ETSU (3-3, 2-2 SoCon) vs. Furman (6-1, 3-1 SoCon)
Memorial Center - Johnson City, Tenn.
National Leader ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells ranks 16th nationally in total offense per game (259.0 yards/game) ... He ranks second in the Southern Conference behind Chattanoogas Chris Sanders (296.8) ... Alabama States Darnell Kennedy leads the nation, averaging 358.4 yards of total offense in seven games.
Bucs in Southern Conference Rankings ... ETSU ranks third in the Southern Conference in pass offense (226.7 yards/game) ... The Bucs also rank third in rushing defense (150.3 yards/game) ... ETSU ranks third in pass defense efficiency (106.7).
Individual Conference Leaders ... Quarterback Todd Wells ranks second in the Conference in total offense (259.0 yards/game) and passing (226.7 yards/game) ... Linebacker Cory Bolden ranks sixth in tackles (9.7 tackles/game) ... Rahim El Amin ranks ninth with 9.3 tackles /game ... Last years Conference leader in punt returns, Keyandre Fenn, ranks fourth in 2000, averaging 8.5 yards/return ... Con Chellis five field goal attempts at The Citadel was the most by any conference kicker in 2000 ... Aaron Bass 78-yard punt against Liberty is the longest in the SoCon this fall.
Defensive Stalwarts ... Senior linebacker Rahim El Amin and junior safety Ocasio Cofield have led the Buccaneer defense in recent games ... El Amin has recorded double-digit tackles in each of the last three games (14 at W. Carolina, 13 vs. App. State, 11 at The Citadel) while Cofield has accomplished the feat in the last two contests ... Cofield has led the team in tackles in each of the last two games (15 vs. App. State and 14 at The Citadel) ... Against the Bulldogs, El Amin made his first interception of the season while Cofield recovered his first fumble.
A Player By Any Other Name ... Three Buccaneer starters share the same first name -- senior linebacker Cory Bolden, senior wide reciever Corey Martin and freshman fullback Corey Carter ... All three namesakes have contributed greatly to this years squad -- Martin leads the team in receiving (27-472 yards), Carter leads the team in rushing (76-247 yards) and Bolden ranks second on the team in tackles (63).
Streaky ... The Bucs have grabbed at least one interception in every game this season ... Kicker Con Chellis has made two field goals in each of the last two games ... Quarterback Todd Wells has thrown one touchdown pass in each of the last three games ... ETSU has six tackles for loss in each of the last two contests.
Home-Dome Advantage ... ETSU has won 10 of its last 12 home games ... ETSU is 23-7 during the last five years in the Mini-Dome ... The Bucs are 1-1 in 2000, 5-1 last fall, 4-1 in 1998, 3-3 in 1997, 6-1 in 1996 and 4-0 in 1995 ... ETSU is 66-63-1 all time in the Dome.
Variety of Scores ... ETSU has scored in numerous ways this season ... Aside from nine rushing touchdowns and seven passing scores, the Bucs have scored on a fumble recovery and a blocked punt ... In the season-opener at Liberty, linebacker Rahim El Amin recovered a punt in the endzone ... Against Western Carolina, cornerback Howard Nix returned a blocked punt 31 yards for a touchdown.
Against Furman ... Furman leads the all-time series, 20-6 ... Furmans 48-21 win last season broke a three-game win streak by ETSU ... Furman is 8-4 in Johnson City and 8-3 in the Mini-Dome ... The last time these teams squared off in Memorial Center, the Bucs escaped 22-19 in double overtime.
Last Season ... Furman jumped on the Bucs early taking a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and 27-0 at halftime, en route to a 48-21 Homecoming win at Paladin Stadium (Oct. 23) ... Todd Wells was 14-of-24 for 138 yards ... Terrance Sims had a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter ... Rahim El Amin made a team-high 11 tackles ... The Paladins outgained the Bucs 553-406, including 358 rushing yards.
A Program First ... For the first time in ETSU football history, a quarterback ran for 100+ yards and passed for 200+ yards when Todd Wells ran for 108 and threw for 238 in a 38-3 win against VMI (Sept. 16).
Receiving Combo ... Wide-outs Corey Martin and Cecil Moore have been consistent all season ... After not making a catch in the season opener, Martin has 27 receptions in the past five contests ... Martin had his first 100-yard performance with 112 receving yards at The Citadel ... He leads the team with 472 receiving yards (78.7 yards/game) ... Moore has made 25 catches for 435 yards this season (72.5 yards/game) ... Martins seven catches at The Citadel and Moores seven vs. Appalachian State are tied for the team-high in 2000.
In Todd We Trust ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells has been very productive so far this fall, amassing 1,554 yards of total offense in the first six games ... Wells has thrown for 1,360 yards (96-of-172) and ranks third on the team with 194 rushing yards ... The 1997 SoCon Freshman of the Year led the Bucs in passing (115.6/game) and total offense (123.8/game) in 1999.
More than a Passing Frenzy ... Quarterback Todd Wells has thrown for over 200 yards in four of the first six games this season ... Wells passed for 283 at Liberty, 238 against VMI, 221 at Western Carolina and 275 at The Citadel ... Wells eclipsed 200 yards passing once last year -- 217 in a 38-10 win against Western Carolina.
In the Southern Conference ... The Bucs are 58-103 (21 seasons) in league games since joining the SoCon in 1979 ... Their best finish was second in 1996 when ETSU finished 7-1 in the league ... ETSU is 27-21 since 1994 and have been above .500 every year except 1998 (3-5) in that span ... The Bucs are 14-14 under Coach Paul Hamilton ... ETSU is 2-2 in the SoCon so far this fall.
Linebacker U? ... East Tennessee State hopes to have an All-America linebacker for the fourth consecutive season ... each of the last four years the Bucs have enjoyed a stellar linebacking corps ... gone from last years squad are two-time All-America Kevin Peterson (1998-99) and All-Southern Conference player Derek Fudge ... taking over in the middle this year is All-America candidate Rahim El Amin and All-Southern Conference candidate Cory Bolden ... linebacker Mario Hankerson earned All-America honors in 1997 ... All four of ETSUs top tacklers this season are linebackers: Bolden (53), Rahim El Amin (53), Russ Lindgren (43) and Lee Neisz (40).
Winning Season ... ETSU is playing for its third winning season in the past four years ... The Bucs finished last season 6-5 and went 7-4 in 1997 -- head coach Paul Hamiltons first campaign ... If the Bucs finish above .500 in 2000 it would be the fourth time in the past five years they accomplished the feat.
Leader of the Ship ... Fourth-year head coach Paul Hamilton has a 20-19 (.513) career record ... With the 20-7 win at The Citadel, Hamilton became the fastest to 20 career victories in program history ... Hamilton is ETSUs 16th head coach.
Pre-Season Honors ... Three Buc players earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors ... Seniors Rahim El Amin (linebacker), Terrance Sims (kick returner) and Denario Smalls (defensive back) earned the distinction ... Following last season, three Buccaneer players earned All-Conference honors: Jim Beverly (center), Derek Fudge (linebacker) and Kevin Peterson (linebacker).
On the Airwaves ... ETSU football and basketball fans can enjoy game broadcasts on WJCW-AM (910) -- the flagship station of the Buccaneer Radio Network ... Chip Kessler returns as the Voice of the Bucs after leaving the post in 1996 ... The pregame show, College Football Today, will air one hour before game time while the postgame show will run for 30 minutes following the final whistle ... Both shows are hosted by Bill Meade, program director of WJCW ... The Paul Hamilton show airs live from The Firehouse Restaurant every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m. on WJCW.