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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / UTC football players take the field for their game against ETSU on Oct. 17 at Finley Stadium.

UTC (4-4, 3-1 SoCon) vs. NO. 13 FURMAN (5-3, 4-1)

Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019

2 p.m. at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga

 

VIDEO & RADIO

ESPN+ & 97.7 FM/1070 AM

 

THE MATCHUP

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga must win this game to remain in the hunt for the Southern Conference championship. To do that the Mocs must contain a Furman offense that has averaged 32 points and 423 yards per game, and they must also find a way to score against a defense that leads the conference by allowing an average of only 19 points per game. The Paladins have won two straight meetings in the series after the Mocs captured the previous five, with UTC scoring only 27 points in the two losses.

 

ONE TO WATCH

In what should be a tight contest, Furman's Grayson Atkins could change the game with his place-kicking and his punting. The junior is the rare double-duty college kicker, sporting an average of 42.4 yards per punt and having made eight of nine field-goal attempts this season. The only miss was the result of a bad snap in the Paladins' 28-7 win at Western Carolina last Saturday, though Atkins made up for it with a 55-yarder that matched a school record.

 

IN THE END

Furman is ranked 13th in both Football Championship Subdivision polls listed by the NCAA and has the better résumé, having taken leads into the fourth quarter against Football Bowl Subdivision teams Georgia State and Virginia Tech, but the Mocs are just what the Paladins don't want to see: a physical team with a strong ground game and an improved run defense. Freshman phenom Ailym Ford — who is closing on 1,000 rushing yards — and the O-line will put together enough long drives to keep UTC's title hopes alive.

 

PREDICTION

UTC 24, Furman 21

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

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