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Furman Takes on Big Task against Delaware
COLUMBIA, S.C. – When Furman coach Bobby Lamb says his Paladins have a big task in front of them Saturday against Delaware, he means it literally.
Lamb noted two things about the Blue Hens – they are one of the biggest teams he has ever seen and they are winners – capturing the Football Championship Subdivision title in 2003 and losing in the title game last year.
“They’re big and they’re strong and they’re physical and they do what they do,” Lamb said. “They’re not fancy.”
In other games Saturday involving South Carolina’s smaller colleges, Princeton comes to The Citadel; Towson is at Coastal Carolina; Presbyterian travels to Western Carolina; South Carolina State is at Clemson; and Wofford travels to South Carolina.
In Greenville, Furman (2-1) ends a fairly tough nonconference schedule with Delaware (1-1). The Paladins started with an easy win against Mars Hill, then hung tough with Virginia Tech before losing and then knocked off a traditionally good Colgate team in New York.
This is the Blue Hens’ first game against an FCS opponent. The two teams have met only once; in the first round of the 1988 playoffs when Furman won 21-7 on its way to its only national title.
Lamb, who was coaching defensive backs for the Paladins at the time, said Delaware’s size worries him. He points out the Blue Hens’ starting quarterback, Robby Schoenhoft, is 6-6, 250 pounds – four inches taller and just a few pounds lighter than Furman’s starting left guard.
“We’re looking for a big, big team to come down here, big strong physical team,” Lamb said. “We’ve got to be at our best to have a chance to win the game.”
In Charleston, The Citadel (1-1) had an off week to get ready to play Princeton. But Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins said he has kept things simple in preparing for the Tigers, who have yet to play a game.
“The good news is we have had a lot of practice time in preparation for them,” Higgins said. “But you’re not sure what you’re going to get.”
The Citadel has never played an Ivy League team. Princeton went 7-3 last year after winning the conference crown in 2006.
Higgins said this year’s 12-game season gave him another reason to loosen up on practice during the bye week.
“We’re concerned about the durability of our players. We backed off a little bit this past open week – tried to get the guys’ legs back under them again as we get ready for this 10 game grind,” Higgins said.
In Conway, Coastal Carolina (1-2) better have its pass defense ready against Towson (1-2).
The Tigers average 269 passing yards a game, while running for just 39 yards a contest.
“Towson throws the heck out of the football,” Chanticleers coach David Bennett said. “Should be an interesting evening here on Saturday night.”
Coastal Carolina should also get a chance to get its running attack, which is averaging 136 yards a game, on track. Towson is allowing 322 yards rushing a game in losses to Navy and Richmond and a win over Morgan State.
In Cullowhee, N.C., Presbyterian (1-2) will try to get back on track at Western Carolina (1-2).
Blue Hose coach Bobby Bentley suffered probably the worst loss of his career last week as his team lost to Elon 66-12. The Blue Hose were outgained 667 yards to 185 yards and trailed 35-0 with 3:54 left in the first quarter.
“We’ve got to find a way to get our guys regrouped and pick up the pieces because it’s very humiliating and very humbling what we experienced last week,” Bentley said.
The Catamounts have won seven in a row over the Blue Hose, including Western Carolina’s only victory last year, 33-20.
In Clemson, South Carolina State gets another historic game – and another nice paycheck – as the Bulldogs (2-1) take on Clemson (2-1) for the first time.
South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough has warned his team it will be loud and chaotic at Death Valley. He said he couldn’t even hear himself think when the Bulldogs played at South Carolina last season. Pough just hopes his team is not intimidated.
“We never know. You walk into a war some guys run to fight, some run away. Hopefully we’ll run at em,” Pough said.
South Carolina State is getting $235,000 to play at Clemson.
In Columbia, Wofford (2-0) doesn’t plan to be intimidated by South Carolina (1-2).
When the Terriers came to Williams-Brice Stadium two years ago, they were down just 27-20 and had a fourth-and-5 at the Gamecocks 10 in the final 30 seconds, but fumbled.
Wofford coach Mike Ayers said his team can pull the ultimate upset if they just keep running the football like they always have. The Terriers’ option is averaging 400 yards a game on the ground this season.
“At the end, hopefully we’ll have a chance, and if we have a chance, this time, we’ll make that big play,” Ayers said.
Wofford is 1-10 against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision, with the only win coming over Louisiana-Monroe in 2000.
Furman takes on big task against Delaware
The Associated Press c/o The Sporting News