Travis Blackshear returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown on the fifth play from scrimmage and Dan Scianna had a 67-yard pick-6 in the fourth quarter to help Furman beat Tennessee Tech 45-10 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Dominic Roberto scored on a pair of 9-yard runs for Furman. Kyndel Dean added five receptions for 56 yards and scored on an end around from the 6 midway through the second quarter. Jayquan Smith's 6-yard TD run capped the scoring with 2:41 to play.
The Paladins defense — which led the FCS in takeaways (29) and interceptions (18) last season — forced six Tennessee Tech turnovers (four interceptions and two fumble recoveries) and got a fourth-down stop in its own territory late in the third quarter with a 24-10 lead.
Ethan Roberts made his first start for Tennessee Tech and completed 25 of 38 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. True freshman Jordyn Potts was 1-of-3 passing for 8 yards with an interception.
Furman — ranked No. 6 in the preseason FCS coaches’ poll, the Paladins’ highest preseason ranking since 2006 — returns 20 starters and 38 of the 44 players on the final two-deep depth chart from last season, when they advanced to the second round of the playoffs and finished ranked No. 10.
Blackshear, a two-time all-Southern Conference selection, had two interceptions in the last meeting between the teams, a 26-0 Furman win on Sept. 11, 2021.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll