Monday, November 2, 2015

Game #9: Furman Paladins

In game nine of the 2015 season, the Catamounts return to Whitmire Stadium, to play that other purple team, the Furman Paladins, in the final home game of the season.

This game is Senior Day, as well as, Hall of Fame Day and the All Sports Reunion, in Cullowhee.

The Cats trail Furman 11-29-2 all-time in the series that dates back to 1971, when Western Carolina joined the Southern Conference.

WCU has lost 15 of the last 17 meetings, having dropped eight straight to the Paladins until last season, when the Cats broke that string with a win in Greenville.

Western Carolina’s last home win over the Paladins came in 2005 when the Cats handed the second-ranked Paladins, a 41-21 defeat in Cullowhee.


: Saturday, November 7th at 3:30 pm
Where : E.J. Whitmire Stadium. Cullowhee, NC
Radio : Catamount Sports Network
Network TV / video: SoCon Digital Network

Game Notes:     Western Carolina    -     Furman
SoCon Weekly Teleconference  -  Coach Speir    -     Coach Fowler

Head Coach: Bruce Fowler - Entering his fifth season at the head of Paladin football, Fowler has firmly applied his stamp on a Paladin football program he has served for a quarter century as a player, assistant coach, and head coach. A Cincinnati, Ohio, native who served as an assistant coach on the Paladin staff for 18 years before spending nine seasons in the capacities of defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Vanderbilt University, Fowler is the 22nd head coach in the history of Furman football, which dates from 1889.

Last year’s record (Furman): 3-9 overall (home 2-4, road 1-5) and 2-5 SoCon.

Last Season's Game vs. Furman (Sep 27, 2014): Catamount Football Wins Third-Straight, 35-17 at Furman  -  Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Spearman Robinson hauled in two receiving touchdowns and freshman tailback Detrez Newsome added two rushing scores as Western Carolina opened Southern Conference play with a convincing 35-17 road victory over Furman Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3
 -The Paladins lost Hank McCloud (RB), Tank Phillips (OG), and Tanner Skogen (FB), to graduation.
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3
-On defense, the Paladins lost the following starters - defensive end Gary Wilkins, defensive end Ira McCune, and Marcus McMorris to graduation
Specialist - Returning/Lost: 6 / 1
-lost Andy McMillan (HO)

Offensive Formation: Multiple
Defensive Formation: Multiple

Seven returning Furman Paladins were recognized as football All-SoCon performers for the 2014 season, junior linebacker Cory Magwood, and junior offensive guard Joe Turner earned first team recognition. Junior cornerback Reggie Thomas, junior wide receiver Jordan Snellings, and sophomore tight end Duncan Fletcher earned second team honors. Quarterback P.J. Blazejowski garnered SoCon All-Freshman Team laurels along with placekicker/punter Jon Croft Hollingsworth.
The Paladins were picked to finish fifth in both the media and coaches poll in 2015. In addition, five Paladins were named to the preseason all-conference squads. Furman's three preseason first team All-SoCon selections include senior offensive guard Joe Turner, junior tight end Duncan Fletcher, and senior linebacker Cory Magwood. Wide receiver Jordan Snellings and defensive tackle John Mackey, both seniors, were named to the second team.

2015 Paladin Statistics (YTD - 8 games):
Rushing Offense: 1302 yards
Yards per game: 121
Yards per rush: 3.6 yards
TDs rushing: 9
Passing Offense: 1492 yards or 186 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 135-244-10
Total Offense: 2548 yards or 319 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 66
Rushing 1st downs: 66
Fumbles-Lost: 11 - 4
Penalties-Yards: 45 - 401 yards
3d Down Conversions: 45 of 124 or 36%
4th Down Conversions: 6 of 8 or 67%
Field Goals - Attempts: 8 of 10
Red-Zone Scores: 15 of 17 (88%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 10 of 17 (59%)
Punts (No. Yards): 53 (2038 yds)
Avg. per punt: 39 yds
PAT-Attempts: 13 of 13 - 100%
Field Goals-Attempts: 8 of 10
On-Side Kicks: 0 of 1

Who did Furman play prior to the WCU game?
The Paladins are 4-4 overall, 2-2 at home and 2-2 on the road.  The Paladins are also 2-2 in conference, having beat VMI and Samford, losing to the same two teams Western has lost to, Chattanooga, and the Citadel.

Furman started the season with losses to Coastal Carolina and Virginia Tech, then put a three game winning streak together, beating FBS opponent UCF, VMI and SC State.  The Paladins dropped back to back games against the Mocs and the Citadel, before winning in Birmingham against Samford.

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