#40 Furman FCS Football 2022 Preview

Furman Paladins
Overall Rank: #40
#4 SoCon
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Furman was so close to a great 2021 campaign. They were sitting at 4-2 in the middle of October and then lost three very tightly contested games. If those three went the way of the Paladins, they would have finished the year 9-2. Coach Clay Hendrix will hope that some of those games will go his way this year and Furman can return to the playoffs for the first time since 2019.
2021 Record: 6-5, 4-4
2021 Postseason: None
Coach: Clay Hendrix (31-23 at Furman, 31-23 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Justin Roper
Defensive Coordinator: Duane Vaughn and Chad Byers
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Dominic Roberto, RB, 709 yards
Passing: Jace Wilson, QB, 1,020 yards
Receiving: Ryan Miller, TE, 739 yards
Tackles: Hugh Ryan, S, 62
Sacks: Bryce Stanfield, DE, 3.0
Interceptions: Travis Blackshear, CB, 5
Other Key Returnees: RB Devin Abrams, WR Joshua Harris, OL Anderson Tomlin, OL Pearson Toomey, LB Braden Gilby, LB Bryce McCormick, LB Nicky Kuzemka, DL Luke Clark
Key Losses: QB Hamp Sisson, RB Devin Wynn, WR Ryan DeLuca, DT Parker Stokes, LB Elijah McKoy, S DiMarcus Clay, DL Adrian Hope
Jace Wilson and Hamp Sisson split time at quarterback last season, but now this will be Wilson’s team. Wilson ended up starting six games as a freshman last season and threw for 1,020 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. His completion percentage will need to improve, but that will come with experience. Tight end Ryan Miller easily led the team with 43 receptions for 749 yards and seven touchdowns. He should again be Wilson’s favorite target. The ground game has a solid one-two punch with Dominic Roberto and Devin Wynn and they will help turn the Furman offense into a balanced unit that can attack the opposition from any direction.
Like the offense, the Furman defense was generally quite solid from week to week. That consistency should continue with many of the key contributors returning. Bryce Stanfield and Luke Clark will lead the way when it comes to getting into the backfield. Braden Gilby, Bryce McCormick and Nick Kuzemka highlight an experienced group at linebacker. The secondary has a couple big time play makers in leading tackler Hugh Ryan and cornerback Travis Blackshear, who recorded five interceptions last season.
The Bottom Line:
As has become expected, Furman should once again be right in the mix for a spot in the playoffs. After a couple relatively meaningless games against North Greenville and Clemson as far as the playoff picture is concerned, the Paladins head to East Tennessee State for an important SoCon opener on September 17th. That game could set the tone for Furman’s season.
Projected Postseason: None
2021 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 184.1 (24th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 175.7 (92, 6)
Total Offense: 359.8 (65, 8)
Scoring Offense: 24.3 (76, 8)
Rushing Defense: 153.1 (62, 3)
Pass Defense: 230.0 (72, 8)
Total Defense: 383.1 (70, 4)
Scoring Defense: 23.5 (38, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.27 (41, 2)
Sacks: 1.73 (79, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.55 (33, 5)