Grainger, a redshirt freshman, played in four games and started against Elon a year ago before earning the starting job.
Picked to finish second in the Southern Conference and ranked in two different Football Championship Subdivision polls, Furman kicked off its season at home for the first time since 2015 with its first-ever meeting with Charleston Southern.
The loss spoiled the head coaching debut of Charleston Southern's Autry Denson, who became just the fifth head coach in Buccaneers history in January. Jamey Chadwell, who guided CSU past The Citadel in the 2013 opener, is the only coach to win his debut at the school.
Grainger capped a six-play, 46-yard drive by scoring from the 4 for the game's first touchdown. Devin Abrams and Devin Wynn each had first-half touchdown runs as the Paladins held a 24-6 advantage at intermission.
Terrence Wilson scored on a 52-yard run for Charleston Southern and Jack Chambers bulled in from the 1 to get the Buccaneers within two touchdowns, 24-13 early in the third quarter, but Grainger connected with Ryan DeLuca on a six-yard pass and Furman added a two-point conversion to make it 32-13 before Carson Maples and freshman Wayne Anderson, Jr. each broke for 66-yard touchdown runs less than three minutes apart in the fourth quarter to set the final score.
Wynn finished with 12 carries and 131 yards while Furman rolled to 369 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
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