The Mercer University football team was back on the road Saturday afternoon in front of Campbell University’s homecoming crowd in North Carolina.
The Bears beat the Camels 38-31, getting their first road win of the season and in 74 years.
Mercer is 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in Pioneer League play, making the team only a half-game behind the conference lead.
The Bears have topped FCS leaderboards all season in multiple categories and have the best record of any college team in the state of Georgia.
Yet the attendance numbers have been shrinking since the capacity crowd for the season opener, and the campus feels subdued during both home and away games.
Fans are waiting to turn out to see stiffer competition as the program goes through its growing pains, said Mercer senior and baseball player Nick Backlund.
“I think a lot of it has to do with who they’re playing this year,” Backlund said. “They’re playing a schedule so that they can get used to what they’re doing and figure it all out. Once they go into the schedule next year, we’re going to be playing serious Division I teams, so I think the turnout will be just as good.”
Francar’s restaurant just off campus will try to build excitement for the team by broadcasting the Bears’ away game at conference rival Davidson this Saturday at 1 p.m.