The South Atlantic Conference champion Carson-Newman Eagles will travel to southern Georgia to face Valdosta State University in the first round of the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs.
The Eagles will face the Blazers on Saturday (Nov.15) in Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Kickoff is expected to be at 1 p.m.
C-N (7-3) is the No.6 seed in Super Region Two. Valdosta State is the No. 3 seed. The winner of the first round matchup will travel to Florence, Alabama to face the University of North Alabama, the No.2 seed in the region, on November 22.
On the opposite side of the Super Region Two bracket, fifth seeded Albany State, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference representative, will travel to Greeneville, Tennessee to face fourth-seeded Tusculum. The TC/ASU winner will travel to Delta State University to face the top-seeded Statesmen on Nov. 22.
Carson-Newman and Valdosta have an extensive playoff history. The two teams have met four times in the postseason, splitting the meetings at two wins apiece. The Eagles beat the Blazers in both 1996 and 2003, with the second win coming in Valdosta. VSU would win the '02 and '04 meetings, with the second one coming en route to their first Division II National Championship.
The Eagles have faced two teams in the D-Ii Playoff field, both in Super Region Two. C-N lost to North Alabama in September 20-13 in Jefferson City. It also lost to Tusculum on Saturday in Greeneville, 45-44, despite 573 yards of total offense.
With the postseason bid, the Eagles end a three-year postseason drought, the longest in Ken Sparks' 29 seasons at C-N. His team was 10-1 a year ago, but not receive a playoff invitation.
Valdosta State, North Alabama, and Delta State are all members of the Gulf South Conference.
Super Region Two
First Round, Saturday, November 15
No. 6 Carson-Newman (7-3) at No. 3 Valdosta State (8-2)
No. 5 Albany State (7-3) at No. 4 Tusculum (8-3)
Second Round, Saturday, November 22
No. 6 Carson-Newman/No. 3 Valdosta State winner at No. 2 North Alabama (9-1)
No. 5 Albany State/No. 4 Tusculum at No.1 Delta State (9-1)
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