Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Game #9: The Citadel

For the ninth game of the season, the Cats return to the friendly confines of E.J. Whitmire Stadium to host the Bulldogs of The Citadel for Homecoming 2018.

Western faces the Bulldogs for the forty-third time since 1972.

The Citadel

When: Saturday, November 3 at 3:30 pm
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
TV/video: ESPN+
- Talent: Play-by-Play: Daniel Hooker; Color Analyst: Daniel Gibson
Game Notes :   WCU       -     The Citadel 
Message Board:  The Citadel Independent Sports Network

The Series: Western trails The Citadel 17-24-1 overall in the series. After winning on the road in Charleston last season, the Cats broke a two-game skid to the Bulldogs. Coach Speir is currently 2-4 against vs. the Citadel.

Games played by the Bulldogs this season prior to the WCU contest: (8 games) The Bulldogs kicked off the season with an opening conference loss at Wofford (21-28), followed by another loss against the Mocs in Charleston (28-29).  Week three was a win vs. Mercer in Macon (38-31).followed by an OOC game loss vs. Towson (27-44).  A loss to ETSU followed (23-26), then a win over the Keydets of VMI (34-32).  The Dogs then lost to Furman (17-28).

Last Season's Game vs. The Citadel (Nov. 14, 2017) - Catamount Football Scores Road Win at The Citadel, 31-19 - Senior running back Detrez Newsome broke Saturday's third tie with an 81-yard touchdown romp to cap a one-play scoring drive that gave No. 24 Western Carolina a lead it would never relinquish as the Catamounts scored a 31-19 Southern Conference road victory over The Citadel Bulldogs in Southern Conference action at Johnson Hagood Stadium. Redshirt sophomore QB Tyrie Adams threw for three touchdowns - two to redshirt senior WR Terryon Robinson - and Newsome rushed for 197 yards as the Catamounts picked up their seventh victory of the season - fifth in league play.

The Citadel's 2017 Record: 5-6 overall, 2-3 home, 3-3 away, 3-5 SoCon
The Citadel's 2018 Record: 2-5 overall, 0-3 home, 2-2 away, 2-4 SoCon

Offensive Formation: Triple Option
Defensive Formation: Multiple
Starters returning/lost:  15 /  7
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 9 / 2
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 6 / 5
Specialist - Returning/Lost: 5 / 5
Losses on 2-Deep Roster:   9

Significant Losses:   
Offense: QB Dominique Allen; A-BACK Cam Jackson
Defense: DT Jonathan King; LB Myles Pierce; CB Tyus Carter;   FS Kailik Williams; CB  Ben Roberts

Returning:  All-SoCon center - Tyler Davis;  All SoCon safety Aaron Spann;  All SoCon defensive end Ja'Lon Williams; All SoCon left guard Jon Barrett Lewis;  All Son right guard Jonathan Lewis; and All SoCon B-Back Brandon Rainey

The 2-5 Bulldogs will be looking to solve some of the offensive woes against the perceived weak defensive unit of the Catamounts, they play to play "keep away" from the high scoring offensive unit of the Cats. Currently, the Bulldgs are 5th in scoring offense in the SoCon, scoring an average of 26.9 ppg (WCU is 3d at 34.2 ppg), the Bulldog defense is also in 5th place holding opponents at 31.1 ppg (the Cats are 8th at 40.8 ppg).  The Citadel is in second place in rushing offense, averaging 264.4 yards per game (WCU is 3d at 224 ypg), and the dogs are in 4th place in rushing defense, holding teams to 155 ypg (Cats are in 7th at 192.2 ypg).  In pass offense, the dogs come in 9th place at 103.3 yards gained per game (Cats are 4th at 262.5 ypg) while the dogs are in 5th place in pass defense giving up 250 yards per game (the Cats are in last place in pass defense, giving up 296.9 ypg).

2018 The Citadel Statistics (8 games):
Rushing Offense: 1851 yards
Yards per game: 264.4
Yards per rush: 4.4 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 94
TDs rushing: 19
Passing Offense: 732 yards or 103.3 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 7.8 yards
Passing 1st downs: 28
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 41-93-4
TDs Passing: 3
Total Offense: 2574 yards or 367.7 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 7 - 5
3d Down Conversions: 49 of 119 (41%)
4th Down Conversions: 19 of 32 (59%)
Field goal attempts: 7 - 8
PAT-Attempts: 23 of 23 (100%)
On-side kicks: 0-1
Red Zone Scores: 18 of 21 (86%)
Red Zone Touchdowns: 13 of 21 (62%)
Punts-Yards: 29 - 1259 - Avg per punt: 43.4

Game prediction: Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have a 41% probability of winning (35-38) over the Bulldogd
According to Massey, Western Carolina should be 3-6 after this game.  I'm going to disagree, the Cats are 4-5 after this game.


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