Two longtime Southern Conference foes square off Saturday when the Furman Paladins (3-3, 3-3 SoCon) will visit the Citadel Bulldogs (1-9, 1-5 SoCon) at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
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The game (1 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Furman vs The Citadel football live on ESPN+ right here:
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Furman vs The Citadel Preview
The Paladins are coming off a 26-14 loss to Mercer last week. Furman led by a point heading into the fourth quarter, but then failed to score all quarter while also giving up 13 points.
Quarterback Hamp Sisson went 16-30 for 177 yards and a touchdown in the loss, and he led a unit that couldn’t get much going through the air or on the ground. Running backs Devin Wynn and Devin Abrams combined for 19 carries for 64 yards (3.0 yards per carry) and a touchdown, struggling mightily all game.
Furman has lost two in a row, and the loss last week eliminated it from playoff contention. Paladins coach Clay Hendrix was candid after the defeat about the team’s problems heading into the season finale against The Citadel. “We almost have to be perfect,” Hendrix said, via The Greenville News. “If we ever get behind the chains, we just can’t overcome it. You’ve got to be able to hit some throws and we just can’t consistently do that. We had a couple of huge drops. You score 14 points in 2021, you’re not going to beat hardly anybody. That’s the nature of the beast.”
The Paladins will be going up against a Citadel squad sitting at the bottom of the division. The Bulldogs are coming off their lone win of the season, a 28-24 victory over Wofford last week. It was the team’s first win in 518 days, and the group is hoping it gives them momentum heading into this game.
“There was a lot of emotion going on there, a lot of hugs were given and a little bit of crowd-surfing,” Thompson told the Post and Courier. “It’s a feeling that had been lost on us for such a long time that we wanted to enjoy it.”
Citadel quarterback Jaylan Adams went 2-5 for 54 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but as usual, it was all about the ground game for the offense. Running backs Clay Harris and Nathan Storch led the way for the Bulldogs with a dominant one-two punch. Harris had 18 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns, one of which included the game-winner in the fourth quarter. Storch added nine carries for 89 yards in what turned out to be a thrilling comeback win for Citadel.
Bulldogs defensive lineman Carson Hatchett forced a Wofford fumble with 5:21 remaining in the game, and Harris punched in what turned to be the game’s final score after that.
“We’ve played some tight games this spring, but things just haven’t gone our way,” Thompson said. “Finally, something went our way a little bit. We got a turnover and a game-ending drive. Psychologically, it’s going to be huge for our guys.”
Now, we’ll see if they can carry on their winning ways for one more week.