For the Catamount's eighth game of the season, the #14 ranked Furman Paladins travel up the mountain to the Cullowhee valley for the 2019 football edition of The Football Battle for Purple Supremacy. The Cats have dropped three straight to the Paladins and are looking for a Homecoming victory.
Game #8 - #14 Furman Paladin
: Saturday, October 26 at 3:30 pm
: E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field, Cullowhee, NC
: Catamount Sports Network
: Gary Ayers (PBP), Greg McLamb (color)
TV/video: ESPN3 or ESPN+
: Daniel Hooker (PBP), Color: Rik Richards; Sideline: Summer McMahan
: WCU Live Stats
: WCU - Furman
: The Cats are 12-31-2 overall against the Paladins in the series in a series that started back in 1972. The Cats have lost 3 in a row to Furman, with the last win coming in 2015 in Cullowhee, by a final score of 48-10. Coach Speir is 2-5 vs. the Paladins.
: Clay Hendrix
- Introduced as Furman’s new head football coach on December 19, 2016, Clay Hendrix in two seasons has already reinvigorated a Paladin football program long accustomed to success.
Hendrix, a former standout Paladin offensive guard and assistant coach who returned to his alma mater following a decade as an assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy, directed Furman to an 8-5 campaign and Football Championship (FCS) playoff appearance in 2017, improving on a three-win 2016 season and defying a preseason No. 7 Southern Conference tab by playing for a share of league title in the regular-season finale en route to finishing a consensus No. 20 in two major FCS polls.
The last game played vs. Furman
: September 29, 2018 - Second Half Comeback Falls Short at Furman, 44-38
- Greenville, S.C. – Tyrie Adams tossed a career-high-tying five touchdown passes including two apiece to Daquan Patten and Owen Cosenke while accounting for 472 yards of total offense on Saturday afternoon, but Western Carolina was unable to overcome a 21-point halftime deficit, falling to the Furman Paladins, 44-38, in Southern Conference action at Paladin Stadium.
Games that the Paladins played before the WCU contest:
The Paladins opened the season at home against Big South foe Charleston Southern with a 46-13 win. The Paladins then played back-to-back FBS opponents, a loss to Georgia State 42-48), then traveled to Virginia Tech for the second loss of the season. Furman opened its conference season at home against Mercer with a 45-10 victory, then remain at home to play ETSU, picking up a 17-19 win. The Paladins then hit the road to Birmingham to play Samford, and a 58-14 win over the Bulldogs, then returned home to play the Citadel, who pulled off the upset with a 10-27 win over the Paladins.
Last Season's Record (Furman)
: 6-4 overall, 3-1 home, 3-3 away, 6-2 in the SoCon
This Season's Record (Furman): 4-3 overall, 3-1 home, 1-2 away, 3-1 in the SoCon
: Multiple (option - flexbone look)
-2018 Offensive: 27.2 ppg. (64th in FCS)
-2018 Defensive: 28.2 ppg. (61st in FCS)
: 17 / 7
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost
: 8 / 3
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost
: 7 / 4
Specialist - Returning/Lost
: 2 / 0
Lettermen - Returning/Lost:
41 / 18
The defending co-champion and nationally ranked #14 Furman Paladins were ranked to finish second-place in a both preseason polls by the SoCon coaches and media. In other honors, first-team all-conference tabs were junior offensive tackle Bo Layton, redshirt sophomore bandit Adrian Hope, and junior placekicker Grayson Atkins.
Named to the second team were junior tailback Devin Wynn, redshirt senior offensive tackle Andy Godwin, senior wide receiver Thomas Gordon, and junior linebacker Elijah McKoy.
Furman's defense is led by a pair of inside linebackers, senior Donavan Perryman (75 tackles, 3 TFL in '18) and junior Elijah McKoy (91 tackles, 2 sacks in '18), redshirt sophomore All-American bandit Adrian Hope (FCS leading 15.0 sacks in '18), and senior safety Bryan Okeh, whose 24 career starts top all defenders.
On special teams, the Paladins junior All-American placekicker Grayson Atkins does it all (11x13 FGs, including four from 50+yards in '18), he also handles the punting (42.8 avg. in '18) and kickoff duties that saw him register a league-best 25 touchbacks in 2018.
The Paladins were upset and embarrassed last week on their Homecoming, by arch-rival The Citadel in Traveler's Rest, so we can expect the Paladin's best effort against the Catamounts. Of most concern to the Catamounts is their running game, averaging 6.2 years per carrying this season. Given that the Cats defense has had little to no success in the rush defense, this week's opponent my surpass last week's rushing total by the Wofford Terriers of 428 yards, averaging 8.7 years per carry. Folks, this could get real ugly.
2019 Furman Statistics (7 games)
: 2132 yards
Yards per game
Yards per rush
: 6.2 yards
Rushing 1st downs
: 1037 yards or 148 yards per game
Avg. per pass:
Passing 1st downs:
: 2997 yards or 428.1 ypg
3d Down Conversions
: 39/86 - 45.35 %
4th Down Conversions
: 4/9 - 44.44 %
: 6 of 6
: 1 of 3
Red Zone Scores
: 23 of 24
Red Zone Touchdown
s: 21 of 24
Avg per punt
: 43 yards
: 9 - 5
: Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have only a 3% probability of winning (14-42) over the Paladins. According to Massey, Western Carolina should be 1-7 after this game. I've got to agree on the loss for the Cat's Homecoming game in Cullowhee.
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