tee Mitchell have been a tough tandem to stop so far this year. Lakes however will miss the game with a punctured lung.

Mitchell is coming off of a career game with 130 yards rushing, and he tacked on another 19 receiving yards.
“It is thunder and lightning with those two back there. We really feel like we have a good combination,” Lamb said.

Without Lakes,Mitchell will look to fill in the starting role instead of his normal change of pace style that he bring to the offense.

The Bears will also be without wide-out Chandler Curtis who is still dealing with an ankle sprain he suffered against Austin Peay.

The Bears will look to start conference play off with a victory on Oct. 3 against the Wofford Terriers. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN 3.