Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2015 Football Preseason Preview: Furman

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2015 football opponents. Today we look at the 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 in Cullowhee.

The Cats trail Furman 11-29-2 all-time in the series that dates back to 1971, when the Cats 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

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 are 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.

2014 Paladin Statistics:
Rushing Offense: 1827 yards
Yards per game: 129.6
Yards per rush: 3.7 yards
TDs rushing: 84
Passing Offense: 2359 yards or 196.6 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 191-336-11
Total Offense: 2914 yards or 326 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 84
Rushing 1st downs: 99
Fumbles-Lost: 13 - 10
Penalties-Yards: 57 - 505 yards 3d Down Conversions: 54 of 163 or 33%
4th Down Conversions: 7 of 18 or 39%
Field Goals - Attempts: 10 of 20
Red-Zone Scores: 19 of 31 (61%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 13 of 31 (32%)
Punts (No. Yards): 65 (2537 yds)
Avg. per punt: 39 yds Sacks: 24
PAT-Attempts: 22 of 22 - 100%
Field Goals-Attempts: 10 of 20
On-Side Kicks: 0 of 1
Time of possession per game: 29:32

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