GWU's Juanne Blount name Big South Offensive POW
College Sports Madness honored Gardner-Webb running back Juanne Blount as its first Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Week Monday morning.
Blount (Wingate, N.C. / Forest Hills HS) carried 28 times for a career-high 162 yards and reached the end zone twice in Gardner-Webb's 28-21 win over Furman in the season opener. His rushing total was tops in the Big South and ranked fourth nationally in the FCS from the season's opening weekend. The win was the first for GWU over a Southern Conference foe since 2009.
The 5-foot-9, 201-pounder was at his best when his team needed him most. He had 20 carries for 120 yards and both scores in a decisive second half, rallying the Runnin' Bulldogs from a 21-7 deficit. By night's end, Blount had recorded five carries of 10 yards or more and saw seven of his rushing attempts result in first downs.
Blount's 29-yard dash with just over 10 minutes to play in the game was the key play in Gardner-Webb's game-winning drive, pushing the 'Dogs deep into Furman territory. Later, with his team holding a 28-21 lead, Blount darted 41 yards down to the Paladin one-yard line to ice the game with just more than a minute remaining. He appeared to have gotten the ball inside the pylon once more, but was ruled out of bounds. GWU ran out the clock to end the game.
Blount's efforts helped Gardner-Webb pile up 434 yards of total offense and chew up 38:41 on the game clock. The Runnin' Bulldogs ran 82 offensive plays and converted 9-of-18 on third down.
Blount's career day topped his previous mark of 134 yards set in the 2010 season opener vs. Brevard - his first career game. The redshirt junior has carried 301 times for 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns during his career to date at Gardner-Webb. Blount entered the 2013 season as the Big South Conference's second-leading returning rusher - and was a preseason second-team All-Big South selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview.
Gardner-Webb (1-0) will travel to face Conference USA favorite Marshall on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 6:30 pm. The game will air live on WGWG-FM (88.3 / wgwg.org), with Fabian Fuentes calling the action from Huntington.