GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman is ranked sixth in the first Stats Perform Top 25 Poll of the regular season, which was released today.

The Paladins, 45-10 winners over Tennessee Tech in Thursday’s 2023 season opener, are the top-ranked Southern Conference team, two spots ahead of No. 8 Samford.  Mercer is 20th, giving the SoCon three teams in the poll.

Reigning national champion South Dakota State is No. 1, followed by North Dakota State and Montana State.  William & Mary is ranked fourth, and Holy Cross rounds out the top five in the poll, presented by FedEx Ground.

Click here for a link to the full poll.

Furman racked up six turnovers (4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries), its most since 2009, in the win over Tennessee Tech.  Included in the tally were “pick-six” returns covering 43 and 67 yards by cornerback Travis Blackshear and linebacker Dan Scianna, respectively.

The Paladins enjoyed a strong 2022 campaign that featured seven consecutive wins en route to an at-large bid to the FCS playoffs, where Furman claimed a 31-6 first round home win over Coastal Athletic Association member Elon.

Furman was a consensus first place pick in a pair of Southern Conference preseason polls conducted by league coaches and media.

The Paladins take on South Carolina this Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia in a SEC Network+/ESPN+ contest.  Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.