Furman’s football squad kicks off its 2018 Southern Conference schedule this Saturday when it travels to Johnson City, Tenn., to face the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in a 7:30 contest at William B. Greene, Jr., Stadium.
Furman continues its early season road stretch this Saturday when it travels to Elon, N.C, and Rhodes Stadium to face a familiar foe in the Elon Phoenix in a 6:00 p.m. clash that will be video live streamed via CollegeSportsLive.com.
No. 2 Clemson scored two touchdowns in the final 2:54 of the first half to turn a 13-0 margin into a 27-0 halftime lead as the Tigers cruised to a 48-7 victory over FCS 21st-ranked Furman in the season opener for both schools on Saturday before a crowd of 80,018 at Memorial Stadium.
Furman will open its 2018 football season on Saturday when it travels to Clemson to face the consensus Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) second-ranked Tigers. Kickoff for the ACC Network televised contest is set for 12:20 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Furman’s special teams delivered consistent production a year ago, ranking among the SoCon’s best in several categories, and prospects for another solid year are present thanks to the return of a host of veterans and the addition of a couple of highly regarded newcomers.
Over the last four decades Furman football has utilized the tight end position more effectively than many college football programs. The evidence? Consider 30 All-Southern Conference selections over that time frame, with the latest being Andy Schumpert a year ago.
For the first time in five years Furman heads into a season without an experienced quarterback in the fold — a void that has led to intense competition among a host of players vying to take over for graduated All-Southern Conference performer P.J. Blazejowski, who threw for 2,461 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2017 while also ranking second nationally in passing efficiency (172.3 rating).
Furman’s secondary appears to be in excellent shape with the return of seven players who boast a combined 67 starts and the addition of a transfer set to give the Paladins yet another starter when the season gets underway on Sept. 1 against FBS No. 2-ranked Clemson.
Under the direction of position coach Brian Bratton, Furman’s wide receiving corps appears to be in good shape heading into the 2018 campaign with the return of several experienced players and a promising freshman.
Probably no position group has undergone more change at Furman in the brief Clay Hendrix era than inside linebacker, and the turnover effects for position coach Ken Lamendola’s corps will continue heading into the 2018 season.
Furman’s renewed commitment to the ground game and drive to the FCS playoffs a year ago raised both the profile and expectations of its running backs, and position coach David Sims’ 2018 group appears set to meet the challenge with six lettermen returning, four of whom count starting experience.
Furman head football coach Clay Hendrix seemed generally pleased with his squad’s first week of preseason practice, especially with the work of some of his squad’s young linebackers and a freshman receiver.
When Clay Hendrix took over the reins of Furman’s football program in December of 2016, he set as a goal the return of an effective ground game. By all measures, he and position coach Pete Lusk proved successful in their task.