Paladins Look To Break Thru Saturday At Colgate

Reed Kroeber
Reed Kroeber

Furman vs. Colgate Game Notes (PDF)

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's football team will look to break into the win column this Saturday when it travels to Hamilton, N.Y., to take on the Colgate Raiders in the Paladins' final non-conference matchup of the 2017 campaign.

Kickoff for the Patriot League live-streamed contest at Andy Kerr Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m.

Saturday's 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 on the broadcast by analyst David Cobb.  Former Paladin defensive back standout Marcus McMorris will provide sideline reports.

StatBroadcast live stats driven by Colgate can be accessed through FurmanPaladins.com.

Furman, which is coming off a 49-16 loss at N.C. State last Saturday following narrow defeats to Wofford (24-23) in the season opener and Elon (34-31) on Sept. 9, will look to extend its series success against Colgate.  The Paladins (0-3) topped the Raiders (1-2) in the 2008 inaugural meeting between the two programs and followed it up with a 45-15 triumph in Greenville in 2010.

Colgate kicked off its 2017 season with an impressive 20-14 road win over 23rd-ranked Cal Poly before dropping a 20-17 verdict to No. 9 ranked Richmond the following weekend.  Last Saturday the Raiders were overwhelmed by the University of Buffalo, 33-10.

"It doesn't get any easier this week against Colgate, which is a long trip, but I think our kids are really excited about the game against a formidable opponent," said head coach Clay Hendrix.  "We want to go win a football game."

The story of Furman's early season has been an offense that has flashed moments of consistency and brilliance; a defense that has been forced to deal with concentrated injuries at linebacker while looking to establish an identity and depth; and solid special teams play.

Furman's new offense sports good balance, combining to average nearly 370.0 yards per game.

The Paladins ground game, which has featured 12 ballcarriers, is paced by redshirt freshman Darius Morehead (181 yds., TD) and junior Triston Luke (112 yds., TD). 

Senior quarterback P.J. Blazejowski has passed for 542 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His favorite targets are wide receivers Thomas Gordon (8 rec., 243 yds., TD) and Logan McCarter (7 rec., 101 yds.), and tight end Andy Schumpert (5 rec., 120 yds., TD).  Gordon's 77-yard touchdown catch against Elon and Schumpert's 71-yard scoring reception versus N.C. State highlight the effectiveness of Furman's play action attack.

The Paladins' projected starting defensive lineup against Colgate is senior-less due, in part, to the loss to injury of linebackers Dillon Woodruff (broken leg) against Wofford and Adekunle Olusanya (dislocated elbow) versus N.C. State.  Their exits have thrust a pair of freshmen, Elijah McKoy and Reynard Ellis, into the two-deep and notable playing time.

The emergence of redshirt freshman Chris Washington (23 tackles) at the bandit position has been a positive development in the the Paladins' new "3-4" defensive scheme, as has the play of strong play of junior preseason All-SoCon safety Aaquil Annoor (28 tackles, 2.5 TFL, Sack, INT).

Freshman placekicker Grayson Atkins has gotten his career off to a sterling start, converting 5-of-6 field goals on the way to a league leading 22 points among kickers.  The Inman, S.C., product drilled a pair of 46-yard field goals, plus a 34-yard effort to highlight the Paladins' performance against the Wolfpack.

Senior Jon Croft Hollingsworth, meanwhile, continues to be effective in handling kickoff and punting chores.  Seven of his 15 kickoffs have been touchbacks, and he's averaging 41.3 yards per punt, aided by a career-long 71-yard boot against N.C. State.

All told 24 Paladin freshmen have seen action thus far this season.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information