Furman To Face 13th-Ranked LSU Saturday
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Fresh from a 27-10 thumping of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) apprentice Appalachian State, the Furman Paladins will get the real FBS experience this Saturday when they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to take on AP/USA Today 13th-ranked LSU in a 6:00 p.m. CT (7:00 p.m. ET) contest at Tiger Stadium.
The game will be a pay per view televised event available in HD over TigerVision (LSUSports.net/TigerVision) to residents of Louisiana and South Carolina, and carried in other states through ESPN3.com and ESPN GamePlan packages.
The radio broadcast will be presented by the Furman Sports Network featuring flagship station WGOG-FM 96.3 in Seneca and Greenville's FoxSports AM 1440. In addition, fans can access the game broadcast via stadium transmitter at FM 105.9 and audio stream through Stretch Internet at FurmanPaladins.com. Dan Scott, the "Voice of the Paladins," will call the play-by-play and be joined by Corey Stewart with color commentary.
Live stats will be provided through StatBroadcast at FurmanPaladins.com. Fans can click on the live stats link located in the schedule box on the home page or add the mobile-enabled web app for all live stats on their phone at PaladinsMobile.com. Twitter updates will be provided @FurmanPaladins.
Furman (3-4) and LSU (6-2) have never met on the football field, and of the 1,061 games the Paladins have played over the course of 108 seasons, only two have come against teams from Louisiana — a 1976 contest at Louisiana-Lafayette (27-16 loss) and 2005 clash with Nicholls State (14-12 win) in FCS playoff action in Greenville.
The Paladins have posted a 5-23-1 record against FBS (formerly I-A) competition since 1982, when the Southern Conference was reclassified from I-A to I-AA and, most recently, Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Last year Furman lost to AP 12th-ranked Clemson, 41-7, and two years ago built a 22-7 first quarter lead on Florida before falling to the Gators, 54-32.
Furman's last win over an FBS foe was a 28-3 triumph over North Carolina in 1999, when current head coach Bruce Fowler served as the Paladins' defensive coordinator. Fowler later spent nine seasons (2002-10) as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt under Bobby Johnson.
The triumph over Appalachian State, keyed by a Gary Wilkins 98-yard interception return for a touchdown, matched last season's win tally with five games remaining on the schedule.
Sophomore quarterback Reese Hannon, who returned to action after missing two games due to injuries, completed 13-of-19 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown against the Mountaineers, who suffered five turnovers, including four fumbles. All told, five quarterbacks, including three true freshmen, have seen duty for the Paladins in 2013 due to injuries.
Senior placekicker/punter Ray Early was named SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week for his outstanding play versus App State that saw him convert field goals from 50 and 32 yards, average 47.4 yards on five punts, and register five touchbacks on six kickoffs.
Furman's youth is evident in its depth chart as six seniors, seven juniors, 15 sophomores, and 16 freshmen are listed in the squad's top 44 offensive and defensive players.
Sophomore Carl Rider tops Furman's tackle chart with 73 stops, including seven for-loss, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.
The Paladins lead the SoCon in rushing defense (154.4 ypg) and red zone defense (67.9 percent), and rank second in the league in total defense (356.0 ypg). In addition Furman tops the league in turnover margin (+0.6) after finishing last in 2012.