PENSACOLA — And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.


After weeks of speculation, the resurgent West Florida football team, ranked 20th in the country and the owner of program-record seven straight games, is headed east to take on No. 1 Valdosta State, the reigning national champions, at 6 p.m. EST Saturday at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in Valdosta, Georgia.


The game will air on ESPN3 and the ESPN app as part of the NCAA Division 2 Football Showcase, as well as ESPN Pensacola 1330 AM/99.1 FM.


"I’d be lying if I told you it was just another game," Reed said. "I’d be lying if I told you take it week by week. It’s a big game, number one team in the nation. We have to be dialed in because we have to play our best game."


The postseason implications are massive, as are the bragging rights.


Valdosta State (8-0 overall, 6-0 Gulf South Conference) currently ranks second in the Super Region Two standings behind only Lenoir-Rhyne (9-0), firmly in control of its postseason fate. Given only seven teams make the cut in each region, UWF’s standing is more tenuous, the Argos (7-1, 6-0) ranking fifth in the region with just two games left on their regular season slate.


Downing No. 1 would go a long way toward solidifying UWF’s return to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus.


Of course, that’s easier said than done.


The Argos fell to Valdosta 48-21 a year ago, surrendering 24 unanswered in the fourth quarter, and are 0-3 all-time against the Blazers.


And Valdosta looks even better this year, averaging a conference-best 40.6 points and 523.4 yards of offense per game. Key to that attack is the Blazers’ ground game. Of the Gulf South Conference’s top-10 runners, three wear Blazer red. Quarterback Rogan Wells ranks sixth with 512 yards and six scores, Seth McGill ranks fifth with 524 yards and eight scores and Jamar Thompkins leads the conference with 678 yards and seven scores.


By comparison, UWF back Jervon Newton leads the Argos with 363 yards and three scores, which ranks him a distant 14th in the conference.


And if that weren’t enough, Wells also leads the GSC in completion percentage (74.3%), ranks second in passing yards (1,771) and passing touchdowns (15) and he has thrown a conference-low four interceptions.


On paper, the Blazers have no offensive weaknesses.


Good thing the Argos’ strength is their defense. UWF is allowing opponents just 11 points and 264.3 yards per game. Both are conference bests.


This past week, Pete Shinnick and Co. held North Greenville to just seven offensive points in a 17-14 victory. The Crusaders’ first score came on an interception return, and their second came with just two minutes to play. In between, UWF forced two turnovers and held North Greenville to just 6-of-17 on third downs.


None of that is to say the Argo defense is carrying its offense. UWF’s scoring unit is still top notch.


Averaging 35.5 points per game, the Argos rank behind only the Blazers. A redshirt freshman, Reed leads the conference with 1,811 passing yards and 18 touchdowns, and he has spread the ball around masterfully.


Receivers Quentin Randolph, Tate Lehtio, Rodney Coates, Kevin Grant and Ka’ron Ashley have each caught at least 10 balls for 100 yards and a score. Lehtio leads the bunch with his 36 receptions, though Grant has a team-best five touchdowns.