Six straight wins have put the North Alabama football team in position to win at least a share of the Gulf South Conference championship with a victory Saturday at Florida Tech. But can the Lions get up for this game after two consecutive emotional wins against Valdosta State and West Alabama?
Sure, it will be hard for the Lions to be up for a game against a first-year program like Florida Tech. But these players are hungry for a championship, so I just can’t see them falling flat and being upset by the Panthers.
Florida Tech is not a typical first-year program. The Panthers have had their coach in place for three years and have signed two recruiting classes. They are especially good on offense with a tough running back and a very talented wide receiver. Florida Tech narrowly lost to Newberry, which is the No. 1 seeded team in Super Region 2. The Panthers also played West Georgia tough last week before losing 28-14.
But UNA is on a roll right now. The Lions have been clicking on both sides of the ball over the past six weeks. The offense is showing remarkable balance and the defense is forcing turnovers. Put those together and you’re going to win a few games.
Look for more turnovers from the defense Saturday, perhaps even another one they convert into a touchdown. Offensively, the Lions should be able to run the ball and if Lamonte Thompson is healthy he could have a huge day against the Panthers. The offense will continue to stretch the field with long passes to Korey Jones and Jason Smith. That should open things up for the running game, and a big day from Thompson or Diamond Simmons.
UNA doesn’t need to mess around in this one. It needs to start fast and put Frloda Tech away. I expect the Lions to do that and win easily, setting the stage for a huge regular-season finale at Tarleton State next week.
UNA 45, Florida Tech 13
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