The Game: SC State at Furman
Last Week: After their upset of UCF, the Fighting Football Paladins returned home and played what can only be described as a flat, uninspired first half and fell into an early 14-0 hole. Fortunately, Furman rallied and a 4th Quarter Hollingsworth field goal was the difference in a 24-21 victory over VMI.
Are We Any Good? Sometimes. Last week was the perfect trap game: coming off an impressive upset win and playing a lesser-regarded conference foe. So credit where credit is due: the Paladins didn't give up and won. Hannon played a solid if not spectacular game. The special teams came up big with a blocked punt for a TD. And the defense clamped down when it needed to. Concerning is the way the Paladins have fallen into an early deficit each week and the running game continues to be mostly a non-factor. Furman is a good team, but still definitely has some glaring weak spots.
Opposing Team's Mascot: The Bulldogs. Sigh. According to Wikipedia, there are 39 four year colleges that have the nickname Bulldogs. Furman plays three teams this season bearing the Bulldog moniker (the other two are Samford and The Citadel). I think if your team's nickname is the Eagles, Bulldogs, or Tigers then you should be forced to change your name unless you can lay some sort of historical claim to it (like your first president was nicknamed "The Bulldog" or something).
Suggested Hashtag: #FixTheBulldogs...is that appropriate? I mean it works on multiple levels. We want to neutralize their team, but it also indicates how they should fix their nickname and find a more interesting one. How about...
Et cetera: There's apparently going to be a lot of rain tomorrow. Tons of rain. The word "historical" keeps getting thrown around. You are probably going to be sick of Noah's Ark jokes by Sunday morning. Part of me wonders if they will play the game at all. If they do play the game and the storm is as bad as they are saying it will be, the elements might be an even more difficult opponent than SC State (no offense to the Bulldogs). And in those kind of conditions, the advantage might lie with SC State. They are good at running and, as I mentioned earlier, we have not been especially proficient on the ground. A few years back, Gardner-Webb and Wofford played in a raging downpour to a 3-0 final score. It might be that kind of game. It could be a slog. It could be ugly.
Anything else? Go Paladins!