With the Elon University football team set to make its first postseason appearance since 2009, the No. 15 Phoenix prepares to host tomorrow’s playoff game against No. 22 Furman University.


THE GOOD

  • After collecting an 8-3 record this year, bettering last year's record by six wins, Elon comes into the playoffs with the confidence of a reinvigorated program. 
  • Elon has won six of the last seven matchups against the Paladins of Furman, including a 34-31 decision earlier this season.
  • Elon enters the game with the newly named Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Rookie of the Year, Davis Cheek, who went 26-35 in the first matchup, throwing for 301 yards and three touchdowns. 
  • Newly named CAA Coach of the Year, Curt Cignetti, has some familiarity with the playoffs. Cignetti came to Elon after coaching for six seasons at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he led his Crimson Hawks team to the NCAA Division II playoffs in both 2015 and 2016.

THE BAD

  • Elon is hosting its first playoffs game since winning the 1981 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) title, and making only its first playoffs appearance since the 2009 FCS playoffs. In 2009, the Phoenix’s postseason run came to a quick end, falling at No. 4 Richmond 16-13. 
  • The Phoenix has had a flare for the dramatics this season. Elon has won eight games this year, but the largest margin of victory was only eight points against the College of William & Mary on Oct. 7. In the game against the Paladins on Sept. 9, Elon won, 34-31, off of a field goal from freshman kicker Owen Johnson with five seconds remaining in the game. The Phoenix hopes not to have another barnburner on Saturday.
  • The Phoenix enters the first round of the playoffs coming off of two-straight loses, falling 6-16 in Durham, New Hampshire, against the Wildcats of UNH on Nov. 11 and losing 3-31 at home to the reigning national champion James Madison University Dukes last week. 

TOMORROW

Kick off against the Paladins is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 25, at Rhodes Stadium. 

Follow @SportsENN on Twitter for game updates. You can also watch the action on ESPN3.


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