|Thomas Gordon heads to the end zone on a 77-yard touchdown reception|
against Elon Saturday at Paladin Stadium. Photo courtesy of Furman.
The biggest reason for Furman being 0-2 and not 2-0 appears to be not being able to finish games, which is something that may not be considered enough when talking about the chore list for rebuilding a program. I don’t believe it’s a killer instinct issue, it’s a not knowing how to win close games issue.
Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Elon marked the second time this season that Furman lost a close game in which it led in the fourth quarter. This is not a new trend.
During last year’s 3-8 season, the total margin of Furman’s eight losses was 84 points. The total margin of Furman’s three wins was 87 points. The Paladins lost four games by seven points or fewer last season. They held a fourth quarter lead in three of those.
Perhaps Hendrix and his staff's biggest challenge is turning around a culture of acceptance that the football program has fallen into. Hendrix said it may be an issue of getting used to losing games.
“I had a lot of people tell me how well we played last week (at Wofford),” Hendrix said. “We played hard and we did some good things, but we didn't play real well. If we played real well, we would've won the football game.
"It's all about changing the mindset, and it's not going to change overnight."
While Hendrix has been pleased the fight his team has shown in coming back late at Wofford and rallying from a 21-0 first quarter deficit against Elon, he knows that's not enough to consistently win.
"They've got to understand that fighting and hoping's not enough. If you combine that we execution, you'll have a chance to be pretty good," Hendrix said. "Right now, we're just lacking the execution part.
"I think our kids have bought in to what we're doing. ... I'm disappointed, but not discouraged."