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Furman To Kick Off Home Season Saturday Versus Elon

Triston Luke Buy Now
Triston Luke

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Coming off a bitter 24-23 road loss to nationally 11-ranked Wofford in its 2017 season opener under new head coach Clay Hendrix, Furman tees it up for the first time this season at home when it plays host to Elon in a 1:00 p.m. Saturday clash at Paladin Stadium.

The game will be broadcast via ESPN3 with Bob Mihalic calling the play-by-play and former Paladin quarterback and NFL coaching great Sam Wyche delivering analysis.

The radio broadcast will be carried over the Furman IMG Sports Network, headed up by flagship station Fox Sports 1440.  It will also be streamed through FurmanPaladins.com and via the Tune-In and iHeart applications.  Dan Scott, "The Voice of the Paladins", is set to deliver the play-by-play, and he will be joined in the booth by analyst David Cobb.  Former Paladin defensive back standout Marcus McMorris will provide sideline reports.

Elon (0-1), which competed in the Southern Conference from 2002-13 before departing for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), claimed a 28-25 win over Furman (0-1) in 2013 in the last meeting between the two schools and enters Saturday's contest having won three straight in Paladin Stadium.  In  fact, the Phoenix have captured five of the last six clashes with Furman, which still own an 11-6 advantage in the series on the strength of 10 wins in the first 11 clashes.

A 2-9 team a year ago, Elon, which is guided by first first year Phoenix head coach Rich Cignetti, fell to Toledo, 27-13, on Aug. 31.

Furman came within a whisker of upsetting consensus league preseason favorite Wofford last Saturday in Spartanburg, pulling to within 24-23 following a 44-yard touchdown run by Triston Luke with less than a minute to go before failing to convert a potential game winning two-point conversion.

The Paladins, who led 17-10 after three quarters, displayed a new, balanced offensive attack against the Terriers, rushing for 159 yards and passing for 224 to finish with 383 total yards against one of the nation's top rated defensive units.

Senior quarterback P.J. Blazejowski connected on 13-of-24 passes to account for all of the Paladins aerial yardage, and he also ran for a touchdown.

His favorite targets were a pair of wide receivers, sophomore Thomas Gordon (5 rec., 107 yds.) and senior Logan McCarter (5 rec., 60 yds.).

The return of redshirt freshman running back Darius Morehead (10 rushes, 56 yds.) from a concussion that ended his 2016 campaign was a bright spot in the Paladin ground game.

Defensively, senior Adekunle Olusanya and redshirt freshman outside linebacker Chris Washington, who made his first career start, paced Furman with 11 tackles.  The Paladins were dealt a blow when senior inside linebacker Dillon Woodruff suffered a season ending leg injury early in the game.

Preseason All-SoCon nose guard Jaylan Reid had a solid outing against Wofford, notching five tackles and forced fumble.

A total of 17 freshmen and seven first-time starters registered playing time against the Terriers.

The Game: Furman Paladins (0-1) vs. Elon Phoenix (0-1)
Site: Greenville, S.C. (Paladin Stadium, on the campus of Furman University)
Kickoff: 1:04 PM ET
Broadcast: ESPN3, Bob Mihalic (pbp), Sam Wyche (color)
Radio: Furman IMG Sports Network (FoxSports 1440/Greenville, Stadium Transmitter 95.9 FM): Dan Scott (pbp), David Cobb (color), Marcus McMorris (sideline)
Audio Stream: TuneIn.com accessible through FurmanPaladins.com
Tickets: Available (FurmanPaladins.com); Timmons Arena, East Stands Box Offices Open 11:00 AM
Gates Open: 11:00 AM
Game Sponsor: Miller Direct

Pre-Game Activities:
    10:30 AM    --    NateC. The Chief "The Official DJ of the Furman Paladins" Performs
    11:30 AM    --    Paladin Club Zone Opens (Paladin Stadium)
    11:45 AM    --    Paladin Regiment March/Concert (Timmons Arena to PAC Circle)
    12:04 AM    --    Champions Walk (Paladin Stadium)
 
Special Promotions/Giveaways:
 + Paladin Club Zone, located in the area between the home stands and field house, opens 90 minutes prior to kickoff and will include a Diamond F Tote Bag giveaway sponsored by Tucanos, Thomas Creek Brewery, Total Wine & More, and Laura Lynn
+ The "Champions Walk" is scheduled to begin approximately 60 minutes prior to kickoff with Bojangles Foam Fingers and 2,000 Furman Football Schedule Magnets
+ Bojangles BoBerry Biscuit Coupons

In-Game Promotions:
Family Dental Health Smile Cam, Available Technology Fan Photo of the Game, Palmetto Pride Fanatic Fan of the Game, Mast General Store T-Shirt Toss, Papa John's If We Win You Win Online promotion, Ingles Kicking Hunger Promotion, Ingles Show Us Your Card, Greenville Heritage FCU Take Away Giveback Promotion, TapSnap Tailgater of the Game, Children's Museum of the Upstate Tiny Tailgater of the Game, Chic-Fil-A Cow Toss

Halftime:
Furman University Paladin Regiment

In-Game Recognitions/Promotions:
Quarter 1 Break -- Dave Hansen (Sir Paladin) Retirement Recognition
Quarter 3 Break -- Women's Tennis SoCon Championship Recognition
Media Timeouts -- ScanSource Student Athlete of the Month Recognition

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information