Last season showed Furman to be about what it has been for most of the past decade: an average team. The Paladins went 6-5, finishing the season with two straight wins to get over .500. Their offensive and defensive numbers matched the record last year where most metrics were close on both sides of the ball.
One thing Furman has been able to lean on in recent years is its rushing offense. But that faltered, starting in the Spring season and continued into the fall. Instead of being a team rushing for over 200 yards, that number dipped to 184 yards per game and the passing game did not account for that drop off.
The defense kept them in some games by forcing turnovers, but this was not a team that was going to come from behind. It looks like more of the same this year with a team that will probably be in the middle third of a competitive Southern Conference.
TE Ryan Miller is list on the roster as a tight end, but his size and ability portends to more of a wide receiver. Last year Miller had 43 catches for 749 yards and seven touchdowns, all of which easily led the team. No one else on the team had more than 2 touchdown catches.
RB Dominic Roberto led the Paladins in rushing last season. Roberto carried only 96 times last year but gained a whopping 7.4 yards per carry, a total that would have led the FCS had he had enough touches to qualify. He will be the unquestioned number one back this season with Devin Wynn no longer in the backfield.
CB Travis Blackshear is not a guy you want to try to attack as an opposing offense. Last season, Blackshear hauled in five interceptions to lead the team. As a senior, Blackshear will look to build on last year and potentially position himself for looks from NFL scouts.
Key Game: October 29 vs. Chattanooga
Worst Case: Furman continues their downward trend and finishes in the bottom of the SoCon standings.
Best Case: The run game gets back on track and the defense improves enough to allow the Paladins to compete for a playoff berth.
Furman 2022 Season
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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