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Monday, October 7, 2013 - 4:27am

Mercer Football Suffers First Loss

Mercer University football fans will finally have to retire their “Undefeated Since 1942” t-shirts after the Bears lost 45-13 Saturday afternoon to the University of San Diego Toreros.

The reigning conference co-champions and preseason favorites got things going by returning Mercer’s opening kickoff for a 95 yard touchdown.

San Diego Quarterback Mason Mills was unstoppable, completing 23 of 27 pass attempts for 413 total yards.

A bright spot for the Bears was wide receiver JT Palmer’s four receptions for 100 yards in the first half.

Palmer got a little dinged up by the experienced San Diego defense, however. "Yeah, they were big and strong. They were out there playing aggressive," Palmer said.

"But like Coach Lamb said, we came together as a team and we tried to battle back there at halftime to make it a game. Very proud of my teammates and the effort they gave," Palmer said.

Mercer did have a large contingency of fans who traveled to California for the Bears’ first away game of the season.

"We were clearly louder and we definitely had more people there at the start," said Mercer Associate Professor of Computer Science and self-described "diehard sports fan" Andy Digh, who made the trip.

"Seeing the look on the players’ faces today as they exited the game, seeing us cheer them on, made it worth it," Digh said. "And they mean a lot to me so I’m glad to be here."

Mercer will look to get back on a winning streak when they take on the Valparaiso Crusaders next Saturday at noon in Macon.