Furman vs. Chattanooga
The Game: #6 Chattanooga at Furman
Last Week: The Fighting Football Paladins opened SoCon play with a tough 19-14 loss against 16th-ranked The Citadel (The 16th-ranked Citadel?). Furman took the lead at the end of the 3rd quarter only to see the Bulldogs get the decisive points with just over two minutes left in the game. On one hand, Furman played a ranked team close on the road. On the other hand, it felt like a game the Paladins really should have won.
Are We Any Good? The defense seems to be pretty good. The offense? That's up for debate. The ground game was almost non-existent down in Chucktown. Yet at the same time, our starting tailback Darius Morehead was injured during the first half. Blazejowski threw three passes to the wrong guys (though the final was a desperation heave) yet looked in control other times. Ultimately, the result was only 14 points on the scoreboard and that is not going to win you many games. Going back to what I said at the beginning of the season, Furman could start this season 0-4 and be a better team than last year. However, any glimmer of hope for a shot at the conference championship or the playoffs ultimately lives and dies with this week's game (barring some 2013-like screwiness).
Opposing Team's Mascot: The Mocs, formerly Mocassins, which was abandoned in the mid-90s for what I believe are fairly obvious reasons. Chattanooga went through somewhat of an identity crisis as they paired the Mocs nickname with all sorts of train imagery, a bird in a conductor's hat, and a train-riding turtle in a mock turtleneck sweater (one of those may not be true). Officially, Mocs is short for the official state bird of Tennessee and high school literature classes: the Mockingbird. Convoluted history aside, I've got to tip my hat to Chattanooga side stepping a potentially offensive mascot, tweaking the name, and it being one that is somewhat unique.
Suggested Hashtag: I can't do #ToKillAMockingbird because Atticus Finch said it was a sin to do such a thing. And that was the only time Atticus said something was a sin (we are not going to get into Go Set a Watchman right now because that throws this entire conversation out of whack). We've got to zig where we could have zagged and go with:
-This week is not only Furman's home opener, but they are holding a Blackout at Paladin Stadium. The good guys will suit up in their black uniforms and the fans are encouraged to dress up in all black. I have a hunch half the student body that comes to the game will mess this up unless Vineyard Vines has a new all-black collection (but, hey, I'll be glad if they show up).
-Furman leads this series 27-18 mainly because they didn't lose to Chattanooga from the time that I was a seventh grader until I had been married for five years and had a son. Unfortunately my youngest son has lived in a world where we have never beaten Chattanooga. So Furman: #WinOneForLiam.
-I feel like I should include some actual football content in this category, so tip of the hat to linebacker Byron Johnson. The senior led the Paladins with a career-high 14 tackles last week.
Anything else? Go Paladins!