Limestone University opens its 2022 football season tonight at 7 in Boiling Springs, NC, as the Saints travel to Gardner-Webb University. Tonight's game is a "Black Out" for the Runnin' Bulldogs, and Saints fans are encouraged to show up loud and proud in blue!
Limestone is being led by first-year head coach Mike Furrey, who also coached the Saints during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
GAME NOTES (from Limestone Sports Information)...
- Game 1: Limestone (0-0) at Gardner-Webb (0-0)
- Location: Spangler Stadium – Boiling Springs, NC
- Kickoff: 7 p.m.
- Series History: Gardner-Webb leads 1-0
- Last Meeting: September 1, 2018 – Gardner-Webb won 52-17 in Boiling Springs, NC
- The Saints are entering their ninth season of competition and their sixth as members of the SAC.
- Limestone is coming off a tough season in 2021, finishing with an 0-9 overall record and 0-7 in South Atlantic Conference play.
- Limestone averaged 272.8 yards per game of total offense during the shortened fall season.
- The Saints put up 105.8 yards per game on the ground while averaging 167 through the air.
- 11 different players reached the end zone for the Blue and Gold during the 2021 campaign.
- Defensively, Limestone allowed 177.7 passing yards per game, which ranked third in the SAC.
- The Blue and Gold finished second in the conference with 75 tackles per game.
- The Saints logged 11 turnovers on defense, hauling in six picks and recovering five fumbles.
- Due to various injuries, Limestone started four different quarterbacks during the 2021 campaign.
- Following the season, Mike Furrey, who coached the Saints in 2016 and 2017, returned to lead the program following a four-year stint in the NFL as the wide receivers coach with the Chicago Bears.
- Furrey immediately brought on coordinators Jake Kostner and Joe Staab from Power 5 schools.
- He also brought back Lane Knost as the team's recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach.
- Limestone's new staff features six coaches with professional football playing experience – Furrey, Nate Garner, Jerricho Cotchery, Riley Swanson III, Anthony Hargrove, and Jordan Todman.
LIMESTONE PLAYERS TO WATCH...
- The Saints return one All-South Atlantic Conference player from 2021 in senior Cameron Thomason (Greenville, S.C.). This was the second time in Thomason's career that he earned the honor of All-Conference.
- Junior Dustin Noller (Rock Hill, S.C.) returns and will see snaps under center for the Blue and Gold. Noller, who started in just four games due to various injuries, led the team in passing efficiency (125.0), completion percentage (59.1), yards (613), yards per game (153.2), and passing touchdowns (5).
- Senior Caden Peeler (Boiling Springs, S.C.) led the Saints last year with 25 catches for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns – he was one of eight players to haul in at least one touchdown reception.
- Senior Dylan Reeves (Raleigh, N.C.) comes off an impressive season, totaling 42 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks for the Blue and Gold.
- Graduate Chandler Corley (Columbia, S.C.) finished fourth on the team with 41 total tackles while garnering 3.5 tackles for loss
- Senior Zane Boozer (Liberty, S.C.) posted 31 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.
- Graduate WR Jadarius Hector (Stapleton, Ga.) hauled in 14 catches for 155 yards and one score.
- Senior Austin Kemp (Liberty, S.C.0 led the team with an average of 37.9 yards per punt, including nine over 50 yards
- The Runnin' Bulldogs finished the 2021 season with a 4-7 overall record and 2-5 in the Big South Conference.
- That record may be a bit deceiving as the Runnin' Bulldogs lost three of those games by one score, including a 34-30 loss to #10 Kennesaw State, which finished 2021 with an 11-2 record and advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs. Gardner-Webb also lost one score games against DI Hampton (27-21) in overtime and Charleston Southern (32-24) in double overtime.
- The Runnin' Bulldogs welcome back 24 starters and 62 letter-winners from last season, while claiming 10 spots on the preseason All-Big South Conference team, including preseason Big South Offensive Player of the Year Narii Gaither.
- Gardner-Webb is 26-24-2 in its season openers since beginning senior college football play in 1970.
- Limestone's Mike Furrey is one of four head coaches on Gardner-Webb's 2022 schedule who played in the NFL, joining Campbell's Mike Minter, North Carolina A&T's Sam Washington and Robert Morris' Bernard Clark.