GREENVILLE, S.C -- Coming off an impressive 56-20 win over The Citadel on Saturday, Furman has climbed one spot to No. 20 in the latest STATS FCS Top 25 Poll, which was released today.
The Paladins (7-3, 6-1 SoCon), winners of seven straight games and in second place in the Southern Conference standings, a half game behind Wofford, can clinch a share of the 2017 league crown with a victory at Samford this Saturday in the final regular season contest for both teams. Kickoff at Seibert Stadium is set for 3:30 ET.
Samford (7-3, 5-2 SoCon), ranked No. 17 in the same poll and a game back of Furman in third place in the league standings, has been eliminated from the SoCon race but is very much alive for an at-large berth into the 24-team FCS playoffs, which begin next week. The Bulldogs have been a mainstay in the STATS poll since the preseason, whereas the Paladins were completely out of the poll picture from the start, a 3-8 finisher a year ago and seventh place pick in this year's SoCon coaches preseason poll.
One of the top turnaround stories in the Football Championship Subdivision this under first-year head coach Clay Hendrix, Furman torched The Citadel on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on its first seven possessions to en route to a 49-7 early third quarter lead. The Paladins' finished the contest with 554 yards in total offense, and the 56 points marked the second highest tally by Furman against The Citadel in the 97-game series history against its longtime SoCon rival.
After a pair of narrow early season setback to Wofford (STATS No. 7) and Elon (STATS No. 11), and a loss to FBS North Carolina State (USA Today/Coaches No. 22), Furman began its current seven-game winning streak on Sept. 23 with a 45-14 victory at Colgate, the current Patriot League front runner.
The Paladins entered the STATS poll on Oct. 30 following a 28-6 road win over then 18th-ranked Western Carolina.
In a related poll note enough FCS Coaches finally took notice of Furman this week, moving the Paladins into their Top 25 poll at No. 24.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information