The Game: Furman at Wofford
Last Week: Sigh. So last week the Fighting Football Paladins looked absolutely atrocious for nearly three quarters. I believe Furman may have looked worse than I have ever seen them. Then Reese Hannon came off the bench and rallied the Paladins. Down 20-14 with under two minutes left, Hannon got knocked out of the game, P.J. Blazejowski came back in, led Furman down the field, and the Paladins tied the game with a two yard touchdown with 43 seconds left. BUT (there's always a "but") Furman was dubiously called for unsportsmanlike conduct (allegedly we spiked the ball; we did not spike the ball) and that pushed back the extra point attempt, which was missed. Then the Paladins lost in overtime. I don't know exactly how, but all of that--the ineptitude, the seeming listlessness, the fiery comeback, the frustration coming from so many different factors--seemed to encapsulate our season.
Are We Any Good? No, but at times we have just enough fight in us to make it interesting. I look at this season and really have no sense of what to make of it. When we are bad, we are really bad. Yet if a team lets us hang around long enough (Coastal, UCF, Samford, Mercer), we can typically make a game of it.
Opposing Team's Mascot: The Terriers. Why did Wofford College choose such a small, wiry dog as their mascot? I don't know and the first page of a Google search did not yield any answers. Wofford is a small school and, as a runner, I can tell you that the most relentless dogs are the smallest dogs so...maybe that? Anyway, points for creativity, but I feel like there is a story somewhere in there that needs to be told.
Suggested Hashtag: #BeatWofford
To the point. It's the state of South Carolina's oldest rivalry, so let's not be cute about it.
Et cetera: South Carolina's oldest rivalry? Yes. Not the longest running, mind you, but certainly the oldest. Furman and Wofford played the first collegiate football game in the state back in 1889. The Terriers won the opening matchup 5-1. Football was a different game back then. There wasn't a forward pass. There are times when it seems like Wofford never really got the memo on that invention (though, in fairness, their option game has worked quite well for them). Furman holds a 53-28-7 series advantage overall.
So while both teams are finishing off disappointing seasons, both are hoping to go out on a high note by taking down a rival. And, yes, let me just go ahead and say that Wofford is definitely one of Furman's full-scale rivalries now. Thanks to the defections of Georgia Southern and App State from the SoCon, the Terriers stand alongside The Citadel as one of our chief rivals. Congratulations Wofford. I hope you don't see series win #29 for a long, long time.
Anything else? Go Paladins!