October 9, 2013

Furman To Kick off Season's Second Half Saturday At Chattanooga

Watch Furman vs. Chattanooga - Pregame Outlook

Furman vs. Chattanooga Game Notes (PDF)

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman kicks off the second half of its 2013 campaign this Saturday when it travels to Chattanooga to take on the Mocs in a Southern Conference matchup at Finley Stadium.  Kickoff for the WatchESPN3 televised game, which will highlight UTC's Homecoming Weekend, is set for 6:00 p.m.

Furman (2-3,1-1 SoCon) will face a tremendous challenge in Chattanooga (3-2, 1-1 SoCon), the league coaches preseason No. 1 pick which is coming off an impressive 42-21 home beat down of Western Carolina last Saturday.

The Paladins, meanwhile, will try to regroup after coming up short, 28-25, to Elon last Saturday in Greenville.

Furman's bid to return to the win column could get a boost if venue results and series history play a part as the Paladins are a perfect 8-0 versus Chattanooga in Finley Stadium and have won nine straight against the Mocs in Chattanooga dating back to 1995, including a 14-7 verdict in 2011.  UTC, however, handled Furman, 31-10, in Greenville last year in notching its second consecutive win in Paladin Stadium.  The Paladins lead the all-time series 27-15.

Darren Goldwater will call the play-by-play action and Paul Maguire color analysis for the WatchESPN3 telecast.

The radio broadcast will be presented by the Furman Sports Network featuring flagship station WGOG-FM 96.3 in Seneca and Greenville's FoxSports AM 1440.  In addition, fans can access the game broadcast via stadium transmitter at FM 105.9 and audio stream through Stretch Internet at FurmanPaladins.com.  Dan Scott, the "Voice of the Paladins," will call the play-by-play and be joined by Corey Stewart with color commentary.

Live stats will be provided by UTC and linked through FurmanPaladins.com. Fans can click on the live stats link located in the schedule box on the home page.

Furman is expected to start true freshman quarterback Duncan Fletcher, who is coming off a SoCon Freshman of the Week performance against Elon in his first career start.  Stepping in for Paladin sophomore signal caller Reese Hannon, who did not play against the Phoenix due to a knee injury sustained two weeks ago versus The Citadel, Fletcher completed 25-of-38 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown against Elon, rallying the Paladins from a 28-10 halftime deficit with a pair of second half touchdown drives covering 83 and 94 yards.

The 6-foot-3, 202-pound Columbus, Ga., product, who began the season as Furman's No. 4 signal caller, has advanced up the depth chart following season ending injuries to Paladin quarterbacks Dillon Woodruff (shoulder) and Terry Robinson (knee).  Hannon is listed as doubtful for the UTC game.

The Paladins are paced offensively by junior running back Hank McCloud (459 yds., 4 TDs).  Last week against Elon he ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and caught a 29-yard scoring strike from Fletcher.

Junior Gary Robinson (22 rec., 341 yds., 2 TDs) leads Furman's receiving corps, which also boasts another fast rising freshman in Andrej Suttles (16 rec., 144 yds.).
A young Furman defense that features four sophomores and two freshmen among the projected starting 11 and no seniors in its front seven two-deep, has shown improvement over the last two weeks despite the absence of sophomore linebacker Cory Magwood, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury.  The Paladins, who lead the SoCon in rushing defense (139.4 ypg) and rank second in the league in total defense (343.4 ypg), are sure to get a test against a UTC offense that boasts impressive balance.

Saturday's clash will mark a homecoming of sorts for a pair of Paladins who call Chattanooga home, including sophomore nose guard John Mackey (Baylor H.S.) and redshirt freshman linebacker T.J. Warren (Ooltewah H.S.).  Mackey has registered 22 tackles, including three for-loss, in his first season of starting duty.  Warren, meanwhile, has started the last two games and has collected 16 tackles, including four for-loss, and a sack this fall.  He garnered SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors two weeks ago for his stellar play in the Paladins' 24-17 victory over The Citadel in Charleston.