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Bobby Lamb resigns as FU head coach before game

As usual, rivalry has huge implications for GSU

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Bobby Lamb resigns as FU head coach before game

   LATE BREAKING: Furman head coach Bobby Lamb will coach one last game Saturday, and will resign effective after the Georgia Southern game, FU director of athletics Gary Clark announced Friday.            

Lamb was a quarterback, assistant coach and head coach for the Paladins spanning 29 years in Greenville, S.C. With one game left as a Paladin, Lamb has gone 67-39 as head coach. He was inducted into the FU Hall of Fame in 1995.

    The first ever meeting between Georgia Southern and Furman is seared into the memory bank of fans at both schools.
    And, it well should be, coming in a national championship game which ended in dramatic fashion.
    The year was 1985, and thanks to a 13 yard scoring pass from Tracy Ham to Frankie Johnson with 10 seconds to play the Eagles beat Furman, 44-42, for their first of six national championships.
    The two met again three years later—again in the championship game—and the Paladins prevailed, 17-12, but it lacked the drama of the earlier contest which saw the Eagles rally from 22 points down in the fourth period.
     It wasn’t until Georgia Southern joined the Southern Conference in 1993 that the two teams began playing on a regular basis. The Eagles now lead the series, 13-8, and the Paladins have become their biggest rival in all sports.
    The two meet Saturday at 2 p.m. in Greenville, S.C., in a game which has major ramifications for each.
    The Eagles (6-4, 4-3) are playing to keep their playoff hopes alive. Furman (5-5, 3-4) is trying to avoid its first losing season since 1999.
    Both teams have fallen on lean times in the last several years.
    Georgia Southern has not made the FCS playoffs since 2005. Furman has drawn a blank since 2006, and will be on the sidelines again this year.
    The Paladins are coming off a crushing 30-25 loss at Elon which serves as a microcosm of their season.
    Trailing 24-10 after three periods Furman rallied behind the play of quarterback Cody Worley to take a 25-24 lead only to have Elon drive 70 yards for the winning touchdown with 5 minutes, 21 seconds to play.
    “It was disappointing,” Furman Coach Bobby Lamb said. “You have to give Elon credit, but I commend our kids for coming back.
    “Scott Riddle did a great job in taking them 70 yards,” Lamb said. “He’s been a great player in this league for four years. I’ve enjoyed watching play, but I’m glad he’s gone.”
    The Paladins were forced play without all-conference wide receiver Adam Mims who missed the game with a knee injury.
    Mims, who has caught 48 passes for 612 yards and four touchdowns, will start against the Eagles on Senior Day.
    “We had a team meeting on Monday and the players were very upbeat,” Lamb said. “We’ve got to play for the seniors and the purple and white.
    “I don’t think there’s no secret at Georgia Southern. They continue to have great athletes, it’s a great setup from a football situation, and it’s a great university.
    “They’re on the brink of finishing 7-4, and trying to slide into the playoffs.”
    The Eagles will be shooting for their third straight win, and the defense is leading the way. Georgia Southern has not allowed a touchdown in its last seven quarters.
    Appalachian State scored twice in the first quarter, and Western Carolina was limited to two field goals last week.
    The Paladin offense will provide a strong test, Georgia Southern Coach Jeff Monken said.
    “They’re averaging 30 points per game,” Monken said. “They’ve had some tough losses. They had Chattanooga beat, and were up on Elon. They have had some breaks not go their way.
    “With some good fortune they could be up there among the leaders (in the SoCon). I consider them one of the top teams in the league. To beat Furman you have to line up and beat them, and be able to execute.”
    Furman suffered a major loss in the second game of the season when quarterback Chris Forcier was injured. Later Ryan Lee, a pre-season all conference pick, was kicked off the team by Lamb after he stole a case of beer at a Wal-Mart store.
    Dakota Derrick, a 6-foot4, 204 pound sophomore, will start at quarterback although Worley, a fifth year senior, has passed for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.
    “Dakota gives us a bit of a lift, and manages the game well” Lamb said. “Cody had an outstanding early season, but he has gotten beat up.
    “Cody did not have any consistency at App. It’s not all Cody’s fault. We have not performed well around him.”
    Furman is sixth in total defense, and is eighth against the rush, giving up 205 yards per game. The Eagles are the league’s second best running team, averaging 247 per game.

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