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Furman-Appalachian State Meet Saturday In Final SoCon Clash

Hank McCloud
Hank McCloud

Furman vs. Appalachian State Game Notes (PDF)

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- When the Furman Paladins and Appalachian State Mountaineers square off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Paladin Stadium, it will mark the final clash between two of the Southern Conference's most successful football programs.

Appalachian State, a league member since 1971, will depart the SoCon at the end of the 2013-14 school year to take up residence in the Sunbelt Conference of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

While Furman will remain in the SoCon, historians will note the two combatants have both won a record 12 league championships since 1978 — a total of 24 outright or shared crowns for the Paladins and Mountaineers, who have also combined to claim four national titles since 1988.

Furman enters Saturday's fracas with a 22-18-3 series advantage over Appalachian State — the only SoCon school to sport a winning series mark against the Mountaineers.  App State, however, has had the upper hand over the last decade, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings, including a 33-28 verdict last year in Boone.  Furman upset the Mountaineers, 20-10, two years ago in Paladin Stadium, and owns a 10-6 mark versus App in the facility.

Despite the legacy of greatness for both programs, the 2013 editions have struggled as both the Paladins (2-4, 1-2 SoCon) and Mountaineers (1-5, 1-2 SoCon) enter Saturday's contest looking to break losing skids.  Furman dropped its second straight verdict with a 31-9 decision at Chattanooga last Saturday, and Appalachian State has lost three in a row following a 31-10 home defeat to Samford a week ago.

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  Dan Scott, the "Voice of the Paladins," will call the play-by-play and be joined by Corey Stewart with color commentary.

The game will also be video live streamed in HD to subscribers through Stretch Internet at

Live stats
will be provided through StatBroadcast at 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  Twitter updates will be provided @FurmanPaladins.

Furman, which ranks second in the SoCon in rushing defense (152.5 ypg) and total defense (336.5 ypg), is paced by sophomore linebacker Carl Rider (61 tackles, six tackles for-loss, two sacks) and senior free safety Greg Worthy (54 tackles, two forced fumbles).  The Paladins' front seven on defense, which combined for four sacks against Chattanooga, features three juniors, four sophomores, and seven freshmen.

Offensively Furman has been forced to deal with injuries at quarterback that ended the season for signal callers Dillon Woodruff (factured shoulder) and Terry Robinson (torn knee ligaments) while also sidelining sophomore Reese Hannon (knee, ankle) for the last two games.  Against Chattanooga, the Paladins turned to a pair of true freshmen, Duncan Fletcher and Richard Hayes III, a converted defensive back and the squad's No. 5 quarterback, for action.

Junior Hank McCloud leads Furman in rushing with 515 yards and four touchdowns.  The Paladins' leading receiver is junior Gary Robinson (24 rec., 351 yds., 2 TDs).

Senior placekicker/punter Ray Early is coming off a stellar performance against Chattanooga that saw him convert field goals covering 50, 31, and 43 yards while also averaging 44.1 yards on five punts.

Furman will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its NCAA I-AA (FCS) national championship on Saturday with a pre-game tailgate and halftime recognition of players and coaches.  The Paladins posted a 13-2 record and knocked off Georgia Southern, 17-12, in Pocatello, Idaho, on Dec. 17, 1988, to notch the Southern Conference's first football national championship.