November 20, 2017

UWG in NCAA Quarterfinals

(Carrollton, GA/via uwgsports.com) — For just the second time in program history, a sport other than basketball will be playing in December, as the West Georgia Wolves roll into the NCAA Quarterfinals this Saturday. The Wolves will take on the Valdosta State Blazers in Valdosta at noon on Saturday, with a trip to the semifinals on the line.

• This is just the fifth time in the history of the UWG Athletic program at West Georgia that a team has been one of the final eight teams remaining nationally.  This year’s Wolves join the national championship teams in 1974 (men’s basketball) and 1982 (football), the 1998 College World Series team (baseball) and 2002 Elite Eight team (men’s basketball) as the only squads to accomplish that feat.

• West Georgia is coached by Will Hall, who is in his first season at West Georgia. He has an overall record of 36-13 in his fourth year as a head coach and has now made the NCAA Playoffs in three of his four years as a head coach and Hall has a 3-2 record in the playoffs. The head coach at Valdosta State is David Dean, who has a 69-23 record in eight years at VSU with an 11-2 all-time record in the playoffs.

wolfie_win• When Hall was hired as the head coach of UWG in November of 2013, he promised that to be successful, the Wolves would need to run the football and play hard-nosed defense. This year’s team has a front-seven on defense that rivals any in the nation and the Wolves are strong in the running game, gaining more than 3,000 yards for the first time in school history.

• The biggest battle will be on the defensive side of the ball, as each team sports a stingy unit. West Georgia and Valdosta State are 21st and 22nd in the nation in scoring
defense, with the Wolves allowing 18.6 points per game and Valdosta State 18.7.

• This is rare air for both the West Georgia Wolves and head coach Will Hall, as this is the first trip to the quarterfinal round for any Division II UWG football team. Hall reached the NCAA Second Round in 2012 at West Alabama, but missed out on the quarterfinals with a loss at Valdosta State.

• Senior all-purpose back Denarius Appling has been an X-Factor for the Wolves throughout the year, as the Griffin, GA native has nine touchdowns across three different areas. He has four rushing, three receiving and two kickoff returns for a touchdown this season and now has 4,031 all-purpose yards for his career.

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