WATCH: Florida Tech Hosts GSC Foe Shorter Tonight From Florida Tech Panther Stadium
By Space Coast Daily // September 16, 2017
WATCH THE GAME LIVE, CLICK BELOW
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong provide a first quarter update of the Florida Tech vs. Shorter game at Panther Stadium.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski, with Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, provide a pregame look at the Florida Tech vs. Shorter game at Panther Stadium.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Following a strong performance in the loss to Division I McNeese State last weekend, Florida Tech (1-1, 0-0 GSC) returns to Florida Tech Panther Stadium on Saturday night for its Gulf South Conference opener against Shorter (0-2, 0-0 GSC).
Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Shorter will be looking to earn it’s first-ever win against FIT on Saturday. The Hawks are 0-4 all-time against the Panthers, including 0-2 when playing in Melbourne. Three of the four matchups came right down to the finish, with Florida Tech winning all three by six points or less. However, the most recent meeting in 2016 was not so close, with the Panthers earning a dominating 40-0 victory on the road in Rome, Georgia.
Shorter’s offense looks a bit different this year, than in previous seasons. The Hawks’ offense has improved in 2017, with quarterback Tyler Pullum and wide receiver Joseph Ross both ranking the in the league’s Top-5 in passing and receiving yards per game, respectively.
In the Hawks’ first two games, Pullum completed 31-of-47 attempts for 370 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Ross has nine receptions for 147 yards. Lewis Hayes is also a big target for Pullum, pulling in a team-high 12 catches for 130 yards.
B.J. McCoy is the leading rusher for SU with 81 yards and a touchdown on 25 rushes. Weldrin Ford has also seen time in the backfield with 17 runs for 60 total yards.
The defensive side of the ball has been a weak spot for the Hawks this season. Shorter is worst in the GSC in scoring defense, at 39.5 points allowed, and total defense, at 441.0 yards per game. SU has given up the most rushing touchdowns at five and ranks second to last in the league through two games, giving up 164.0 yards per game on the ground. The passing defense ranks seventh in the GSC at 277.0 yards per game.
Defensive back Rodney Jackson is among the best in the conference, ranking second in the GSC in tackles with 16, eight per game, to go along with an interception. John Jarrad and Kareem Taylor are both dangerous pass rushers, each recording a sack in the early season.
Last week, Florida Tech was handed a 42-21 defeat at the hands of DI-FCS McNeese State on the road.
Mark Cato impressed in his first action of the season, completing 21-of-37 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Antwuan Haynes had a strong outing for the Panthers, finishing as FIT’s leading rusher with 36 yards on seven carries and a score on the ground. The junior also caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown through the air.
J.T. Hassell led the defensive unit with nine tackles, seven of which were solo stops. Adonis Davis recorded seven tackles, including two sacks. Harry Brown, Jimmy Hinel and FIT-leading tackler Marquise Lewis each notched a sack in the game.
Jerry Durney and Paul Van Scott will be on the call from Panther Stadium Saturday night. Listen in on 89.5 FM WFIT, at WFIT.org and through the free TuneIn Radio app.
Links to live coverage, including live video and stats, can be accessed at FloridaTechSports.com/live
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Watch “In The Red Zone” with Florida Tech Panthers head football coach Steve Englehart. Hosted by Alan Zlotorzynski from Old School Pizza. The show is presented by Old School Pizza, Adventure HQ, Prestige Title and PT Professionals.