Game of the year is set for Saturday

It's No. 1 vs. No. 4

The winner will likely win the conference title and have the inside tract at winning the national championship.

No, it's not Oklahoma-Texas. It's not Tennessee-Florida or Michigan-Ohio State.

Saturday at 1 p.m., it will be No. 4 Valdosta State at No. 1 Delta State.

If you are looking for the best college football game to attend Saturday, this is it.

The principles involved:

Valdosta quarterback Dusty Bonner - the former Kentucky QB that was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, who transferred back to his hometown and won the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II's version of the Heisman) last season.

Delta State quarterback Josh Bright, who won the Conerly Trophy last season as the best football player in Mississippi.

Abram Booty, the former LSU wide receiver, transferred to Valdosta in the off-season and is one of Bonner's favorite targets.

Former Ripley standout Rico McDonald is the Delta State running back that broke the Gulf South Conference record for most rushing yards in a season last year.

A few more tidbits about the game:

Both teams are undefeated - Delta State (4-0), Valdosta State (5-0).

Valdosta State is No. 1 in the GSC in offense with 499 yards a game, DSU is No. 2 with 405.

Delta State is No. 1 in the GSC in defense, allowing 182 yards, while Valdosta is No. 2, allowing 289.

Valdosta is No. 1 in scoring offense (45.0). Delta State is No. 2 (33.3).

Delta State is No 1 in scoring defense (8.5). Valdosta is No. 2 (12.6).

Throw in the fact that these two schools don't like each other very much and the makings are there for a wing-ding in the Delta this weekend.

Valdosta went 10-2 last year with both losses coming to Delta State.

DSU went 14-1 and won the school's first national championship. If the Statesmen hadn't beaten Valdosta in the playoffs, most believe the Blazers would have won the national title.

And the Blazers believe there was hanky panky involved in the DSU's playoff win in Cleveland last November.

The Valdosta athletics director complained that Parker Field was continuously watered down after a rain storm to slow down Valdosta's high-powered offense.

No one knows for sure if that's that case, but Delta State won the game, 49-12.

Skies should be clear Saturday, but rain is expected Friday night. So, it could be a muddy track again.

Go figure.

Whatever the case, if you miss this game, you will be missing one of the best games in Mississippi this season.

A few tickets remain at 8,000-seat Parker Field.

Don't miss this one.

Ross Reily is assistant sports editor at The Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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