The No. 9 Mustangs (8-1) enter the game winners of eight straight, including last week’s thrilling, 52-48 victory over No. 17 West Texas A&M to claim their third Lone Star Conference title in the past four years after scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game. Marqui Christian’s 18-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown with 55 seconds remaining sealed the Mustangs’ come-from-behind win.
The Wolves (3-6), meanwhile, were on the wrong end of a 24-20 Gulf South Conference home setback to Shorter University, where the Hawks scored the game-winning touchdown with nine seconds left to spoil UWG’s Senior Day festivities.
Now West Georgia is trying to avoid ending the season on a three-game losing streak and getting swept in the inaugural GSC-LSC First-and-10 Challenge after already dropping a 52-28 decision to West Texas A&M on Oct. 27 in Carrollton.
Following a promising 2-0 start that got derailed by a 1-6 mark since then — magnified by injuries and four losses by 10 points or less — it leaves UWG looking to bounce back and build some upward momentum in the season finale with a win over a ranked opponent in the Lone Star State.
“It’s going to be real important, I think, going into the offseason and going into recruiting and all that. So every game’s important. With this being our last one, it’s as important as any of them,” noted West Georgia coach Daryl Dickey.
The Mustangs are led offensively by junior Keidrick Jackson, who became the second-leading rusher in program history with 133 yards on 20 carries last week against the Buffaloes. Jackson now has 2,632 career rushing yards, passing former Indianapolis Colt back Dominic Rhodes, who had 2,541 yards in just two seasons with the program (1999-2000).
Mustang quarterback Brandon Kelsey completed 14-of-22 pass attempts for 248 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions against West Texas A&M, while rushing for 100 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries.
Dickey understands his team will have to play its best game of the season in all three phases to pull the upset, something the UWG coach is confident his team can do if it plays up to its capabilities.
“They like to score a lot of points and run the football. They’ve got a good defense. So it’ll be a big challenge. They’re a good football team, but we’ve played good football teams before and have been successful. So that’s what we look forward to on Saturday,” Dickey said.
“It’s going to be a real big challenge for us, but that’s OK. We’ve faced big challenges before. We’ll be ready to play and we look forward to teeing it up and seeing where we’re at.”