Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Game #6: Chattanooga

For the sixth game of the season, we'll look at the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs travel to Cullowhee for what will be the first home game after two weeks on the road for the Cats. This will be Hall of Fame Day in Cullowhee, and we will also celebrate Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Day. 

Western Carolina won against the Mocs in Chattanooga last season, breaking an eight-game losing streak against the Chattanooga.  Currently, the Mocs are siting in 4th place in the conference standings with a 2-2 conference record, and are 4-2 overall.


When: Saturday, October 13 - Time 3:30 pm ET
Where: E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
 - Talent:  Play-by-Play: Gary Ayers;  Color Analyst: Greg McLamb; Host / Producer: Jeff Bryson
Talent:  Play-by-Play: Daniel Hooker; Color Analyst: Daniel Gibson
Message Board:  Chattanooga Moc Nation

The Series: The Cats own a 17-27-0 all-time record against the Mocs, having first played in 1973. Last season the Cats broke an 8 game slide to Chattanooga with a  45-7 victory in Finley Stadium over the Mocs.

Games played by the Mocs this season prior to the WCU contest:  (Six games) The Mocs opened the season at home vs. Tenn. Tech, winning 34-10. For the second game, the Mocs traveled to Charleston to open conference play with the Bulldogs and won 29-28.  In game 3, the Mocs remained on the road traveling to Martin, TN to play UT Martin, again winning 34-24. The Mocs then return home to face another conference foe, Samford which they beat 27-20  For game five, the 4-0 Mocs traveled to Johnson City to play ETSU, but lost a close 3 point game to the Bucs. Chattanooga then returned home to face conference-leading Wofford, losing 10-21.   

The last game played vs. Chattanooga:  September 30, 2017 - Catamount Football Derails Chattanooga in `Complete Team Win,' 45-7 - Western Carolina forced three fumbles - two recovered in the end zone for touchdowns - and running back Corey Holloway eclipsed the 100-yard mark adding a pair of scores on the ground as the Catamounts halted an eight-game losing skid with a strong, 45-7, road win over Chattanooga Saturday night at Finley Stadium. WCU (4-1, 2-0 SoCon) tallied a season-high seven sacks - matching its seasonal total entering the game - to lead a strong defensive effort that limited the Mocs to 172 yards of total offense including just 49 on the ground. Combined, WCU's seven sacks totaled 63 yards in losses.

Last Season's Record (Chattanooga):  3-8 overall,  1-4 home, 2-3 away,  3-5 in the SoCon, with wins over VMI. Samford, and ETSU.

This  Season's Record (Chattanooga):  4-2 overall,  2-1 home, 2-1 away,  2-2 in the SoCon,

Base Offensive Alignment:  multiple
Base Defensive Alignment:  multiple
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  5   /  6
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  6   /  5
Specialist - Returning/Lost:  5   /   1

Key losses:
Offense -  Preseason All-SoCon C - Josh Cardiello; TE - Malcolm Colvin; X - Alphonso Stewart; Z - James Stovall; LS - Emory Norred.

Defense -  Preseason All-SoCon E -4 Taylor Reynolds; Preseason All-American M - Dale Warren; W - Tae Davis; All-SoCon FS - Lucas Webb; C - Trevor Wright

Prior to the start of this season, it was announced that Mocs QB Cole Copeland was suspended for the 2018 season for academic reasons. Head coach Tom Arth said the sophomore will be "re-evaluated" after the season. This is the second time in as many seasons the Mocs lose a starting quarterback for academic issues. Alejandro Bennifield was suspended for the first four games of 2017 because of an NCAA academic issue. Other unexpected losses from the offseason for the The Mocs were all-SoCon tight end Bailey Lenoir and incoming freshman Josiah Futral. Redshirt freshman Chris Broadwater also will not be with the team.

The Mocs lost 20 seniors,  including quarterback Alejandro Bennifield, running backs Darrell Bridges and Richardre Bagley, receivers James Stovall, Alphonso Stewart and Dy’Kari Hickey, fullback Chris Jones, tight end Malcolm Colvin, offensive linemen Josh Cardiello and Alex Hooper, defensive linemen D.J. Prather, Taylor Reynolds and Brandon Bourk, linebackers Tae Davis, Dale Warren, Joshua Phillips and T.J. Jenkins, defensive backs Trevor Wright and Lucas Webb and long snapper Emory Norred.

Since Tom Arth took over as HC in December of 2016, he has had lost 3 DCs, 3 OLB coaches, 3 DB coaches, 2 ILB coaches and 2 DL coaches. Every coach has left for a position at a higher level, including 2 (Brandon Staley-Bears, Demarcus Covington-Patriots) in NFL.

Top returnees:  QB - Cole Copeland (started last 5 games, replaced senior Alejandro Bennifield); Kicker - Victor Ulmo; Punter - Colin Brewer

In the offseason, the Mocs lost their Defensive Coordinator, Tom Kaufman, Defensive Line Coach, Brian Cochran, and defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley, all to Kent State.
The Mocs promoted last year's LB coach, Matt Feeney, to fill the  Defensive Coordinator position and hired Oscar Rodriguez to coach their Inside LB's. Rodriguez comes to Chatt from University of La Verne (CA). 
The Mocs hired Davern Williams as their DL coach (from East Mississippi Community College) and Jeremiah Wilson as the DB coach.

2018 Chattanooga Statistics

Rushing Offense: 551 yards
Yards per game: 91.8
Yards per rush: 3.4 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 34
TDs rushing:  7
Passing Offense: 1618 yards or 279.7 yards per game
Avg. per pass:  12.8 yards
Passing 1st downs: 63
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 126-208-3
TDs Passing: 10
Total Offense: 2169 yards or 361.5 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 9-5
3d Down Conversions: 34 of 83
4th Down Conversions: 4 of 7
Field goal attempts: 7 - 10
PAT-Attempts: 17 of 17 (100%)
On-side kicks:  0-0
Red Zone Scores: 17 of 19  (89%)
Red Zone Touchdowns: 11 of 19  (58%)
Punts-Yards: 27 - 965 - Avg per punt: 35.7
Penalties-Yards: 40 for 317

This weekend in Cullowhee:

Hall of Fame Weekend: Western Carolina will enshrine its 29th induction class into the WCU Athletics Hall of Fame that includes a Saturday morning ceremony in the UC Grand Room and again recognition during the WCU-UTC football game. • Celebrate 828: The Catamounts are Western North Carolina's football team! Join us to celebrate the region -- the "828" area code! Special game day recognition of several local town mayors.
 • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Day: Western Carolina Athletics will again celebrate the culture and traditions of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Members of the EBCI will have an exclusive reserved pregame tailgate area with EBCI representatives participating in the pregame coin toss on the field. Group tickets for EBCI members are available while supplies last at the WCU Cherokee Center. For more information, call (828) 497-7920.
 • Mascot Day: Fans of all ages will be entertained as various mascots from across the region will be invited to the game to join WCU's loveable mascot, Paws.

Game prediction:  Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have a 35% probability of winning (28-33) over the Mocs.

According to Massey, Cats should be 3-3 after this game.  


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