The Furman Paladins' hopes of an at-large FCS playoff berth took a hit over the weekend after losing to Elon 41-34. Whether they make the playoffs or not, the Paladins (6-4) insist they are not overlooking their final regular season game this Saturday against a weaker opponent in the Florida Gators.
"If we're too concerned about the playoffs, we'll end up beating ourselves. Right now, I'm trying to keep our team focused on Florida and avoiding an upset," said head coach Bruce Fowler.
The Gators stumble into the contest losing five of their last six games and are in the middle or bottom half of almost every statistical category in the SEC. "Florida's going through some transition pains right now, but they've got some talented players that could play in the Southern Conference. They obviously don't have the depth to compete week in and week out in our conference at this point, but if Gator fans give Will Muschamp time, he'll turn it around. I have a lot of respect for Coach Muschamp. It was admirable for him to leave Texas to begin his coaching career at a smaller school like that. It showed how hungry he was to be a head coach," said Fowler.
The Paladins still have a lot to play for on Saturday, like sending their seniors out with a win. One of those seniors will be looking to tie a record. Senior quarterback Chris Forcier is one touchdown away from tying the school's mark of most touchdowns accounted for in a single season. He sits at 24. The current record, coincidentally enough, is held by Ingle Martin, who attended Florida before transferring to Furman.
Martin will be in attendance at the game in anticipation of Forcier breaking his record and says he's rooting all the way for Forcier and the Paladins. "I normally pick the underdog in these types of games, but I can't pick against the school I graduated from. I don't even tell people I went to Florida. It's embarrassing. I'm a Furman man. I like the Paladins by 14. I'm really looking forward to watching Chris play. I hope he breaks my record."
As for Forcier he says he's not worried about the record. "I'm not really thinking about it. I just want to go out there and do whatever I have to to finish the regular season with a win for myself and my fellow seniors. That would mean more to me than any record. A loss on Saturday would just be super embarrassing for all of us." said Forcier.