As the Panthers prepare to embark on another season, you do not have to scan far down the schedule to see that this year's opponents will offer some serious opposition. The season opens with Emory and Henry visiting Adams Field on September 4th. Once again, the Ferrum defense will be put to the test as All American running back Caleb Jennings returns for his Senior year. Jennings was the ODAC Player of the Year, and named All American by the AFCA, and D3football.com
Last year, Ferrum lost at Emory and Henry by the score of 24-21. Jennings ran for 163 yards. No other single running back the rest of the season would accumulate that many yards against the Panthers. Look for another close game, but a tough game.
In the second game of the season, after a week off, Ferrum will be at home again September 18th, as they host the Knights of Southern Virginia University. While many may look at this game and chalk it up as an easy win, those that have watched the Knights over the last couple of years should see a trend of improvement. First, Southern Virginia has increased the level of their competition taking on two FCS schools last year. This year they are scheduling 2 DII schools, and will be traveling to Wesley DE to take on the Wolverines. It also appears they they are having a successful off season in the recruiting department. As time progresses, this will be a team that will surprise people. Last year, Ferrum prevailed 28-21, scoring on a 96 yard drive in the fourth quarter.
The third game will see Ferrum on the road to take on ODAC power Bridgewater. Bridgewater will enter the season ranked #23 nationally in Lindy's Preseason poll. Always a quality program, Bridgewater will be looking to avenge losses from the last two seasons at the hands of Ferrum.
Last year Ferrum won in overtime on a Scott Puschell 28 yard field goal. This was his third field goal in the game. In 2008, Ferrum again traveled to Bridgewater and won 21-14. Look for the Eagles to be plenty fired up for their second home game of the year.
The next week is Homecoming for Ferrum as they host the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan......Need I say more? The Bishops are the defending USA South conference champions, and soundly defeated Ferrum last year 34-24.
It will be a difficult four games, but if Ferrum plays as they are capable of, you may see them sitting at the top of the USA South going into week 6...stay tuned.