VIDEO: Florida Tech Panthers Look For Redemption Against North Alabama Tonight In Conference Showdown
By Daniel Supraner, Florida Tech Sports // October 7, 2017
Hosting Lions are defending conference champs
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights from the Panthers 23-21 loss last Saturday night including an interview with UWF head coach Pete Shinnick.
FLORENCE, ALABAMA— Coming off a devastating loss to West Florida in last weekend’s Coastal Classic, Florida Tech (3-2, 2-1 GSC) travels to Florence, Alabama to face North Alabama (1-3, 1-2 GSC) on Saturday night. Kickoff for the Gulf South Conference showdown is 6 p.m. ET at Braly Municipal Stadium.
The loss to UWF was FIT’s first in GSC action this season. The Panthers will look to bounce-back when they face the UNA on just their second-ever trip to Florence. This is the fourth all-time meeting between the teams, with UNA leading the series 3-0.
ABOUT NORTH ALABAMA
The Lions have been defeated in consecutive league games, falling to No. 21 West Alabama 38-17 and at No. 25 West Georgia 37-23 the past two weeks. UNA’s lone win this season came against Valdosta State, 30-24, on Sept. 16.
UNA comes into the game with the seventh ranked scoring offense (19.3) and scoring defense (26.8) in the GSC. Nick Taylor leads the Lions in rushing with 204 yards on 42 attempts. Taylor recorded 108 yards on 22 carries against UWG. Quarterback Rico Bruton has the most rushing touchdowns on the team, with three.
Bruton has 407 yards through the air with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Austin Hicks is the top receiver for UNA this season with 245 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 receptions.
The UNA defense has forced 10 turnovers this season, with six different players accounting for seven total interceptions. Chris Johnson leads the group with two interceptions, while Christon Taylor is the top tackler on the defense with 38.0.
Saturday is UNA’s Homecoming Game. The Lions are 48-19-1 all-time in their 68 previous Homecoming games, including a 12-0 mark since 2005.
ABOUT FLORIDA TECH
For Florida Tech, the Panthers rank fourth in the GSC in scoring offense (30.4) and are first in scoring defense (14.2). Running back Antwuan Haynes racked up 169 yards on the ground in the loss to West Florida for his third consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performance. Haynes leads the GSC in rushing (559), rushing yards per game (111.8) and per carry (6.58) and all-purpose yards per game (134.0).
The Panthers have received production from a pair of quarterbacks this season, in Mark Catoand Trent Chmelik. Cato has thrown for 572 yards and three scores and is 2-1 as a starter this season. Chmelik had his first start of the season against UWF. He passed for 127 yards and a touchdown, while picking up 62 yards and a score on the ground.
Romell Guerrier ranks second in the league with 319 receiving yards on 22 catches, and Demetrius Frazier is tied for second with three receiving touchdowns.
On defense, Adonis Davis is tied atop the GSC with 9.0 tackles for loss (2.25 per game) and four total sacks. The Panther backfield is one of the more active units in the league, with Yawn Coleman (5), J.T. Hassell (4) and Joe Jackson (4) all ranking among the top three in the conference.
Florida Tech will look to move above .500 all-time on the road against the Lions. FIT is 12-13 in road games, including a 6-8 record in GSC play. However, the Panthers have outscored opponents 817-742 in 25 games away from Panther Stadium.
Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will have the call from Braly Municipal Stadium on 89.5 FM WFIT and WFIT.org. Links to live coverage for Saturday’s game can be accessed at FloridaTechSports.com.
Join Alan Zlotorzynski for the Space Coast Daily Florida Tech Panther Kickoff Show on Space Coast Daily TV starting at 6:15 p.m.
Alan will also update you throughout the contest with updates at halftime and following the game.
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