Monday, October 5, 2015

Game #5 - Mercer Bears

For their fifth game of the season, the Catamounts remain in Cullowhee to meet the Mercer Bears. This will be the first ever trip for Bears football to visit Cullowhee.

This is the second meeting between Mercer and the Catamounts on the gridiron, and the Cats picked up a win in the initial meeting between these two teams last season in Macon, so we expect the Bears will travel to Cullowhee expecting to return the favor.


When:  Saturday, October 10th at 3:30 pm
Where:  E.J. Whitmire Stadium. Cullowhee, NC
Radio:  Catamount Sports Network 
TV / video:  American Sports Network (ASN)

Head Coach:  Bobby Lamb
Bobby Lamb enters his third season as head coach of Mercer football. In his first season, the Bears set a NCAA Division I record for wins by a first-year program with a 10-2 campaign. The 2013 win total also set a school record for victories, surpassing the previous mark of seven wins by Lake Russell’s 1931 and 1932 squads. Lamb led the Bears into their first season of Southern Conference play in 2014,

Last year’s record (Mercer): 6-6 overall (home: 4-3, away: 2-3),  1-6 in the SoCon

Last Season's Game vs. Mercer (Oct. 18, 2014): Catamounts Light Up Mercer's Black Out, 35-21 - Spearman Robinson hauled in three of Western Carolina's four receiving touchdowns on Saturday afternoon as the Catamounts remained perfect in Southern Conference play with a 35-21 road victory over the Mercer Bears at the Mercer University Stadium. Mitchell finished the game 13-of-18 passing for 194 yards with the career-high tying three touchdown passes. He also added 62 yards rushing, second just to freshman tailback Detrez Newsome who carried the ball 16 times for 76 of his 115 all-purpose yards. Benson tallied 63 receiving yards and 37 on kickoff returns.

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 10 / 1
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 11 / 0
Specialist - Returning/Lost: 3  / 1 - The Bears lose kicker Will Roper to graduation
Offensive Formation: Pistol  (Lamb was known for his run-heavy I-formation offenses at Furman, but now he's utilizing a spread attack that closely resembles those of Western Carolina and Chattanooga out of the Pistol)
Defensive Formation: 3-4

Even though the Mercer Bears only had one Southern Conference victory in 2014, Mercer completed the season in second place in scoring offense (32.5 ppg) and fourth overall in scoring defense (24.1 ppg). The Bears picked up seven individual honors in the postseason:  freshman wide receiver Chandler Curtis was named to the SoCon All Conference first team and freshman Alex Lake also was first team All SoCon; two Bear defensive linemen picked up second team honors, Alex Avant & Tyler Ward - while Wilson Heres was named to the second team as an offensive lineman; Defensive lineman Austin Barrett and linebacker Kyle Williams were named to the all freshman team.

At the 2015 SoCon Media Day, the Bears were selected to finish in 6th place by both the coaches and media for the 2015 season. Mercer's Chandler Curtis and Alex Lakes were named to the Preseason All-Southern Conference First Team, headlining six Bears on the preseason teams. The Bears' defense placed three individuals on the Preseason All-Socon Second Team. Senior defensive back Alex Avant, defensive tackle Austin Barrett and linebacker Tyler Ward, Sophomore punter Matt Shiel, a transfer from Auburn, gave Mercer its sixth honoree with second team honors.

2015 Mercer Statistics (YTD - 4 games):
Rushing Offense: 965 yards
Yards per game: 242
Yards per rush: 5.3 yards
TDs rushing: 8
Passing Offense: 975 yards or 244 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 78-132-0
Total Offense: 1940 yards or 464 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 42
Rushing 1st downs: 48
Fumbles-Lost: 6 - 3
Penalties-Yards: 21 - 198 yards
3d Down Conversions: 28 of 61 or 36%
4th Down Conversions: 6 of 10 or 50%
Field Goals - Attempts: 6 of 10
Red-Zone Scores: 17 of 18 (94%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 13 of 18 (72%)
Punts (No. Yards): 13 (538 yds) Avg, per punt: 41 yds
Time of possession per game:  32: 09
Sacks:  8

Who has the Bears play prior to Western?  
The Bears opened the season with two of three games on the road.  Mercer traveled to Governors Stadium to meet Austin Peay, where they picked up a 28-7 win to open the season. The running game was key for the Bears win, as Mercer rushed for 260 yards and four touchdowns. The Bear's Alex Lakes ran for a game-high 159 yards on 23 carries, averaging 6.9 yards per carry and two of those touchdowns. Tee Mitchell finished with 101 yards and a TD, while Robert Brown completed four receptions for 52 yards. The Bears defense held the Governors to just 56 rushing yards.

Returning home to Macon the following weekend, the Bears hosted Stetson in their home opener, but were not very nice host as they racked up a 57-14 win. The Bears rolled up a total of 51 points. and 476 yards of total offense in the first half of the game, leading at halftime with 51-7. The Bears scored on their first eight possessions of the game, and racked up 623 yards against the out-manned Stetson team. John Russ threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-19 passing.

On September 19, the Bears traveled to Cookeville, Tennessee to meet the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, where Mercer suffered their first loss of the season, 22-29. This was a notable loss, as it was the first loss to a non-conference opponent during the Bobby Lamb era at Mercer, a run of 11 straight out of conference wins. Running Back Tee Mitchell had a career-high 130 yards on 19 carries, while the Bear defense held the Golden Eagles to just 56 yards rushing, but the Eagles exploded with 301 yards in the air. Tennessee Tech scored touchdowns on three of its first five possessions jumping out to an early 21-6 lead, which the Bears could not overcome. .

On October 3, the Bears returned home to Macon to host their first conference opponent of the season, the Wofford Terriers. The Bears lost their second game in dramatic fashion, a one point loss in overtime to the Terriers, 33-34.  Wofford led the entire game, until the final 3 second of regulation time with Mercer's Jagger Lieb hit a 23 yard field goal to tie the game up, 27-27. Mercer had the ball first in overtime, scoring quickly in the first play for 25 yard, however, the point after was wide, giving the Bears a 6 point lead. Wofford then scored on a 14 yard run by Evan Jacks, to tie the score. Kicker David Marvin's PAT was good, sealing the win by one point by the Terriers.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday's SoCon Football Round-up (10-3-15)

Week number five in SoCon football is now complete, so let's take a look at the games.

The only conference game of the week was a real barn burner between Wofford and Mercer. With three teams utilizing this week as a bye week, we're left with only three out of conference games, in which the SoCon recorded a 2-1 record for the weekend.

Wofford at Mercer -
One of the more exciting games of the wet weekend was played in Macon last night, between budding rivals Wofford and Mercer.  In a game which literally either teams could have won, except for crucial errors committed in the final 15 minutes of play, the Terriers pulled out a one point victory over the Bears, 34-33 in overtime. Mercer recovered a Wofford fumble late in the fourth quarter and forced overtime with a 23-yard field goal. The Bears got the ball first in overtime and quickly scored a 25-yard touchdown, but missed the PAT. Wofford then tied the score with Evan Jacks' 14-yard TD run, then won it with David Marvin's extra point conversion.
Purple & Gold's pick was  "...the Terriers tough out the win, 28-21"

Presbyterian at Western Carolina
In a game that both teams needed to help reverse their fortunes, the Catamounts broke open the game in the forth quarter in what had been a closely fought battle for a  33-21 victory, picking up a small measure of revenge for last season's loss in Clinton. Western's Detrez Newsome had two touchdowns, including a 72-yard scoring run, and finished with 189 yards on 25 carries, while Logan Howard kicked 46- and 45-yard field goals, and Karnorris Benson hauled in seven catches for 149 yards.
Purple & Gold's pick was  "...(Cats get) a little payback, in the form of a 28-3 victory"

South Carolina State at Furman
The Paladins picked up the second out of conference victory for the SoCon, with their 17-3 win over in state foe, South Carolina State.  In the defensive battle, the Paladins were held just 227 total yards, going 1-13 in third down conversions. Penalties hurt State, who was flagged 13 times for a total of 106 yards. The Bulldogs also had 3 turnovers, including 2 interceptions and 1 fumble.  Furman's
Triston Lake had 22 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Purple & Gold's pick was  "...Furman wins 24-10."

Bucknell at VMI
In another heartbreaker for the Keydets, the Bison's Matt DelMauro completed a 23 yard scoring run in overtime to give Bucknell a 28-22 win over VMI. The Keydet's Dillion Christopher made a 40-yard field goal at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime time, but he missed a 38-yard attempt in the overtime period. Al Cobb threw for 251 yards and two scores, drove VMI 58 yards in 11 plays to set up Christopher's 40-yard field goal with six seconds remaining in the game.
Purple & Gold's pick was "...VMI pulls it out, 28-21."

This week's record: 3-1 ( overall this season 24-11 )

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Catamount Post Game Interviews (video)


Coach Speir's Opening Statement: Courtesy 

“Number one, I’m awful proud of our football team. It’s been a long time since we’ve been back in Cullowhee and sitting there with three weeks – two weeks of losing and an open date – it was good to get back home and on the winning side against a good football team. I know their record is not what people might not call a good football team, but that is a team that had two bowl subdivision games and battled Chattanooga to a better ball game than that score indicated. So, No. 1, we are excited to beat a good football team.”

“We made a concerted effort after the Tennessee game that we were going to run the football, and I’m awful proud of how we ran the ball tonight regardless of the weather. We came into this game to establish the running game and I thought we did that really well tonight. Detrez Newsome and that offensive line are really gelling, and Troy (Mitchell) made a couple of big runs. Troy got back into a rhythm and this was Troy’s best game of the year. He threw the ball well tonight. Karnorris Benson had a big night and that is what’s got to happen when we are running the ball. It is going to open the big receivers up.

“I thought our defense played well for most of the night. The kicking game, I thought, was in our favor and I am proud of Logan Howard – a true freshman from East Forsyth – he went in there with rainy conditions. Him, Chandler Addertion, and our holder Wes Holcombe, you can’t take that for granted during this kind of weather we had. They were right on. He had some big kicks to give us confidence that we can score points if we get stalled out in the red zone or somewhere.”

“The biggest disappointment tonight were all the penalties we had. We cannot go win the Southern Conference – or very many ball games – with the penalties we had tonight and we’ve got to get that cleaned up. Overall, I am excited to be on the winning end, got an excellent team in Mercer coming to town for a Southern Conference game and a string of Southern Conference games we got to get ready for.”

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Purple & Gold's Player of the Game (Presbyterian)

Purple & Gold's Catamount Player of the Game for Week #5 is Detrez Newsome.

Newsome again was the rushing workhorse for Western, with a career high of 189 yards in 25 carries, and two touchdowns. In addition to the rushing yards, he had 3 kick returns for a total of 48 yards.

Honorable Mention - It was difficult selection process this week, as several other Catamounts had Player of the Game performances.  Karnorris Benson had seven receptions for 149 yards, Trey Morgan had two interceptions, true freshman Logan Harward had two field goals, one a personal career best, 46 yards, and the second, 45 yards, and Daniel Riddle with a game high 18 tackles.

Purple & Gold congratulates Detrez Newsome on his selection as WCU Player of the Game.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Coach Speir on the Presbyterian College game


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Update on Saturday’s Football Game Day


Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina football’s home game against the Presbyterian Blue Hose on Saturday, Oct. 3 remains on schedule for its 3:30 pm kickoff at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.

Officials within Western Carolina University’s Athletics Department and across campus continue to monitor the weather situations and will make any weather-related alterations to Saturday’s plans available through, as well as WCU Athletics’ social media outlets: Twitter (@Catamounts) and Facebook (catamountsports).

More information here

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

(Video) Blue Hose Football (UTC recap - WCU preview)

Get to know the Blue Hose football team a little better, as the Blue Hose Head Coach Harold Nichols recaps their loss to Chattanooga last week in Clinton, and he looks toward facing the Catamounts in Cullowhee. 

Video Courtesy Blue Hose Athletics                          

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WCU 2-Deep (Presbyterian game)

Roster Courtesy                

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This week's Purple & Gold football picks (10-3-15)

It's week #4 in the SoCon, and it's time to make this week's SoCon football picks.

Once again, the schedule provides for only one conference game, and three out of conference games. All four games can be viewed on ESPN3

Good Luck to all SoCon teams playing in out of conference games.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bucknell (2-1, 1-0 Away) at VMI (1-3, 1-0 Home) 1:30 PM ET

The Keydets pick up their second home win of the season over the Bucknell Bison. The Bison won't be a pushover, but VMI pulls it out, 28-21.

Presbyterian College (1-3, 0-2 Away) at Western Carolina (1-2, 1-0 Home) 3:30 PM ET
The Blue Hose make their way to Cullowhee, confident they can pull out another victory over the Cats. However. the Cats have righted the ship, and get a little payback, in the form of a 28-3 victory.

Wofford (2-2, 0-0 Conf) at Mercer (2-1, 0-0 Conf) 6:00 PM ET
This weeks conference game has the Terriers traveling to Macon to meet the new kid on the block, the Mercer Bears. It'll be a competitive game, but the Terriers tough out the win, 28-21.

South Carolina State (2-1, 0-0 Away) at Furman (2-2, 1-1 Home) 7:00 PM ET
The Paladins pick if their third straight win, courtesy the SC State Bulldogs. Furman wins 24-10.

St Francis (PA)(1-2, 0-2 Away) at East Tennessee State (0-4, 0-3 Home) 1:00 PM ET
This is not the week the Bucs pick up their first win, as St. Francis rolls over the home team, 35-10.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 SoCon Football Power Rankings (Week #5)

Welcome to this week's Purple & Gold SoCon Power Rankings for the week beginning September 28, 2015. The power rankings are published on Tuesday of each week.

Only one conference game was played last weekend - VMI at Furman. While the SoCon dropped it's one FBS game, it did win two of three games against Big South teams.

1.  (1)  Chattanooga
Won last game: Presbyterian. 0 - UTC 21
Record: 3-1  (1-0 SoCon)

2.  (2) Samford
Lost last game: Louisville  45 - Samford  3
Record: 2-2  (0-1 SoCon)

3.  (3)  Furman
Won last Game: VMI 21 - Furman 24
 Record:  2-2  (1-0 SoCon)

4. (5)  Wofford 
Won last Game: Gardner-Webb 0 - Wofford 16
Record:  2-2 ( 0-0 SoCon)

5. (4)  The Citadel 
Lost last Game: Charleston Southern  33 - Citadel 20
Record: 2-2  (SoCon 1-0)

6.  (6)  Western Carolina
Last Game:  Bye
Record: 1-2  (0-1 SoCon)

7. (7)  Virginia Military Institute
Lost last Game:  Furman 24 -  VMI  21
Record:  1-3  (0-1 SoCon)

8. (8)  Mercer
Last Game:  Bye
Record:  2-1  (0-0 SoCon)

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Game #4 - Presbyterian Blue Hose

For the fourth game of the season, the Catamounts return to Cullowhee for what is hopefully a little payback versus Presbyterian for the 19-14 upset victory in Clinton last season. A Catamount victory over the Blue Hose would go a long way to upright the ship after a disappointing loss in Charleston, and a poorly played game against Tennessee. This is also WCU Family Weekend in Cullowhee.

On the strength of last season's upset, the Cats and Blue Hose are now tied at 9-9, in a series that stretches back to 1950.  The Blue Hose last defeated the Catamounts in Cullowhee in 1969 when they downed the Cats by a score of 28-17, which was the only blemish on new head football coach Bob Waters' first season at the helm in Cullowhee. The Cats finished the '69 season with a 9-1 record. The Cats are 2-0 against PC in games played on Bob Waters Field.


When: Saturday, October 3d at 3:30 pm
Where: E.J. Whitmire Stadium. Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV / video: locally - My40, WMYA-TV  and nationally on ESPN3
Game Notes:   Western Carolina      -      Presbyterian

Head Coach:  Harold Nichols -
Nichols completed his sixth season at the helm of the Blue Hose in 2014, ending the season as the Big South Conference Co-Coach of the Year. A 1989 alumnus of Presbyterian, Nichols came back to the Blue Hose on January 14, 2009, from Bucknell. Last season, Nichols led PC to a 6-5 record, the program’s first winning season since 2007 and its first-ever in the Big South. He guided the Blue Hose to ranked wins over No. 12 Furman and No. 22 Charleston Southern and the team's two road wins stand as the most since three in 2007.

Last year’s record: 6-5 overall, 3-2 in the Big South Conference  

Last Season's Game vs. PC (Oct. 4, 2014) 
: Turnovers Costly in WCU's 19-14 Road Loss at Presbyterian  "Presbyterian bookend its scores with two interception returns for touchdowns - the second coming inside the game's final two minutes - as the Blue Hose handed Western Carolina a heart-breaking 19-14 road loss in nonconference action on Saturday afternoon at Bailey Memorial Stadium."

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  7 / 4  -  On offense, the Hose lost center Dillon Salmans, tight end Kris Hurley, wide receiver Tobi Antigha,  and running back Demarcus Rouse to graduation.
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  9 / 2  -  On defense, the Hose lost the following starters: linebacker Isaiah Lynn, and defensive back Cory White
Specialist - Returning/Lost:  4 / 2  -  The Hose long snapper Cannon Jordan, kick returner Jeremiah McKie, punt returner Jeremiah McKie were lost to graduation
Offensive Formation:   Spread
Defensive Formation:  4-3

Presbyterian's 6-5 record in 2014 was their first winning season since 2007 and the first-ever in the Big South. Against FCS competition, the Blue Hose finished with a 5-2 record and its only two losses came to FCS playoff teams Coastal Carolina and Liberty. Against FCS competition, PC allowed only 15.9 points per game and 310.0 total offense yards per game. The Blue Hose earned seven Big South Conference postseason honors with HC Harold Nichols leading the group as Co-Coach of the Year, Redshirt junior linebacker Donelle Williams and junior defensive back Ed Britt earned 1st team honors while senior wide receiver Tobi Antigha, senior offensive lineman Devinn Ritter and redshirt senior long snapper Cannon Jordan received 2d team accolades.

2015 Presbyterian Statistics (YTD):
Rushing Offense: 480  - Avg. per game: 135
Yards per rush:  3.3
TDs rushing:  4
Passing Offense: 322 or 107 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int:  25-63-2
Total Offense: 728 yards or  243 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost:  3-1
Penalties-Yards: 26 for 210 yards
3d Down Conversions: 8 of 41 or 22%
4th Down Conversions:  1 of 2 or 50%
Field Goals - Attempts: 1 of  5
Red-Zone Scores: 6 of 10 (60%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 5 of 10 (50%)
Punts (No. Yards): 24 (858)
Avg, per punt: 36 yds

Who has the Blue Hose played prior to Western? 
The Blue Hose (1-3) opened their season with a road trip to Miami (Ohio), and dropped a 23-13 game to the Red Hawks. PC's Darrell Bridges led the Blue Hose with 125 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. QB Tamyn Garrick was 14-of-27 passing for 163 yards in the loss. Daryl Wilson led all PC receivers with 86 receiving yards on five receptions. Darrell Williams had a game-high nine tackles for the Blue Hose defense.

PC then traveled to Charlotte, where they dropped a 34-10 game to the 49ers. The Blue Hose struggled to move the football against the Charlotte defense, gaining only 112 yards in the game with 103 coming on the ground. Darrell Bridges rushed 22 times for 62 yards. Backup quarterback Ben Cheek added 12 carries for 28 yards and Jordan Hallums’s only carry of the game went for 19 yards to set up a PC score.

PC then returned to Clinton for a home game against non-scholarship Campbell, picking up a 23-13 win over the Camels. The Blue Hose defense had three takeaways in the contest, with PC getting points off two. PC's Darrell Bridges rushed for a game-high 132 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries to lead the Blue Hose offense. Tamyn Garrick came off-the-bench to go 6-for-13 passing for 127 yards for PC. Marquel Hines totaled 42 receiving yards to lead the team while Bridges added 42 receiving yards.

Then in week #4, the Blue Hose remained at Bailey Stadium, to meet the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs pulled off their first shutout of the season, winning 21-0. PC's Darrell Bridges again led the Mocs on offense with 87 rushing yards on 12 carries for an average of 7.3 yards per carry. Ben Cheek went 5-for-10 passing for a career-high 38 yards in just his third game for PC. Donelle Williams recorded a career-high-tying 18 tackles to lead the PC defensive unit, holding Chattanooga to its second lowest point total of the season.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday's SoCon Football Round-up (9-26-15)

Week number 4 in SoCon football is now in the books. Now, let's take a look at the games.

The only conference clash of the week resulted in a close win for the Paladins over VMI. While we were hoping for a 3-0 record against the Big South this weekend, the SoCon went 2-1 against the BS, with two shut outs, while Samford fell in the only FBS match up game of the weekend.

VMI at Furman -
A blocked punt by the Paladins, that resulted in touchdown, was the difference in a 24-21 victory by Furman over visiting VMI Keydets. Reese Hannon was 22 of 40 for 197 yards passing and ran for a score to lead Furman. Al Cobb was 21 of 42 for 235 yards passing with a touchdown for VMI, but he also threw a pair of interceptions. The VMI ground game managed just 44 yards on 27 carries.
Purple & Gold's pick was "Paladins turn their home field advantage into a 35-20 win."

Samford at Louisville -
Louisville's Lamar Jackson ran for two touchdowns and threw for one leading the Cardnals to a 45-3 romp over Samford. Anthony Pistelli kicked a 32-yard field goal for Samford, spoiling the shut-out for Louisville.
Purple & Gold's pick was "Louisville wins big, 35-7."

Charleston Southern at The Citadel -
CSU stretched out their winning streak to three over the Bulldogs, as CSU outscored the Bulldogs 27-3 in the second half, as they rallied to beat the Bulldogs 33-20. The Bucs racked up 306 yards rushing to only 181 yards for The Citadel, which entered the game leading the FCS with 398 rushing yards per game. CSU totaled 494 yards agsinst the Citadel's defense.
Purple & Gold's pick was "Bulldogs stop the streak with a 24-17 victory."

Gardner-Webb at Wofford -
Wofford's David Marvin kicked field goals and the Wofford defense held on for their first shutout since 2012, as the Terriers picked up a 16-0 win over the visiting Runnin' Bulldogs. The Terrier defense held the Bulldogs to 149 total yards,
Purple & Gold's pick was "Terriers roll to a 27-10 victory"

Chattanooga at Presbyterian -
The Mocs' offense racked up 400 total yards, while their defensive unit held the Blue Hose to 117 yards and a shut out, in their 21-0 win over PC. Jacob Huesman was 11 of 16 for 107 yards and ran for 132 yards on 23 carries for the Mocs. Derrick Crane added 82 yards rushing and Richardre Bagley had 74 as Chattanooga ran up 293 yards on the ground.
Purple & Gold's pick was "Chattanooga with a 35-10 win."

Emory & Henry at ETSU -
Division III Emory & Henry scored the go-ahead touchdown with 55 seconds remaining in the game to defeat the Bucs by a 27-24 final score.  E&H quarterback Kevin Saxton hit wide receiver Tyree Ward from seven yards out in the winning drive. East Tennessee State held a 24-20 lead for most of the fourth quarter, but after the Emory & Henry defense forced a turnover on downs with 2:08 remaining, Saxton engineered a 4 play, 51-yard TD drive for the win
Purple & Gold's pick was "Bucs survive with a 27-21 win"

This week's record: 4-2  ( overall 21-10 ) 

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Volleyball open conference play with win over Wofford (video)


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Soccer Update: Preview of Conference Play (video)


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Speir discusses the Bye Week (Video)


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This week's Purple & Gold football picks (9-26-15)

It's week #4 in the SoCon, and it's time to make this week's SoCon football picks.

Once again, the schedule is mainly out of conference games, but the SoCon does have one conference game scheduled. The Keydets of VMI travels to Traveler's Rest to meed the Paladins. It's a big SoCon vs. the Big South weekend, as the two conferences will clash in a total of three games.

Good Luck to all SoCon teams playing in out of conference games.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

VMI  (1-2, 0-0 SoCon) at Furman (1-2, 0-0 SoCon)
The Keydets are looking to pick up their first SoCon win since returning to the conference, but it will not happen this weekend as the Paladins turn their home field advantage into a 35-20 win.

Samford (2-1, 0-0 Away) at Louisville (0-3, 0-2 Home) 6:00 pm ET
The Bulldogs look to rebound after a disappointing loss to UTC, however, the disappointments continue as Samford runs head on to the winless Cardinals.  Louisville wins big, 35-7.

Charleston Southern (2-1, 0-1 Away) at The Citadel (2-1, 2-0 Home)  6:00 pm ET
CSU travels across town in this first of three SoCon verses Big South games. The Buccaneers are looking to continue their two game win streak against the Bulldogs, but this years Bulldogs stop the streak with a 24-17 victory.

Gardner-Webb (1-2, 0-1 Away) at Wofford (1-2, 1-0 Home) 7:00 pm ET
The Runnin Bulldogs travel to Spartanburg, also looking to continue a two game winning streak in the series, but just like the Buccaneers, the Bulldogs will come up short. The Terriers roll to a 27-10 victory over the other dogs.

Chattanooga (2-1, 1-0 Away) at Presbyterian College (1-2, 1-0 Home) 7:00 pm ET
In this weekend's final clash between the two conferences, the Mos travel to Clinton, SC to meet the Blue Hose. The Mocs are again on top of their game, and come home to Chattanooga with a 35-10 win.

Emory & Henry (1-1) at East Tennessee State (0-3, 0-2 Home) 1:30 pm ET
The Bucs are looking to pick up their first win in the return of football at ETSU, and this could be the week. Looking for the Bucs to survive with a 27-21 win over E&H.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

2015 SoCon Football Power Rankings (Week #4)

Welcome to this week's Purple & Gold SoCon Power Rankings for the week beginning 9-21-15. The power rankings are published on Tuesday of each week.

Heading into week #4, again, only one conference game was played, but it certainly had a major effect on the standings, as the Mocs move back up to #1 in the rankings.

1.  (2)  Chattanooga
Won Last game: Samford. 21 - UTC 31
Record: 2-1  (1-0 SoCon)

2.  (1) Samford
Lost Last game: Chattanoga  31 - Samford 21
Record: 2-1  (0-1 SoCon)

3.  (6)  Furman
Won Last Game: Furman 16  - UCF 15
                          Record:  1-2  (0-0 SoCon)

4. (3)  The Citadel 
Lost Last Game: Georgia Southern 48 - Citadel 13
Record: 2-1  (SoCon 1-0)

5. (5)  Wofford 
Lost Last Game:  Idaho  41 - Wofford 38
Record:  1-2 ( 0-0 SoCon)

6.  (4)  Western Carolina
Lost Last Game:  Western Carolina 10 - Tennessee 55
Record: 1-2  (0-1 SoCon)

7. (7)  Virginia Military Institute
Lost Last Game: Richmond 42 -  VMI  10
Record:  1-2  (0-0 SoCon)

8. (8)  Mercer
Lost Last Game:  Tennessee Tech 29 -  Mercer 22
Record:  2-1  (0-0 SoCon)

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Postgame Comments From Coach Speir (Tennessee)

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday's SoCon Football Round-up (9-19-15)

Week number 3 of SoCon football is now in the books. The big game of the week resulted in the Mocs re-asserting themselves as the team to beat, while the rest of the conference fail on their face in out of conference play, except, for the Paladins who pulled out a big FBS win.

Chattanooga at Samford -  The Moc's Jacob Huesman once again led the Mocs with two touchdown passes while running for a third in Chattanooga's 31-21 road victory over the Samford Bulldogs. It looks like the Mocs have settled any question about who's the team to beat this year in the SoCon.
Purple & Gold's pick was "Samford wins 35-31."

Wofford at Idaho - Wofford's Lorenzo Long scored three touchdowns for the Terriers, as Wofford came up just short of a FBS victory, falling to the Vandals of Idaho, 38-41. The Terriers show they will be a force in the SoCon this season.
Purple & Gold's pick was: "Wofford by a touchdown, 28-21"

VMI at Richmond - Richmond forced five turnovers, all of which led to scores for the Spiders. in their 42-10 romp over the Keydets.  VMI's Al Cobb was 13 for 28 for 172 yards with four interceptions. The Keydets prove, the more things change, the more they remain the same in VMI football.
Purple & Gold's pick was: "Spiders win, 35-24"

Furman at UCF -  Paladin kicker Jon Hollingsworth nailed a school record 55-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to give Furman a lead, and the Paladins defense held off the Knights in the upsdet 16-15 victory over the University of Central Florida. Furman's Reese Hannon completed 15 of 29 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, The Paladins prove - "We're Back"
Purple & Gold's pick was: "UCF wins, 28-17"

Citadel at Georgia Southern - The Georgia Southern Eagles cruised to a 48-13 victory over former conference mate the Citadel.  Five turnovers was the major culprit for the Bulldogs, who committed three fumbles and gave up two pass interceptions. The Eagle bring the Bulldogs back to earth after their wins over Davidson and Western.
Purple & Gold's pick was: "It's an Eagle win, 39-14."

Mercer at Tennessee Tech  - The Bears suffered not only their first loss of the season on Saturday, but the first ever loss in an out of conference game for the Bears since they restarted football in Macon, losing to Tenn Tech, 22-29.  The winless Golden Eagles held the Bears to just two touchdowns from the red zone, despite the Bears reaching the red zone five times. The Bears obviously looked past the Eagles to next week's showdown with Wofford.
Purple & Gold's pick was:  "Bears win, 28-24."

Western Carolina at Tennessee - The Catamounts had three turnovers and only one first down on their first eight possessions on the game, as the Vols cruised to a 55-10 win over Western. One of those turnovers resulted in a 57-yard interception return by LaDarrell McNeil in his first game since returning to the team.  "Offensively we just put ourselves in a bad, bad situation," Western Carolina coach Mark Speir said. "When you turn the ball over against any team, much less an SEC opponent, they're going to make you pay." Detrez Newsome rushed for 128 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown.  Has the Catamounts lost their offensive punch?
Purple & Gold's pick was:  "Vols win, 42-14"

Bonus -
ETSU at Charleston Southern - The Bucs once again run into the buzz saw, dropping a 47-7 road game to Charleston Southern on Thursday night. ETSU now looking at a potential winless season?
Purple & Gold's pick was:  "CSU wins, 49-0."

This week's record: 4-4  (overall 17-8)

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Purple & Gold's Player of the Game (Tennessee)

Purple & Gold's Catamount Player of the Game for for the second week, is Detrez Newsome. 

Newsome was the rushing workhorse once again for Western, with a total of 10 carries for 128 yards, and a touchdown.   In addition to the rushing yards, he had one reception for a total of  2 yards. and 5 kick returns for 111 yards, averaging 22.2 yards per return.

Purple & Gold congratulates Detrez Newsome on his selection of WCU Player of the Game.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Western's 2-Deep at Tennessee


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