GREENVILLE, S.C. -- After opening the 2015 season with a 38-35 loss to Coastal Carolina, the top-ranked team in FCS this week, Furman continues its challenging early season schedule this Saturday when it travels to Blacksburg, Va., to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in a 3:34 p.m. ESPN3 broadcast contest at Lane Stadium.
Virginia Tech (0-1), which kicked off its season Monday night with a 42-24 home loss to reigning FBS champion and No. 1 ranked Ohio State, faces a short week in preparation for Furman (0-1), which will play at Central Florida on Sept. 19 to conclude its most challenging early season non-conference slate in the program's 35-year history as a member of FCS (formerly I-AA).
Saturday's game will be radio broadcast over the Furman IMG Sports Network headed up by flagship station WGOG 101.7/Walhalla and FoxSports 1440/Greenville. It will also be available via stadium transmitter (96.7 FM) and audio streamed via TuneIn.com, which is also accessible through FurmanPaladins.com
Live stats for the Furman-Virginia Tech contest will be available through FurmanPaladins.com
The Paladins and Hokies last squared off on the football field in 2008 in a contest Virginia Tech won, 24-7. The Hokies lead the all-time series, 5-0, with the 2008 clash representing the only meeting between the two schools over the last 68 years.
Since 1982 Furman has gone 5-25-1 in games against FBS opponents and is just 1-24 in such contests since 1987. The lone win was a 28-3 triumph over North Carolina in 1999. Several other games have been close, however, including a 19-17 loss to Georgia Tech (1991), 20-14 loss to Wyoming (2001), 41-38 overtime loss to Pittsburgh (2004), 45-42 setback to North Carolina (2006), and 55-32 defeat at Florida (2014) that saw the Paladins lead 22-7 after one quarter and trail 37-32 after three periods.
Furman whipped a pair of FBS transition foes in 2013, beating both Appalachian State (27-10) and Georgia Southern (16-14) on the Mountaineers' and Eagles' way to joining the Sunbelt Conference.
The Paladins welcomed the return of redshirt junior quarterback Reese Hannon to action in the season opener against Coastal Carolina. Sidelined for almost a full year after sustaining a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in the 2014 season opener, Hannon registered a record setting performance against the Chanticleers, completing 27-of-41 passes for a new Furman standard 365 yards and two touchdowns, while also compiling 400 yards in total offense, another school record.
His favorite target on Saturday was sophomore running back Antonio Wilcox, who caught seven passes for 84 yards, and senior wide receiver Jordan Snellings, who collected six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Snellings has registered 24 receptions for 388 yards and four touchdowns over the last four games. Redshirt junior wideout Andrej Suttles had four grabs for 69 yards and a score against Coastal Carolina.
The Paladins, who compiled 525 yards in total offense in the season opener, ran for 160 yards, paced by senior fullback Ernie Cain, who accounted for 61 yards on seven carries and a career best three touchdowns.
Defensively Furman is paced by senior consensus All-SoCon linebacker Cory Magwood, last year's SoCon tackle leader (123) who garnered nine stops versus Coastal Carolina. The Paladins also welcomed back redshirt junior All-SoCon linebacker Carl Rider, who notched eight stops in the opener after missing virtually the entire 2014 season with a pair of torn labrums. He topped the league with 136 tackles in 2013.
The Game: Furman Paladins (0-1) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (0-1)
Site: Blacksburg, Virginia (Lane Stadium, on the campus of Virginia Tech)
Kickoff: 3:34 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN3: Dave Weekley (pbp), John Gregory (analyst)
Radio: Furman IMG Sports Network (WGOG 101.7/Walhalla, FoxSports 1440/Greenville, Stadium Transmitter 96.7): Dan Scott (pbp), David Cobb (color), Chuck Hussion (sideline)
Audio Stream: TuneIn.com accessible through FurmanPaladins.com
Tickets: Available (www.hokietickets.com)
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information