The Furman Paladins of the FCS may not be a team you are familiar with, but they come into Columbia on Saturday to face off against the Missouri Tigers in the third week of the season. What should Tigers fans expect to see Saturday afternoon?
The Paladins have started the season 2-0 behind the play of their veteran quarterback Jordan Sorrells. This left-handed senior won the starting job in spring practices over UCLA transfer and former 4-star recruit Chris Forcier. Sorrells is experienced in Furman's offense, so expect him to execute the game plan well without making too many mistakes. However, he could get shaky if the Mizzou defense can put pressure on him early and often.
Tersoo Uhaa has led the rushing attack so far this season for the Paladins. Although he is listed as a fullback, he is averaging 18 carries per game and has already scored 4 touchdowns this season. This success on the ground is surprising considering the fact that Furman lost 3 starters from their 2008 offensive line. The Paladins are averaging over 200 yards on the ground in their first 2 games this year, which is a staggering number. Granted those wins were over Presbyterian and Chattanooga, but the numbers show that they could be a run first team this year.
On the other side of the ball, Furman has also performed well this season, allowing about 20 points per game (reminding you again, the games were against Presbyterian and Chattanooga). The pass rush has been lacking, having only recorded 2 sacks so far this year. However, the defense has forced 4 turnovers and they do have 10 tackles for loss, so they have the ability to make game changing plays. Furman runs a 4-2-5 defense which basically means that their base defense has 4 defensive lineman, 2 true linebackers and 5 defensive backs (including a safety, bandit and rover). It should be interesting to see how Blaine Gabbert and the rest of the offense perform against this kind of defense.
Obviously, Tiger fans should expect this to be an easy win for their team and I see no reason why it shouldn't be. The team got their scare last week and I can guarantee they are more focused coming into this game then they were going into the game against Bowling Green. Expect a fun atmosphere at "The Zou" and expect a Tiger win, something like 45-13.
For a deeper look at the starters for Furman, go to my "Furman Team Breakdown:" http://missouri.scout.com/2/879737.html