“No. 1, we won,” head Coach Mark Speir said, in his postgame remarks. “That’s our objective every time we come out: to win. Our players came out and worked their butts off since January, and they went out and had a hard-fought victory against a good football team.”
The 42-14 season opening victory over Division II Mars Hill, was the largest margin of victory for the Cats since they defeated Shorter College, 35-0, back in 2008. The Shorter win was ironically the debut game for then first-year head coach Dennis Wagner.
True freshman quarterback Troy Mitchell became the third freshman to start at quarterback for the Cats since 1992, joining Chad Greene and Brandon Pechloff as rookies who earned the starting job.
The Cats forced four turnovers against Mars Hill during the game, three of the turnovers were fumbles and one was an interception. Senior Rock Williams, junior Courtland Carson and redshirt junior De'Von Richardson recovered the fumbles, while redshirt sophomore Ace Clark came up with the season's first interception and his first pick of his collegiate career.