Mercer right back in the hunt in Southern Conference race

After beating VMI on Saturday, the Mercer Bears are right back in the hunt in the Southern Conference race.

That’s how quickly things can change in the conference.

Mercer is still just 1-2 in the conference, but Wofford and Western Carolina are the only two undefeated teams left in conference play. Next up for the Bears is The Citadel, which lost Saturday to Samford.

“Our guys, they’re intelligent. They know what’s going on,” Mercer head coach Bobby Lamb said. “With social media, they know probably more than the coaching staff. We talk about 1-0, 1-0, 1-0, but at the end of the day, we’ve certainly got a huge challenge going down there. As I said before, you never know what’s going to happen in this league. It’s a very well-balanced league. I saw where Western Carolina just slid into the top 25, so now we’ve got four teams in the top 25.”

The Citadel, Samford, Furman and Chattanooga are all 1-1 in conference play. Mercer is tied with East Tennessee State at 1-2, while VMI is 0-2. The Bears (2-3 overall) are 0-3 against The Citadel since joining the Southern Conference in 2014, losing those games by a total of five points.

The Bears lost to the Bulldogs by two points in 2014 and 2015 and by one point last year.

“It’s a great league, and it’s a league of matchups, and this is a team that we’ve matched up with well in the past, but we’ve always come up a point short,” Lamb said.

Injury updates: Lamb said junior tight end Sam Walker, who missed the game against VMI, will return against The Citadel. ... True freshman wide receiver Edmond Graham suffered a fractured bone in his lower leg against VMI and is out for the year.