In a game hear on the Fan Upstate Saturday night, The Furman defense was opportunistic in their 27-14 win in Johnson City to open SoCon play. The Paladin defense forced 4 turnovers in the game while allowing just over 350 total yards and just 80 on the ground.
The defensive performance bolstered Furman as the offense got off to a slow start. The Paladins managed just 6 points on two field goals most of the 1st half. Both of those field goals came on short fields that were set up by takeaways by the defense.
Furman Safety Hugh Ryan had a monster 1st half, the South Carolina native and Dutch Fork High product had an interception and a forced fumble that set up the two Furman field goals. ETSU would then hit on a big play in the passing game when QB Tyler Riddell found WR Einaj Carter for a 75 yard TD strike. That put ETSU up 7-6 late in the 2nd Quarter. Furman would then re-take the lead on a Tyler Huff TD pass to Wayne Anderson Jr. The Paladins would take a 13-7 lead into the halftime break.
Furman would strike 1st in the 2nd half after putting together their best offensive drive of the game. That drive would go 89 yards on 14 plays and chew nearly 6 minutes off the clock, it was capped by a 3 yard TD pass from Huff to TE Ryan Miller. That extended Furman's lead to 13 at 20-7 in the 3rd quarter. ETSU would answer on their next drive, going 75 yards on 9 plays in 3 minutes. They would score on Carter's 2nd TD catch of the game. That cut Furman's lead to 6 at 20-14 after three.
Both defenses would shine in the fourth quarter forcing a combined 6 straight punts, three of those came and after three and outs. Furman's defense would come big again forcing it's 4th turnover of the game late in the 4th. That takeaway came when DB Dominic Morris intercepted a Riddell pass with just over a minute left. Furman would score on a 46 yard TD run from RB Dominic Roberto TD run to seal the deal at 27-14.
With the win, Furman moves to 2-1 on the season and more importantly 1-0 in SoCon play. ETSU falls to 1-2 on the season and 0-2 in conference after being picked to win the league in the preseason. Furman is back at it Saturday when they take on Charleston Southern in non-conference action. That game is set for a noon kickoff. You can hear every Furman game, all season long on The Fan Upstate.