Game 3 Preview USC vs. Furman

Furman University

Location: Greenville, SC

Students: 2,977

Head Coach: Bobby Lamb (63-34 overall) 9th season as head coach

2010 Record: 1-0, defeated Colgate 45-15

2009 Record: 6-5 overall, 5-3 in the SoCon

Famous Alumni: Herman Lay (Founder of Lay’s potato chips), Clint Dempsey (US Soccer Star), Victoria Jackson (SNL),Sam Wyche (NFL Head Coach)

What is a Paladin? Per known as the Twelve Peers, were the foremost warriors of Charlemagne‘s court, according to the literary cycle known as the Matter of France.

Furman Offense vs. USC Defense: As we have seen in the first two weeks of the college football season, FCS teams should not be taken lightly.  Just ask Minnesota, Kansas, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss.  The Paladin’s are expected to finish in the top 3 of the SoCon this season, and will bring in an offense that can move the ball.  Putting up 45 points last weekend, on 536 yards of total offense.  In the past USC has had problems slowing down SoCon offenses(Wolford), but I think this team is different, and will be ready.  Coach Johnson has some experience with SoCon teams, as he was the head coach of The Citadel from 2001-2003.

Players to watch out for on Furman’s offense: QB Cody Worley & Chris Forcier, RB Tersou Uhaa, and WR Adam Mims could all play a big part in the Paladin’s offense this weekend against Carolina.  Furman will use a two QB system, with Worley being the better passer, and Forcier the duel threat QB.  Uhaa a 5-9, 206 pound running back, rushed for 126 yards with a score last weekend.  He might not be the biggest back Carolina will see, but he has the ablity to gains a lot of yards, if USC isn’t ready.

Match up to Watch out for: Furman O-line vs. USC Front 7:  Furman had 9 players make their first collegiate start last weekend, with 3 of those being on the offense line.  USC defensive line will look to exploit this to put pressure on the Furman quarterbacks.  USC didn’t get much pressure on Arron Murray till late last week, so look for Matthews and Taylor to have big games against Furman.

USC offense vs. Furman defense: Furman’s defense held Colgate last weekend to 260 yards of total offense and only 15 points.  USC will look to open up their offense this week, as last week was mostly dominated by freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. If Furman decides to key in on the run, look for the larger Carolina receivers to have a field day against the small Furman secondary.

Players to watch on Furman’s defense: Rover Max Lerner and corner back Ryan Steed both All-SoCon performers from last season will both be looking to have be games against the Gamecocks on Saturday.  Steed, who had 10 tackles, 2 forces fumbles and a sack last weekend against Colgate will be the anchor in the secondary for the Paladin’s.  Lerner also had a good game against Colgate racking up 13 tackles from the rover position.

Match up to watch:  USC’s second string offense vs. Furman’s defense:  Look for Coach Spurrier to use a variety of players this week once the game is in hand.  QB Conner Shaw should see a fair  amount of playing time this weekend .  Also look for a stable of running backs to get carries throughout the game.

What might happen:  Just like with any match up with a FCS team, the Gamecocks will have to be prepared for the unexpected.  You never know what to expect with trick plays and unexpected blitz’s to give the smaller team some sort of advantage.  USC will be prepared for this and should have their way with the Paladin’s on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Furman 9 Carolina 45