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Furman Kicks Off 2012 Football Season Saturday At Samford

Jerodis Williams
Jerodis Williams

Furman vs. Samford Game Notes (PDF)

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman football kicks off its 2012 football campaign this Saturday when the Paladins travel to Birmingham, Ala., to take on Southern Conference rival Samford.  Kickoff for the CSS televised contest at Seibert Stadium is set for 4:30 p.m. ET (3:30 CT).

Chuck Hussion will provide the televised play-by-play call and former Paladin All-America center Corey Stewart color commentary.

Saturday's game will mark the first season inaugural SoCon game for Furman since the Paladins defeated Elon, 24-7, in the 2003 lid lifter in Paladin Stadium. The last time Furman opened a campaign with a league road contest was in 1975 against VMI.

Furman, which is coming off a 6-5 campaign a year ago that included a 5-3, fourth place league finish, returns 15  starters, including eight regulars on defense, six on offense, and one specialist.  The Paladins were a consensus preseason No. 5 pick in polls of SoCon coaches and media.

Samford, which also posted a 6-5 record in 2011 and finished fifth in SoCon standings with a 4-4 conference mark, was a preseason No. 6 pick in both polls.

The Bulldogs snapped Furman's seven-game series winning streak last year with a 26-21 triumph in Paladin Stadium.  Furman, however, has won four straight clashes in Seibert Stadium, including a 27-10 verdict in 2010.  Samford's last win over Furman in Birmingham was in 1969.  The Paladins hold a narrow 8-6 edge in the all-time series, which began in 1961.

Furman, which boasts seven preseason coaches All-SoCon selections, is led by senior All-America tight end Colin Anderson and All-SoCon running back Jerodis Williams.

Anderson, from Dallas, Texas, caught 40 passes for 696 yards and a Furman tight end record seven touchdowns in 2011 en route to capturing Sports Network and Walter Camp Foundation All-America honors.  Williams, meanwhile, recorded the first Paladin 1,000-yard rushing campaign since 2003 by running for 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns. The Prattville, Ala., product dialed up five 100-yard performances last fall, including a season ending, 133-yard, two-touchdown effort against Florida that featured a career long 77-yard scoring run.

Senior Dakota Derrick will assume the squad's signal calling duties following the graduation of consensus All-SoCon performer and FCS passing efficiency leader Chris Forcier.

Defensively senior All-SoCon end Josh Lynn headlines a unit that boasts notable experience but one that graduated a pair of All-Americans in linebacker Kadarron Anderson and cornerback Ryan Steed.  Entering his third season of starting duty, Lynn racked up 49 tackles, in 11 for-loss, and five sacks a year ago.

Other Paladin defensive leaders include a trio of preseason All-SoCon performers, including senior linebacker Mitch McGrath, senior free safety Nathan Wade, and junior strong safety Greg Worthy.

Saturday's game will be broadcast over Furman Sports Network Greenville flagship station WOLT-FM 103.3 and also available over Upstate affiliate WGOG-FM 96.3 and via stadium transmitter at FM 105.9.  Dan Scott, the "Voice of the Paladins", will call the play-by-play action and will be joined by Gordon Higgins with color com