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Furman Returns Home, To SoCon Play Saturday Versus ETSU

Furman Defense
Furman Defense

Furman vs. ETSU Game Notes (PDF)

GREENVILLE, S.C -- Coming off an impressive 45-14 road victory over Colgate on Saturday, Furman returns home and to Southern Conference play this Saturday when it entertains East Tennessee State in a 1:00 p.m. contest at Paladin Stadium.

The ESPN3 broadcast game sponsored by Bon Secours is designated as a "Whiteout" contest that will see the Paladins wear white uniforms and fans invited to wear official "Whiteout" t-shirts available through the Furman University Bookstore and at Paladin Stadium on Saturday.

The win over Colgate was the first of the season for Furman (1-3, 0-1 SoCon) and inaugural triumph for Clay Hendrix, the Bobby Johnson Head Football Coach of the Paladins.

In East Tennessee State (2-2, 1-1 SoCon), the Paladins will face a foe coming off an impressive 26-23 overtime win over Mercer last Saturday.  The Bucs battled The Citadel down to the wire two weeks ago before falling, 31-25.

"East Tennessee State has played well lately.  They led The Citadel in the fourth quarter and got the big win in overtime against Mercer last week," said Hendrix on Wednesday.  "They're essentially the same team they had a year ago; they're very well coached, spread the field on offense, and throw it around, so that will be a challenge for us defensively.  Billy Taylor, their defensive coordinator, has been a long-time Southern Conference guy who's been successful wherever he's been, and coach Torbush, that's where he made his name as a coach (defense).  It will be a big challenge for us."

Furman knocked off ETSU, 52-7, last year in Johnson City in the renewal of a SoCon series that was suspended after the Bucs dropped football following the 2003 campaign.  The Paladins hold a 24-7 lead in the all-time series and are 11-1 versus  ETSU in Paladin Stadium, which the two programs opened on Sept. 19, 1981, in a 21-0 Furman victory.

The Paladins' defense set the tone in the win over Colgate, forcing three first half turnovers that set up touchdowns en route to a commanding 38-0 first half lead.  True freshman linebacker Reynard Ellis headlined the effort, registering a game high 16 tackles and a sack in his collegiate starting debut.  Furman finished the game with five sacks, running its SoCon leading takedown tally to 11 through four contests.

Quarterback P.J. Blazejowski paced Furman's impressive offensive display against Colgate, passing for 251 yards and three touchdowns.  The Paladin senior signal caller leads the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in yards per attempt (10.71) on the strength of touchdown strikes covering 77, 71, and 61 yards this season.

Furman sports a balanced offense, averaging 172.5 yards per game rushing and 202.2 yards through the air.

The Paladins have gotten excellent production from freshman kicker Grayson Atkins (6x7 FGs, SoCon leading 31 points) and senior punter Jon Croft Hollingworth (43.5 avg), who has also deposited 11 of his 23 kickoffs this year into the end zone for touchbacks.

The Game: Furman Paladins (1-3, 0-1 SoCon) vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers (2-2, 1-1 SoCon)
Site: Greenville, S.C. (Paladin Stadium, on the campus of Furman University)
Kickoff: 1:04 PM ET
Broadcast: ESPN3, Bob Mihalic (pbp), Sam Wyche (color), Scott Cole (sideline)
Radio: Furman IMG Sports Network (FoxSports 1440/Greenville): Dan Scott (pbp), David Cobb (color), Marcus McMorris (sideline)
Audio Stream: StretchAudio (accessible thru FurmanPaladins.com), iHeart Radio, and TuneIn.com
Live Stats: StatBroadcast.com
Tickets: $20 Available (FurmanPaladins.com); Children 38 inches and shorter admitted free; Timmons Arena, East Stands Box Offices Open 11:00 AM
Gates Open: 11:30 AM
Game Sponsor: Bon Secours

Pre-Game Activities:
    10:30 AM    --    Nate C. The Chief "The Official DJ of the Furman Paladins" Performs
    11:30 AM    --    Paladin Club Zone Opens (Paladin Stadium)
    11:45 AM     --    Paladin Regiment March/Concert (Timmons Arena to PAC Circle)
    12:04 PM    --    Champions Walk (Paladin Stadium)
 
Special Promotions/Giveaways:
 + Paladin Club Zone, located in the area between the home stands and field house, opens 90 minutes prior to kickoff and will include food sponsored by Zoe's Kitchen, Thomas Creek Brewery, Total Wine & More, and Laura Lynn. This week's giveaway is a white Furman Paladins silicone bracelet.
+ The "Champions Walk" is scheduled to begin approximately 60 minutes prior to kickoff
+ Bojangles BoBerry Biscuit Coupons

In-Game Promotions:
Family Dental Health Smile Cam, Available Technology Fan Photo of the Game, Palmetto Pride Fanatic Fan of the Game, Mast General Store T-Shirt Toss, Papa John's If We Win You Win Online promotion, Ingles Kicking Hunger Promotion, Ingles Show Us Your Card, Greenville Heritage FCU Take Away Giveback Promotion, TapSnap Tailgater of the Game, Children's Museum of the Upstate Tiny Tailgater of the Game, Chic-Fil-A Cow Toss

Halftime:
Furman University Paladin Regiment

In-Game Recognitions/Promotions:
Quarter 1 Break -- Men's Lacrosse Southern Conference Championship Recognition
Quarter 3 Break --
Media Timeouts --

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information