Sunday, September 9, 2018

Game #2 - Gardner-Webb

**** Game moved to Friday, September 14, at 6 pm due to Hurricane Florence ****

In Western Carolina's second football game of the 2018 season and the first road game, the Catamounts travel to Boiling Spring, NC to play in Spangler Stadium vs. the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs.

This will be the third game of what is a four-game series for the Cats against the Bulldogs, and the second straight game of that series to be played in Boiling Springs.  While the Cats have one game under their belts, the Runnin' Bulldogs have played two games, one against Limestone, and the second against the #5 NC A&T Aggies.


When: Saturday, September 15 - Time - 6:00 pm
Where: Spangler Stadium, Boilings Springs, NC (9,000)
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV/video: ESPN+
Live Stats:  statBroadcast
Game Notes:  WCU    -     GWU
The Series: The series stretches back to 1932, and the Cats lead with a 5-3 overall record.
Conference:  Big South
Message BoardGardner-Webb Fans' Message Board

Games that the Bulldogs play prior to the WCU contest:  Two games - Limestone (home) & NC A&T (road) - The runnin' dogs have a 52-17 win over Div. II Limestone in Boiling Springs, but lost to high powered and #5 ranked NC A&T, 45-6 in Greensboro, NC last Saturday.

Last game played vs. GWU: (9-16-17) Newsome Scores Twice, Adams Three TD Passes in 42-27 Win at Gardner-Webb -  Running back Detrez Newsome scored two touchdowns, rushing for 146 yards to go over 3,000 for his career as Western Carolina used a strong offensive effort and timely defense to down Gardner-Webb, 42-27, Saturday night at Spangler Stadium. The Catamounts (2-1), who came in as the FCS leader in total offense, averaging 630 yards per game, finished with 435 against the Runnin' Bulldogs (1-2). Western Carolina also snapped a seven-game road losing streak, recording its first victory away from home since the season finale of 2015.

Last Year's Record: 1-10 overall (home 1-4, road 0-6), 0-5 Big South Conference

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 7 / 4
Specialist - Returning/Lost:  2 / 3
Offensive Formation:  Spread
Defensive Formation:  3-4

Gardner-Webb returns 17 starters, having lost a total of 17 seniors from the 2017 season, including their all-conference quarterback, Tyrell Maxwell. The Runnin' Bulldogs return 3 QB possibilities, sophomore Jordan Smith, sophomore Jaylen Myers, and senior Brody Rollins. Rollin was the back up last season, but Jordan Smith has gotten the starting nod for the first two games of the season and Rolling has been moved to a starting WR position.

GWU brought in a 13-man recruiting class, with the highlight being a three-star defensive back Malachi Buckner (6-1, 195) from Georgia powerhouse Tucker (Ga.) High. An All-DeKalb County choice, Buckner garnered more than 10 Division I scholarship offers during the course of his senior season, including five from FBS programs.

2017 Bulldog Statistics:
Rushing Offense: 2143 yards
Yards per game: 194.8
Yards per rush: 4.7 yards
TDs rushing: 11
Passing Offense: 1341 yards or 121.9 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 121-257-12
Total Offense: 3484 yards or 316.7 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 72
Rushing 1st downs: 118
Fumbles-Lost: 8 - 5
Penalties-Yards: 45 - 406 yards
3d Down Conversions: 56 of 159 - 35%
4th Down Conversions: 12 of 19 - 63%
Red-Zone Scores: 14 of 22 (64%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 6 of 22 (27%)
Punts: 64 - Avg. per punt: 33.6 yds
Sacks: 13
PAT-Attempts: 21 of 21 - 100%
Field Goals-Attempts: 10 of 11

Game prediction:  Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have a 71% probability of winning (31-24)

My prediction - Cats should be 2-0 after this game.

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