No. 2 Furman shuts down VMI, claims outright SoCon Title

The Citadel dropped to 0-6 on the season with a loss at Furman on Saturday
The Citadel dropped to 0-6 on the season with a loss at Furman on Saturday(The Citadel Athletics)
Published: Nov. 11, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Redshirt freshman Carson Jones threw four first-half touchdowns and Furman’s defense limited VMI to only 189 yards of total offense as the second-ranked Paladins captured their first outright Southern Conference championship since 1990 with a 37-3 victory over the Keydets at Paladin Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The win is the eighth straight for Furman (9-1, 7-0 SoCon), ninth consecutive home triumph, and the program record-tying 13th straight conference victory. VMI dropped to 4-6 overall and 3-4 in league play.

Jones, making his first collegiate start, connected on first-quarter touchdown tosses to Mason Pline and Nick Cannon as the Paladins built a 17-0 lead. With five minutes left in the half, the Maryville, Tenn., product found Luke Shifflett for a 12-yard touchdown before hitting Kyndel Dean in stride on a 34-yard scoring strike with 1:44 left in the second quarter to stake Furman to a 34-0 halftime advantage.

Furman’s defense dominated the line of scrimmage, recording 12 tackles-for-a-loss, including eight sacks, while holding VMI’s rushing attack to just 30 yards on 33 carries. Luke Clark notched two sacks, and Braden Gilby posted 11 tackles, two tackles-for-a-loss, a sack, and pass breakup.

Jones exited after three quarters completing 18-of-23 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns. Placekicker Ian Williams went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, connecting from 27, 49, and 36 yards.

Furman concludes the regular season on Saturday, November 18, when it travels to face Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C. Kickoff at Gibbs Stadium is set for noon.