On a day designed to honor the victims of 9/11, fans, coaches and athletes packed college football stadiums all across the country to cheer on their teams, play football and remember 20 years ago.
“Our players should feel very blessed to be able to play today as am I to be able to coach today. I am also proud to see all the awesome things that Tech did to honor 9/11 on the 20th anniversary, said head coach Dwayne Alexander.”
However the slow start to the 2021 season continued. Tech hosted Furman on Sept. 11, and fell to the Paladins 26-0. The loss dropped Tech to 0-2 on the season, and 0-1 at home. The loss to Furman followed a loss the previous week on the road at Samford.
“They were put in some really bad spots several times and short field several times we could never get anything consistently going offensively. We started the game with a really good drive and we were just not able to finish the drive,” said Alexander.
Tech played two quarterbacks against Furman. Davis Shanley was six of 21 for 60 yards, but threw three interceptions. Willie Miller also played at quarterback and was five of eight for 38 yards. Ninety eight total yards passing was no match for Furman’s throwing the ball for 204 total yards.
“They have a very explosive offense with a bunch of players who are All American on Furman’s offense ,” said Alexander.
While the passing game was somewhat close, the biggest difference was the running game. Furman running back Devin Wynn carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards, and scored two touchdowns. As a team, the Paladins combined for 167 yards rushing, and held Tech to just 23.
“The guys on defense have stepped up and they did have a tough game on the passing side as well.” “We also need to create some turnovers defensively as well,” said Alexander.
Tech will try to correct the start of the sea- son next Saturday. It won’t be easy as they travel to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The Volunteers are coming off a home loss to Pittsburgh 41-34 on Sept. 11.
Tennessee first year head coach Josh Heupel stated the Volunteers had too many mistakes against Pittsburgh, while at the same time dealing with a lot of injuries.
“Got a bunch of guys banged up,” Heupel said in a press conference after the loss to Pittsburgh.
“You guys saw that unfold with guys that weren’t able to compete from Week 1 or weren’t on the field. I don’t have an update on everybody. As we go through this weekend, obviously we’ll be able to learn more about guys … if they’ll be ready to play next week.”
Tech will be at home inside Tucker Stadium on Sept. 25 to begin Ohio Valley Conference play against Eastern Illinois University (EIU). Currently EIU is 0-3 with losses to Indiana State, South Carolina and Dayton.