Football Looks to Shake Off Loss Against Furman


The Colgate football team had its second consecutive loss against Furman University this past weekend. The Raider defense remains strong while its offense is unable to maintain momentum and convert on opening drives. 

Neil Ahlawat, Maroon-News Staff

For the second straight week, a sloppy first-half of play doomed the outcome of the Colgate football team against the visiting Furman University Paladins. Mirroring the narrative of last Saturday’s game at Buffalo, most of the damage came within the first two quarters as the Raiders found themselves in a 38-7 hole at the half.  Three first-half fumbles proved costly for Colgate, allowing the Paladins to capitalize and score on six consecutive drives. 

Poised to score after a lengthy completion from first-year quarterback Grant Breneman setting up the Colgate Raiders offense deep in Furman territory, the first of three fumbles from Colgate took the momentum out of their opening drive and led to a 61-yard touchdown pass for Furman. 

“We weren’t ready to play, and that’s on me. The turnover after the long pass completion kind of took the wind out of our sails,” head coach Dan Hunt said.

Two ensuing strip-sack fumbles made it possible for Furman to score drives of 10 and 20 yards. 

“They scored 38 points in the first half on less than 270 yards of total offense. Turnovers and a short field – you can’t do that against a good team,” Hunt said.

Colgate’s first score came in the closing seconds of the first half, when rookie Breneman connected with junior Owen Rockett. The duo would go on to link up again later in the third quarter with this being Breneman’s first multi-touchdown game. Amid playing from behind for much of the game, the rookie quarterback played well in his second start, completing 21 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Junior wide receiver Owen Rockett finished with nine catches for 113 yards and two TD’s, all of which were career highs. 

In addition to forcing three fumbles, Furman’s defense was also able to limit a usually robust and reliable Colgate rushing attack to just 66 yards with a 1.8 yards-per-attempt average. The South Carolina squad now owns a 3-0 lead in its series against Colgate, and the two teams will meet again on September 15 at Furman next year. 

“We have to get better. What we are doing on offense right now is putting our defense in a hole,” Hunt said.

Following this contest, both teams’ overall records moved to 1-3. The Raiders look to put an end to their three game skid by rounding out non-conference play at a familiar opponent, Cornell (0-2) next week. The last time the two teams met resulted in a nail-biting thriller last year at homecomin, where the Big Red beat out the Raiders 39-38. Colgate, however, has won seven out of the last eight matchups between the central New York rivals. Kickoff will be next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y.

Contact Neil Ahlawat at [email protected]