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Furman Looks To Continue Late Season Surge Saturday Versus Samford

Carl Rider
Carl Rider

Furman vs. Samford Game Notes

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Winners of its last two Southern Conference games, Furman will look to continue its late season surge Saturday when Samford pays a visit to Paladin Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. matchup that will highlight homecoming weekend at the university.

Furman (4-5, 3-2 SoCon) has claimed its last two league games, defeating Appalachian State, 27-10, on Oct. 26 in Greenville, and Georgia Southern, 16-14, last Saturday in Statesboro in the final meeting between the SoCon rivals.

The victories have moved the Paladins into the SoCon title race, though for any purple and white championship to be realized Furman would have to win its final three games — against Samford, Western Carolina (Nov. 16) and Wofford (Nov. 23) — and Chattanooga would have to lose its final two SoCon games versus Wofford and Samford.

The Bulldogs (6-3, 4-1 SoCon), ranked 20th and 22nd in this week's Sports Network and FCS Coaches Polls, respectively, were knocked from their perch atop the league standings last week with a 28-26 loss at The Citadel.  Samford enters action this weekend tied with Wofford for second place, a half game behind front runner Chattanooga.

Furman holds a narrow 8-7 advantage over Samford in a series that has been streaky for both programs.  Beginning in 1961, the Bulldogs won five of the first six contests — mostly during Furman's ill-fated "Football For Fun Bunch" era.  The series resumed in 1997 with a 29-10 Furman triumph, which launched a seven-game Paladin winning streak through 2010.  Samford halted that run in 2011 with a 26-21 decision in Greenville and took last year's contest, 24-21 in Birmingham.  The series is tied 4-4 in Greenville.

Saturday's contest will be video live streamed in HD to subscribers through Stretch Internet at

The most timely, comprehensive football live stats offering of any Southern Conference school 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 and @Paladin

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.

In posting its fourth triumph of the season last Saturday at Georgia Southern, Furman topped 2012's win tally, and the three league triumphs this fall marks improvement over last year's total.

The Paladins' resurgence has been aided by a young, opportunistic defense that has helped Furman register the league's best turnover ratio (+0.9) this year and interception returns for touchdowns in two of the last three games. The Paladins sport just two seniors on defense and freshman backups at nine of the 11 positions.

Junior Hank McCloud tops the Paladins in rushing with 785 yards and four touchdowns, and redshirt freshman Andrej Suttles, who is coming off a six-reception, 115-yard performance that featured a 75-yard touchdown connection against Georgia Southern, leads the team in receiving with 31 catches for 348 yards.

Sophomore linebacker Carl Rider heads up Furman defensively with 89 tackles, including eight for-loss, and junior defensive end Ira McCune is coming off a SoCon Defensive Player of the Week performance versus GSU that saw him register six tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Paladin placekicker/punter Ray Early garnered Sports Network National Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday for his work against Georgia Southern.  His 18-yard field goal proved to be the game winning points, and the Darlington, S.C., native also averaged 51.0 yards on four punts and deposited all four kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.  He has connected on 11 of his last 12 field goal attempts.