The final regular season game of the season for the Mountaineers will be a special one with the annual “Black Saturday” festivities, as well as honoring the seniors in their final home game.
Appalachian State will host Furman with a whole lot on the line for the black and gold. If the Mountaineers win, they will clinch at least a share of the Southern Conference Championship, and a spot in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
App State will hope to avoid a letdown after its biggest win of the season last week. The Mountaineers knocked off top-ranked Georgia Southern in Statesboro. Jamal Jackson picked apart the Georgia Southern secondary for 383 yards and three touchdowns to upset the top ranked team in the FCS. With the win, the Mountaineers moved up two spots in the poll to 12th in the nation. Georgia Southern dropped to seventh.
Furman has struggled for much of the season, currently sitting at 3-6 overall and just 2-4 in the SoCon.
The Paladins will be led by quarterback Reese Hannon. Hannon has completed 63-percent of his passes for 1,656 yards and six touchdowns. He averages just over 200 yards passing per game.
On the ground, Jerodis Williams and Hank McCloud will get the bulk of the rushing attempts. Williams just crossed the 1,000-yard mark after last week’s game against Elon, a 31-17 victory. Williams has 1,008 yards on 167 carries and 10 touchdowns. McCloud enters this game with 83 carries for 383 yards and five scores.
Furman features a very balanced passing attack with three receivers with at least 20 catches and 300 yards on the season. Will King leads the way with 34 grabs for 541 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan Culbreath has 28 catches for 342 yards and two touchdowns while Colin Anderson rounds out the receiving trio with 23 grabs for 396 yards.
Last year, Furman came away with a 20-10 victory over the Mountaineers, handing App only its second conference loss. In 2010, the Mountaineers knocked off the Paladins 37-26 on the way to the SoCon Championship.
These two rivals have played 42 times with the Paladins currently leading the overall series 22-17-3. Up until last year, however, App State had reeled off six consecutive wins in the rivalry, most notably the 29-23 playoff victory in 2005, a game that sent the Mountaineers to its first of three straight FCS National Championship games.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. from Kidd-Brewer Stadium.