GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman football hits the road this Saturday to face VMI in the 32nd renewal of a Southern Conference rivalry that has been dormant for the last 11 years. Kickoff for the ESPN3 televised game at Alumni Memorial Stadium in Lexington, Va., is set for 1:30 p.m.
The two schools last met on the football field during the 2002 season in the Keydets' then-final year as a long-time member of the Southern Conference. VMI, which departed the league to join the Big South Conference beginning in 2003, returned to the SoCon this past summer, renewing its membership in the conference that it first joined in 1936.
What's at stake on Saturday are two streaks — Furman's current six-game losing skid, the program's longest since 1972, and a 21-game series run of success against VMI, the Paladins' longest active streak against any foe.
The Paladins won the 2002 encounter with the Keydets, 55-28, in Lexington, and suffered its last defeat in the series in 1979.
Darren Goldwater will call the play-by-play action and will be joined by Robby Robinson with color commentary.
Saturday's contest will be radio broadcast over the Furman IMG Sports Network headed up by flagship station WGOG 96.3/Walhalla and FoxSports 1440/Greenville, and also available via stadium transmitter at a frequency to be announced, as well as audio stream at TuneIn.com.
Dan Scott, the "Voice of the Paladins", is set to call the play-by-play alongside color analyst David Cobb. The sideline reporter is Chuck Hussion.
Fans can also follow the action via live stats at FurmanPaladins.com and twitter @PaladinFootball and @FurmanPaladins
Hampered by a number of injuries that have claimed five All-SoCon performers, among others, Furman (2-6, 1-2 SoCon) recorded its last win on Sept. 6 at Mercer and is coming off last Saturday's 45-0 loss at the hands of league foe Samford, the Paladins' first shutout since 1998 — a string of 199 consecutive games between blankings.
VMI (1-7, 0-4 SoCon) has found its return to the SoCon less than rosy. A 38-3 loser at Wofford last Saturday, the Keydets have also lost six straight but boast the league's top passing offense (254.9 ypg) led by freshman quarterback Al Cobb, who has thrown for 2,015 yards and 14 touchdowns this fall.
Cobb's proficiency will be a challenge for Furman, which has been hard-hit by injuries this year, and of late at the safety position. With preseason All-SoCon free safety Trey Robinson already sidelined due to illness, strong safety Thomas Brown sustained a fractured arm against Samford and is out for the rest of the campaign. They join starting quarterback Reese Hannon, offensive tackle Charles Emert, linebacker Carl Rider and veteran snapper Danny LaMontagne on the Paladins' injured list.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information