Nov. 19, 2006
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman Paladins will travel to Bozeman, Mont., to take on the Montana State Bobcats this Saturday, Nov. 25, in NCAA Division I Football Championship first round playoff action, it was announced today. Kickoff at Bobcat Stadium is set for 11:30 a.m. MT (1:30 ET).
Furman (8-3, 6-1 SoCon) completed its regular season on Nov. 11 with a 13-10 win over Georgia Southern to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I championship playoffs. The Paladins won four of their final five regular season games to finish second in the Southern Conference.
Montana State (7-4, 6-2) dropped a 13-7 decision to Montana on Saturday to finish the regular season tied for second in the Big Sky Conference. The Bobcats opened the 2006 campaign with a 19-10 win over Colorado before dropping three straight to Chadron State (35-24), UC Davis (45-0), and Eastern Washington (19-10). Montana State rallied to win six of their final seven games before Saturday's loss to rival Montana.
Furman and Montana State have never squared off in football. The Paladins are 3-2 all-time against Big Sky Conference opposition, with the last meeting coming against Montana (13-6 loss) in the 2001 Division I Football National Championship game (formerly I-AA national championship game) in Chattanooga, Tenn. All five Furman-Big Sky Conference clashes have been playoff affairs.
The winner of the Furman-Montana State game will play the winner of Saturday's Appalachian State-Coastal Carolina contest on Dec.2.
The NCAA Division I national championship game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 15 at Chattanooga's Max Finley Stadium.
The playoff appearance is Furman's seventh in the last eight seasons and 15th overall since Southern Conference football was reclassified from I-A to I-AA in 1982. Furman sports a 17-13 playoff record and in 1988 won the NCAA I-AA national championship by defeating Georgia Southern 17-12 in Pocatello, Idaho. In its last playoff appearance a year ago, Furman knocked off Nicholls State, 14-12, in a first round game and clipped Richmond, 24-20, in quarterfinal action before falling to Appalachian State, 29-23, in the playoff semifinals.
Following are the match-ups for the first round of competition to be played Saturday, Nov. 25. Complete game times will be released later:
November 25 at Boone, North Carolina (ESPNU at 3:30 p.m. ET) Coastal Carolina (9-2) at No. 1 Appalachian St. (10-1)
November 25 at Bozeman, Montana Furman (8-3) at Montana State (7-4), 11:30 MIT (1:30 ET)
November 25 at Charleston, Illinois Illinois State (8-3) at Eastern Illinois (8-4)
November 25 at Youngstown, Ohio (ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET) James Madison (9-2) at No. 4 Youngstown State (9-2)
November 25 at Amherst, Massachusetts Lafayette (6-5) at No. 3 Massachusetts (10-1)
November 25 at Hampton, Virginia New Hampshire (8-3) at Hampton (10-1)
November 25 at Carbondale, Illinois Tennessee-Martin (9-2) at Southern Illinois (8-3)
November 25 at Missoula, Montana McNeese State (7-4) at No. 2 Montana (10-1)