The No. 3 Georgia Southern Eagles and Furman Paladins are no strangers to each other, writes Matt Yogus of the Statesboro Herald. Their rivalry is renewed Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET in Greensboro, S.C.
The Eagles' 2010 run to the Football Championship Series semifinals never would have happend without a win over the Paladins to improve to 7-4 and earn a spot in the tournament. Georgia Southern upset a top-ranked Furman in 2005. Before that, Furman handed Georgia Southern its first-ever playoff loss at Paulson Stadium in the 2001 semifinals.
The players understand the importance of this weekend's rivalry game. GSU cornerback Valdon Cooper said "from what I hear, the tradition runs deep, and the rivalry runs deep."
The latest chapter opens on Sunday. Georgia Southern (5-1) is catching Furman (2-5) in a down season. Both teams are breaking in first-year quarterbacks, but the Eagles will continue to rely on the run. Georgia Southern has completed only 12 passes all season.