GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Cody Worley passed for 113 yards and three touchdowns to propel Furman to a 45-15 win over 25th-ranked Colgate in the Paladins' 2010 season opener Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.
Worley, a fifth-year senior from Calhoun, Ga., came off the bench late in the second quarter with Furman sporting a 10-7 lead, and engineered a 9-play, 60-yard scoring drive that he sealed with a 19-yard scoring strike to Tyler Maples in the final minute of the first half.
Worley, who completed 9-of-14 pass attempts in the contest, continued his strong play in the second half with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Adam Mims and a 3-yard connection with Tersoo Uhaa that gave the Paladins a 31-7 lead.
Junior quarterback Chris Forcier, who started the game for the Paladins, made it 38-7 when he took a snap from center and raced around left end and down the sideline for an 85-yard touchdown run for the sixth longest run in Furman's 105-year football history.
Forcier finished the contest with seven rushes for 130 yards -- the highest rushing tally by a Paladin quarterback since 1989.
In rushing for 377 yards, Furman fashioned its most potent rushing performance since 2005. The victory also marked the 20th consecutive non-conference regular season home triumph for the Paladins dating back to 1999.
Nate Eachus led Colgate with 28 rushes for a game high 134 yards and a score.
"This was one of the most complete performances I've seen from a Furman team in a season opener -- a good win all the way around against a ranked team" said Paladin head coach Bobby Lamb, who improved to 8-1 in season openers. "After five weeks of practice, it was good to finally play a game. We competed well on both sides of the football and got some good play from a bunch of guys. It's the kind of start to the season we were looking for."
True freshman Ray Early's 23-yard field goal midway through the first quarter gave Furman a 3-0 lead.
Colgate appeared set to answer after Adam Lock pounced on a Forcier fumble at the Furman 37. From there the Raiders moved to the Paladin 4, but on a third-and-goal play Colgate's Steve Rizzo was stripped of the ball by Furman nose guard Pete Sanders and Nathan Wade recovered it in the end zone.
The Paladins then moved 80 yards in eight plays for a touchdown, which came on a Jerry Williams 8-yard power run through the heart of the Colgate defense for a 10-0 advantage.
Colgate got on the board in the with just under four minutes to go in the half when quarterback Greg Sullivan scored on an 11-yard option keeper.
At that point Worley entered the game and promptly directed the Paladins on a 60-yard touchdown march that put Furman up 17-7 at the half.
The Paladins carried the momentum into the second half by taking the kickoff and moving 73 yards in 13 plays for a score, which came on Worley's second scoring toss of the game, a 10-yard connection to Adam Mims at the 8:53 juncture.
Tersoo Uhaa ran for a career high 125 yards and a touchdown in the contest and also collected a pair of receptions for 27 yards and a score.
Furman, which posted a 536-260 advantage in total offense, suffered two turnovers, as did Colgate.
Colgate's Chris DiMassa recorded a game high 15 tackles.
Furman plays at South Carolina next Saturday in a 7:00 p.m. pay-per-view contest.
Cody Worley's three touchdown passes were the first of his Paladin career. Coming into the game he and completed 6-of-9 passes for 59 yards in his career.
Chris Forcier's 100-yard rushing performance was the first by a Paladin quarterback since Renaldo Gray ran for 122 yards in a 51-22 win over Western Carolina in 2007. Forcier's 85-yard touchdown sprint in the fourth quarter matched an 85-yard TD run by Paul Gwinn (vs. Wofford, 1937) for the sixth longest run in school history. The last Paladin to reel off a longer run was Louis Ivory (88 yards vs. William & Mary, 2000).
Nathan Wade's interception was his second in consecutive games and followed a pickoff in the Paladins' 58-21 season ending win over Wofford in 2009.
Adam Mims' four receptions versus Colgate upped his Furman career receptions standard to 143. He now has 1,749 career receiving yards, just 16 yards shy of Patrick Sprague (1,765 yds.), who ranks eighth all-time at Furman.
Players earning their first collegiate starts on Saturday include FLK Sederrick Cunningham, LT Dakota Dozier, RG Nic Ayoob, TE Colin Anderson, QB Chris Forcier, DT Colton Keig, NT Pete Sanders, RE Aaron Riley, and BAN Sterling Johnson.
Chas Short averaged 45.5 yards per put on two attempts in his first game as Furman's punter.
True freshman kicker Ray Early booted a 23-yard FG and was 6-for-6 on PATs in his first collegiate game.
True freshman defensive end Shawn Boone was credited with the Paladins lone sack of the game.
Pictured: Cody Worley