Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WCU Athletics Academic Enhancement Program







This year, WCU is celebrating Giving Tuesday for the third time. On November 29, 2016, join together with thousands of other Western Carolina alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends to celebrate philanthropy and give back to support the areas of WCU that are most meaningful to you. No matter the amount, no matter the area to which you give, you can make an impact on the University that made an impact on you. This year, with your help, we will continue to make a difference for our current and future Catamount and demonstrate our Purple Pride.




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

This week's Purple & Gold football picks (11-12-16)






It's week eleven in the SoCon, and time to make this week's football picks. On the schedule, we have a full slate of four conference games while ETSU has an out of conference contest.




Cumberland (5-5) at ETSU (3-6) 1:00 pm  -  Watch on SDN
ETSU steps out of conference this week, as NAIA's Cumberland University visits the Bucs in Johnson City. The Phoenix are 5-5 on the season, but look for them drop this one to the Bucs by a final score of 48-14.


The Citadel (9-0, 7-0 Southern)  at  VMI (3-6, 1-5 Southern) 1:30 pm - Watch on ESPN3
The league leading Bulldogs travel to Lexington to face the Keydets of VMI. A win in Lexington will sew up the championship title for The Citadel. Look for the Bulldogs to pull out a 14 point win against the Keydets, 28-14.


Wofford (6-3, 4-2 Southern) vs. Chattanooga (8-1, 6-1 Southern) 2:00 pm - Watch on SDN
The Terriers travel to Chattanooga to face the second place Mocs.  Lots riding on this game for both teams, the Terriers hoping a win will keep then in the chase for an at-large playoff bid, while the Mocs need a win to remain in contention for a shard of the SoCon crown, should the Bulldogs from Charleston stumble. The Terriers just can't pull it off in Chattanooga and fall to the Mocs, 35-21.


Mercer (5-4, 3-3 Southern)  at  Samford (6-3, 4-2 Southern) 3:30 pm - Watch on ESPN3
The Bears travel to Birmingham to face the Bulldogs. The Bears are playing for an overall winning season, while the Bulldogs are in hopes of remaining in contention for a playoff spot. Samford comes out on top with a 28-21 win over Mercer.


Western Carolina (2-7, 1-6 Southern) at Furman (2-7, 2-4 Southern) 4:00 pm - Watch on ESPN3
The Cats travel down the mountain to face the Paladins in Greenville, SC. Both teams are 2-7 overall on the season and need this win, The Paladins expect the home field advantage to carry them to victory, but the Cats rally to a three point win, 31-28.



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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Did You Know?

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations           

WCU 2-deep roster vs. Furman

Roster Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations                 

2016 SoCon Football Power Rankings (11-8-16)





Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2016 SoCon Football Power Rankings. Each Tuesday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.

Here're the rankings after the tenth week of play.




1. (1) The Citadel     (9-0, 7-0 Socon)
Next: @ VMI

2. (2) Chattanooga     (8-1, 6-1 SoCon)
Next:  Wofford

3. (3) Samford   (6-3, 4-2 SoCon)
Next: Mercer

4. (4) Wofford   (6-3, 4-2 SoCon)
Next: @ Chattanooga

5. (5) Mercer   5-4, 3-3 SoCon)
Next: ETSU @ Samford

6. (7) Western Carolina (2-7, 1-6 SoCon)
Next: @ Furman

7. (6) Furman (2-7, 2-4 SoCon)
Next: Western Carolina

8. (8) Virginia Military Institute (3-6, 1-5 SoCon)
Next: The Citadel

9. (9) East Tennessee State    (3-6, 1-6 SoCon)
Next: Cumberland





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Monday, November 7, 2016

Crossen named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week

"Crossen’s day started on the opening kickoff as he scooped-and-scored a fumble on the game’s opening kickoff. Racing down in kick coverage, redshirt freshman Skyler Matheson punched the football loose from VMI kick returner Mason Dermott where Crossen retrieved the loose pigskin and scampered 19 yards for the touchdown just eight seconds into the game. It was his first career fumble recovery.

Midway through the second quarter with WCU holding a 7-3 advantage, Crossen picked off an Austin Coulling pass down the left sideline and returned it 65 yards to the VMI 11-yard line, setting up WCU’s second touchdown and a 14-3 lead. Crossen’s third career pick was a part of a three interception day for the Catamount defense."


Game #10 - Furman






For their tenth game of the season, the Catamounts travel down the mountain to Greenville, SC to meet the Paladins.

The Cats trail Furman 12-29-2 all-time in the series that dates back to 1976, when Western Carolina joined the Southern Conference.



When: Saturday, November 12th -  Time 4:00 pm ET
Where: Paladian Stadium, Greenville, SC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV / video: WMYA, My40 TV & ESPN3

Game Notes:   Western Carolina    -        Furman           -         SoCon Weekly Release


The Series:  The Cats have won the last two in the series. winning the last game played at Furman by a final score of 35-17.

Last Season's Game vs. Furman (November 7, 2014):
Catamounts Cruise Past Furman to Close Home Season, 48-10 - Troy Mitchell recorded 360 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns as Western Carolina used a total team effort to close the home portion of its regular season with a 48-10 victory over the Furman Paladins on Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference action at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Mitchell threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, adding two scores on the ground and 55 yards as WCU put an exclamation point on an unbeaten home regular season - its first since 1986 and only the second in Division I history.

Last year’s record - 2015 (Furman):  4-7 overall, 2-3 home, 2-4 away (2-5 SoCon)

This  year’s record - 2016 (Furman):  2-7 overall, 0-4 home, 2-3 away (2-4 SoCon)/

Offensive Formation: Multiple

Defensive Formation: Multiple

In conference play, the Paladins won games over ETSU and VMI (both on the road), and have lost to Wofford (last weekend), Samford, Chattanooga and The Citadel. Furman also has lossess to Michigan State and Coastal Carolina in out of conference games.

Furman is #6 in scoring offense in the SoCon, just ahead of WCU at #7, and the Paladins are ranked #4 in scoring defense while the Cats come in last in this category. It’s no coincidence that Furman won two of their last three games following the return of their top two linebackers, seniors Carl Rider and Byron Johnson, from injury. The duo combined for 16 tackles, a tackle for-loss, and an interception in the win over VMI, a week after they combined to register 14 tackles, 2.5 tackles for-loss, and a sack against ETSU (52-7 win). Rider is Furman’s active career tackles leader with 315 stops, and Johnson owns 169 tackles in his Paladin tenure. That’s 484 combined career tackles for the Paladin linebacking duo. Furman redshirt senior wide receiver Andrej Suttles currently ranks second in Furman history in both receptions (171) and receiving yards (2,356) and is sixth in career touchdown receptions (14).

Furman’s six-game home losing skid is the longest in program history. The Paladins registered their last home victory on Oct. 3, 2015, against South Carolina State (17-3).

2016 Paladin Statistics (9 games):
Rushing Offense: 1131 yards
Yards per game: 108
Yards per rush: 3.5 yards
TDs rushing: 13
Passing Offense: 2448 yards or 272 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int:  207-330-11
TDs passing: 18
Total Offense: 3417 yards or 380 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 110
Rushing 1st downs: 60
Fumbles-Lost: 16 - 9
3d Down Conversions: 42 of 112 or 38%
4th Down Conversions: 9 of 18 or 50%
Field Goals - Attempts: 4 of 11
Red-Zone Scores: 26 of 31 (84%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 23 of 31 (74%)
Punts (No. Yards): 42 (1596 yds) Avg. per punt: 38 yds
PAT-Attempts: 30 of 31 - 97%
Field Goals-Attempts: 9 of 12
On-Side Kicks: 0 of 3







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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Saturday's SoCon Football Round-up (11-5-16)





Week number ten is now in the books, so let's take a look at the games



Wofford at Furman
Lorenzo Long's 7-yard touchdown run with less than a minute remaining in the game lifted Wofford to a 34-27 victory over Furman in Southern Conference football action Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium. Wofford (6-3, 4-2 SoCon) trailed 27-20 heading to the fourth quarter but scored twice to in the final period to claim the victory -- its first in Greenville since 2007. The game marked the 90th renewal of the Deep South's oldest football rivalry. Long's decisive score with 49 seconds left on the clock was set up by a reverse throwback pass from quarterback Brandon Goodson to Will Gay, who covered 33 yards on a third-and-10 play to the Furman 7. Goodson ran for 121 yards, scoring on touchdown runs covering 64 and 33 yards, and threw for 66 yards and a tally. Furman (2-7, 2-4 SoCon), which dropped its sixth straight home game, was paced by senior quarterback Reese Hannon, who completed 27-of-40 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns.  Wofford Clips Furman, 34-27


VMI at Western Carolina
Terryon Robinson hauled in a 53-yard scoring strike from Tyrie Adams inside the final minute of regulation on Saturday afternoon as Western Carolina rallied past the VMI Keydets to score a 32-29 victory on Hall of Fame and Senior Day at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. But it was the Catamount defensive unit and special teams that keyed the come-from-behind victory and proved to be the difference makers as WCU snapped a six-game seasonal slide with their 14th-consecutive victory over VMI, remaining perfect in Cullowhee at 12-0 in the all-time series. Western Carolina (2-7, 1-6 SoCon) recorded three interceptions and three quarterback sacks on defense, and blocked a total of four VMI placekicks including two field goal attempts and two PATs en route to its third-consecutive victory on Hall of Fame / Senior Day in Cullowhee. Sophomore kicker Logan Howard got in on the special teams action, splitting the uprights on a career-long 50-yard field goal -- the longest by a Catamount kicker since 2011 -- in the winning effort.   Defense, Special Teams Key Football Senior Day Victory 


Samford at The Citadel
The 5th-ranked Citadel football team punched its ticket to the FCS Playoffs with a 37-34 win over No. 20 Samford on Saturday afternoon in front of 15,015 fans inside of Johnson Hagood Stadium. The Bulldogs' defense forced Samford to attempt a field goal on its only possession in overtime and the kick hit the upright to seal a Southern Conference championship for The Citadel. Senior Tyler Renew rushed for a career-high 285 yards, one yard shy of The Citadel's single-game record, and a career-high three touchdowns on a career-high 45 carries. His rushing yards total is the seventh-highest in a game in Southern Conference history.   Bulldogs Beat No. 20 Samford, Clinch Playoff Berth


ETSU at Mercer
Marquise Irvin and Chandler Curtis each caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and Eric Jackson registered 11 tackles and a game-saving interception on the two-yard line with nine seconds left in the game as Mercer claimed a 21-13 win over East Tennessee State at Five Star Stadium in Macon Saturday afternoon. Jackson's interception came as Jeremy James had the interception but dropped the ball. With a quick reaction, James kicked the ball up in the air before it could hit the ground and Jackson caught it then fell out of bounds to end the play and complete the interception. Mercer Overcomes Fourth Quarter Deficit in 21-13 win over ETSU



After 10 weeks of play.... the standings
1. The Citadel 7-0, overall: 9-0
2. Chattanooga 6-1, overall: 8-1
3. (tie) Samford 4-2, overall: 6-3
3. (tie) Wofford 4-2, overall: 6-3
5. Mercer 3-3, overall 5-4
6. Furman 2-4, overall: 2-7
7. VMI 1-5, overall: 3-6
8. (tie) ETSU 1-6, overall 3-6
8. (tie) Western Carolina 1-6, overall: 2-7



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Friday, November 4, 2016

This week's Purple & Gold football picks (11-5-16)






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

On the schedule, we have a full slate of four conference games while Chattanooga has a bye week.




Wofford (5-3, 3-2 Southern)  at  Furman (2-6, 2-3 Southern)   1:30 pm  -  Watch on ESPN3
The Terriers take that short trip to Greenville down I-85 to play the Paladins in what will be a closer than expected game. Hoping to stay in the race for an at-large NCAA bid, Wofford pulls out a 28-24 win over Furman.


VMI (3-5, 1-4 Southern)  at  Western Carolina (1-7, 0-6 Southern) 2:00 pm  -  Watch on ESPN3
The Keydets travel to Cullowhee in search of their second conference win of the season, while the home standing Catamounts are looking for their first conference victory. The Cats pull off their second home win of the season, as they drop the Keydets with a 14 point victory,  28-14.


Samford (6-2, 4-1 Southern)  at  The Citadel (8-0, 6-0 Southern)  2:00 pm   -  Watch on ESPN3
In what may well be the FCS "game of the week", the Samford Bulldogs travel to Charleston to meet the league leading Citadel Bulldogs. With the Citadel's unbeaten record on the line, the Bulldogs defend the home turf, and pull out a 7 point victory,  28-21.


ETSU (3-5, 1-5 Southern)  at  Mercer (4-4, 2-3 Southern)  3:00 pm   -   Watch on ESPN3
The Bucs of ETSU travel to Macon to meet the Bears in the afternoon's last SoCon game of the day. With continued hopes for a long-shot at-large NCAA bid, the Bears roll to a 21 point win, 35-14.




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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cats win the 2016 Hummingbird Intercollegiate

Western Carolina men's golf cruised to the 2016 Hummingbird Intercollegiate team championship on its home course, the Country Club of Sapphire Valley. WCU junior transfer Dylan MacQueen edged classmate Jackson Bishop by two strokes to claim top individual honors over the par-71, 6,767-yard course layout.






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2016 SoCon Football Power Rankings (11-1-16)





Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2016 SoCon Football Power Rankings. Each Tuesday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.

Here're the rankings after the ninth week of play.




1. (1) The Citadel     (8-0, 6-0 Socon)
Next: Samford

2. (2) Chattanooga     (8-1, 6-1 SoCon)
Next:  Bye   

3. (3) Samford   (6-2, 4-1 SoCon)
Next: @ The Citadel

4. (4) Wofford   (5-3, 3-2 SoCon)
Next: @ Furman

5. (4) Mercer   4-4, 2-3 SoCon)
Next: ETSU 

6. (7) Furman (2-6, 2-3 SoCon)
Next: Wofford

7. (9) Western Carolina (1-7, 0-6 SoCon)
Next: VMI

8. (6) Virginia Military Institute (3-5, 1-4 SoCon)
Next: @ Western Carolina

9. (8) East Tennessee State    (3-5, 1-5 SoCon)
Next: @ Mercer





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Monday, October 31, 2016

Newsome named SoCon Offensive Player of the Week

After setting a school and facility records for rushing and all-purpose yards in a single-game, junior tailback Detrez Newsome was named the Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Newsome rushed for a record 277 yards while amassing 347 all-purpose yards in the Homecoming game against the Mocs.




2016 Football Game #9: VMI





For their ninth game of the season, the Catamounts remain in Cullowhee for the fifth and final home game of the season.

The Cats have won both games against the Keydets since their return to the Southern Conference in 2014, can we make it three in a row?


When: Saturday, November 5th - Time 2:00 pm
Where: E. J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV / video: ESPN3

The Series: Western currently leads the series with VMI, by an 18-3 margin. The Cats and Keydets first played on the gridiron in 1978, and the Cats currently own a thirteen game winning streak over the Keydets.

Last year’s record (VMI):  2-9 overall, 1-5 home, 1-4 away (1-6 SoCon)

Last Season's Game vs. VMI: (November 21, 2015)
Western Carolina Outlasts Keydets in Regular Season Finale, 24-20 - Detrez Newsome accounted for 230 yards of total offense and two touchdowns including a game-winning fourth quarter plunge as Western Carolina survived its first trip to Foster Stadium since 2002, downing the VMI Keydets, 24-20, on Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference action. Newsome capped a four-play, 70-yard drive with a powerful two-yard run to push the Catamounts ahead for what proved to be for good with just over two minutes remaining in Saturday's fourth quarter. But behind the arm of quarterback Al Cobb, the Keydet offense moved back down the field and into the red zone.

Game Notes:              Western Carolina        -           VMI   

This season's record (VMI):  3-5 overall, 1-2 home, 2-3 away (1-4 SoCon)

Offensive Formation:  Spread

Defensive Formation:  3-4

In this meeting of the SoCon's 7th and 9th place teams, WCU takes a slight lead in scoring offense with 22.6 points per game, with VMI coming in at 21/9 points per game. In scoring defense, the Keydets come in at 6th place, giving up just 28.2 points while the Cats are giving up 34.2 points per game. In the running game the Cats are averaging 143.5 yards, while VMI comes in at 8th place with 108 yards per game. In defending the run, the Cats are dead last giving up 300 yards per game on the ground, while the Keyets are in 4th place only giving up176.6 yards. In passing yardage, the Cats are in 4th place with 242.6 yards, while VMI comes in at 3d place with 250.6 yards per game.

2016 VMI Statistics  (8 games) 
Rushing Offense: 864 yards
Yards per game: 108
Yards per rush: 3.0 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 39
Passing Offense: 2005 yards or 251 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 190-304-9
Passing 1st downs: 91
Total Offense: 2869 yards or 359 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 6 - 2
3d Down Conversions: 41 of 130 (32%)
4th Down Conversions: 5 of 18 (28%)
Punts - Avg:  48 - 38 yards per
Red-Zone Scores: 23-29 (79%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 18-29 (62%)
Field-Goal-Attempts: 6-16
On-Side Kicks:  0 - 0
Kick offs / avg per kick:  35 - 62 yards per

Scott Wachenheim is in his second year as the head coach of VMI.





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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Defensive Coordinator Dustin Landry relieved of duties



Head football coach Mark Speir has announced that defensive coordinator Dustin Landry has been relieved of his coaching duties with the Catamounts effective immediately.

“Obviously, this wasn’t an easy decision, but I would like to thank Dustin for his effort and his passion in working with our student-athletes. Although it is difficult to make this change at this point in the season, I felt as the leader of this program it was in the best interest of the team to make the move at this time. I wish Dustin all the best in his future endeavors.”

Speir will assume responsibilities for the defensive unit, working along with his defensive coaching staff.





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