By Jacob Waldrip
After a disappointing loss against Clemson, the Furman Paladins rolled into town and took down the Blue Hose by a final score of 31-21 in Bailey Memorial Stadium.
Furman was able to do perform extraordinarily well in the first half en route to a 24-0 half time lead, out-gaining Presbyterian College 334 yards to 87 in the first half of play. In the second half, Furman played well enough to hold on for the 31-21 victory.
Hank McCloud, a sophomore, aided Furman in the win Saturday with a career high of 78 rushing yards. He also scored three touchdowns for the Paladins.
It was the first time since 1975 that Furman had travelled to play at Presbyterian.
Before beating Presbyterian, Furman started the season 0-3 for the first time since 1979, which was also the last time that the Blue Hose pulled out a win against the Paladins.
This week, Furman prepares to take on the Catamounts of Western Carolina in the second Southern Conference game of the season.
The Southern Conference seems to be moving towards parity. For years, Furman football has been amongst what has been known as the “Big Three:” Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Furman.
However, this year, The Citadel has defeated both Appalachian State and GSU. Because of that, they are tied for first atop the SoCon standings with Samford. The Southern Conference, maybe this year more than ever, is a wide open race. Furman is very much alive in the race for the top.
Furman plays at home Sept. 29 against Western Carolina, and this game is just as important as the win against Presbyterian. Like Furman, Western Carolina is 1-3 coming into this game.
It will be an exciting day. The fact that this important matchup occurs on Family Weekend just adds another dramatic dimension to this pivotal game.