Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Game #4 - Samford Bulldogs

For the 2022 season's fourth game, the Catamounts open conference play on the road, as they travel to Homewood, AL to face the Samford Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs finished the 2021 season in seventh place and were picked sixth in the SoCon coaches poll for 2022.  

Game #4 - Samford Bulldogs

When: Saturday, September 24, 2021
Time: 3:00 pm (ET)
Where: Seibert Stadium, Birmingham, AL
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
   -Play-by-Play Gary Ayers • Color Daniel Hooker • Producer: Jeff Bryson
TV/video:  ESPN+
Live Stats: Samford Live Stats
   -Play-by-Play Curt Bloom • Color Damian Mitchell  •  Sideline Blake Gardner
Game Notes:  Western Carolina   -   Samford    -   SoCon Notes
Bulldog Message Board: The Dog Pound 

The Series: The Cats are 3-16 overall against the Bulldogs since winning the first outing back in 1969. Samford owned an eleven-game winning streak against Western until 2015 when the Cats broke that streak in Cullowhee with a 56-36 win over the Dogs. The Cats have not won in Homewood since the Bulldogs joined the SoCon.

Last game played vs. Samford: Sep. 18, 2021 - Samford Escapes Cullowhee in SoCon-Opener at WCU, 42-37 - Trailing 21-3 early in the second quarter, Western Carolina stormed back with 28-straight points to seize a 10-point, 31-21, lead late in the third stanza in Saturday's Family Weekend matchup with Samford. However, the Bulldogs rallied with three-consecutive scores in building an 11-point edge and then held off a late Catamount comeback attempt to escape E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field with a 42-37 win in the first Southern Conference game of the season.

Chris Hatcher's record vs. Western Carolina: 8-2
Kerwin Bell's record vs. Samford: 0-1

Head Coach: Chris Hatcher. Chris Hatcher was named Samford’s 36th head football coach on Dec. 11, 2014. Entering his eighth season at Samford in 2022, Hatcher boasts a career record of 161-93 in 22 years as a college head coach, having previously coached at Murray State, Georgia Southern, and Valdosta State. 

Hatcher's Record at Samford (Years): 40-36 (8th season)
Career Record (Years): 161-93 (23rd season)

Last Season's Record - 2020-21 (Samford): 4-7 overall, 2-3 home, 2-4 away, 3-5 SoCon
This Season's Record - 2022 (Samford):  2-1 overall, 1-0 home, 1-1 away, 0-0 SoCon

Offensive Formation: Multiple
Defensive Formation: 4-3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 48/28
Offensive Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
Defensive Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4
Special Teams Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3

Three members of the Samford football team were named to the 2022 Preseason All-Southern Conference teams. Nathan East was named to the first team at linebacker, while offensive lineman Gavin Orr and punter Bradley Porcellato were selected to the second team. In the SoCon preseason polls, the Bulldogs were selected to finish in 5th place by the coaches, and in seventh place by the media.

Since the departure of Liam Welch, juco transfer Michael Hiers seems to have nailed down the starting QB position.  Currently, Hatcher's Air Raid comes in at sixth place in the conference standings, scoring an average of 20 points per game. 

The Bulldogs were the worst defense in the FCS last fall, completing the 2021 campaign ranked 123rd out of 123 FCS teams ranked in total defense, surrendering a whopping 505.4 YPG last season.  This year through 3 games, the Bulldogs remain in last place in the conference standings, giving up an average of 422 ypg.  

Currently, the Bulldogs have wins over Kennesaw State (ASun), and  Tenn Tech (OVC), while losing to  (then #2) Georgia. 

After last year's disappointing season, with Hatcher on the hot seat, he shuffled his staff and added seven assistant coaches, Chris Boone (Defensive Coordinator/Safeties), Brandon Cooper (Linebackers), Mike Krysl (Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends), Terrance Malone (Outside Linebackers), Darien Moody (Defensive Line), Lewis Freeman (Director of Football Operations) and Connor Koch (Director of Player Personnel) joined the full-time staff. Holdover, Ricky Turner was promoted to assistant head coach/offensive coordinator, and Shawn Bostick was elevated to associate head coach/offensive line.  I don't see enough improvement in the defense to accomplish what Hatcher needs to remain in Birmingham.  

2022 Samford Statistics (3 games)
Rushing Offense: 317 yards
Yards per game: 106
Yards per rush: 3.6 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 22
TDs rushing: 0
Passing Offense: 725 yards or 243 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 145
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 480-318-15
TDs Passing: 28
Total Offense: 1042 yards or 347 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 6-4
3d Down Conversions: 15 of  41 (37%)
4th Down Conversions: 1 of 2 (50%)
Field goal attempts: 2 - 4
PAT-Attempts: 6 of 7
Red Zone Scores:  6 of 7
Red Zone Touchdowns: 4 of 7
On-Side Kicks: 0 - 0
Penalties-Yards: 13 - 111

Monday, September 19, 2022

2022 SoCon Football Power Rankings - (after week #3)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings after week #3 of play.

Each Monday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.

We know it's still early in the season, but, here are this week's power rankings.  After 3 weeks of  play, here's how we see it shaping up....  (last week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. (1) Chattanooga  (3-0, 1-0 SoCon)
Next: at Illinois

2. (2) Mercer (2-1, 1-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Gardner-Webb

3. (4) Western Carolina  (2-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Samford

4. (7) Furman (2-1, 1-0 SoCon)
Next: at Charleston Southern

5. (3) Samford (2-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next: Western Carolina

6. (5) VMI (1-2, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  Bye

7. (6) The Citadel  (1-2, 1-1 SoCon)
Next:  Bye

8. (8) ETSU  (1-2, 0-2 SoCon)
Next: at Robert Morris

9. (9) Wofford  (0-3, 0-1 SoCon)
Next:  at Kennesaw State


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Game #3 - Presbyterian Blue Hose

For the 2022 season's third game, the Catamounts return to the friendly confines of EJ Whitmire Stadium for the first time this season to face the Presbyterian Blue Hose in a "White Out" game in Whitmire. 

The Blue Hose finished the 2021 season in eleventh place in the Pioneer Football league

Game #3 - Presbyterian Blue Hose

When: Saturday, September 17, 2022
Where: EJ Whitmire Stadium
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
  -Play-by-Play Gary Ayers • Producer: Jeff Bryson
TV/video: ESPN+
  -Play-by-Play Kyle Rush and John Mount Shoop 
Time: 3:30 pm
Live Stats: WCU Live Stats
Conference:  Pioneer Football League
Message BoardPresbyterian Blue Hose

Roster: WCU 2-Deep Roster -
Game Notes:   Western Carolina   -    Presbyterian 

The Series: The Cats own a 10-9 record over the Blue Hose, and have won 9 of the last ten meetings between the two teams.  

The Last Game:  Oct. 3, 2015 - Strong fourth quarter pushes Cats past PC  -   Sophomore tailback Detrez Newsome rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns as Western Carolina pushed past Presbyterian, 33-21, in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at a rain-soaked E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.

Head CoachSteve EnglehartEnglehart enters his first season as head coach of the Blue Hose. Englehart's hiring came after a national search conducted by the Parker Executive Search firm, working with a search committee including Presbyterian College faculty, staff, coaches, and members of the College's Board of Trustees. 

Steve Engleharts' Record at PC: 1-1  (the first season)
Steve Englehart's record vs. Kerwin Bell: 1-2
Kerwin Bell's record vs. Steve Englehart: 2-1

Last Season's Record - (PC 2021): 2-9 overall, 2-4 home, 0-5 away, 0-8 PFL

PC Offense - Returning/loss:  5 / 6
PC Defense- Returning/loss:  5 / 6
Special Teams - Returning/loss:  1 /  2

First-year head coach Steve Englehart will have his hands full this season directing the Pioneer Leagues' only conference winless team, the Blue Hose.  PC was also picked to finish 11th in the Pioneer Leagues coaches' preseason poll for 2022.  

With the 2021 PC quarterback starter (redshirt sophomore) Ren Hefley not on this season's roster, last season's backup (sophomore) Jake Davis will battle sophomore Warner Bush for the starting position. All three quarterbacks listed at the top of the Blue Hose pack are enacting their collegiate debut seasons, along with two defensive backs and one offensive lineman, wide receiver, edge rusher, and return specialist at the top of PC's depth chart. Redshirt-junior transfer QB Nate Hayden has gotten the start on both games prior to the trip to Cullowhee. 

The Blue Hose come to Cullowhee with a 1-1 record, losing to Austin Peay on the road (0-63), and beating NCCAA's  Virginia University of Lynchburg at home (21-13).  Coach Englehart and co. represent a sizable overhaul in the PC depth chart to begin the season, starting 13 underclassmen on both sides of the ball, including seven true freshmen.

"The Catamounts open the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, Sept. 17, hosting Presbyterian at Bob Waters Field / E.J. Whitmire Stadium in Cullowhee. The home opener includes a "White Out Whitmire," the 2022 Freshmen Run, WCU honoring its members of the Southern Conference's 100th Anniversary team, and the first performances of the "Pride of the Mountains" Marching Band. Fans are encouraged to wear their white WCU gear to the game as the Catamounts will match with their white Nike uniforms and will sport the vintage "The Cats" logo on their helmets. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will also receive a free "White Out" T-shirt. The Carolina Soul Band will be performing during tailgating just south of the Stadium Lot beginning at 1:30. The free concert is courtesy of Ingles." 

2022 Presbyterian Stats (2 games)      
Rushing Offense: 237 yards
Yards per game: 118.5
Yards per rush: 3.3 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 85
TDs rushing: 0
Passing Offense: 425 yards or 212.5 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 18
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 61-34-2
TDs Passing: 3
Total Offense: 662 yards or 331 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 4 - 3
3d Down Conversions: 13 of 30 (43%)
4th Down Conversions: 1 of 4 (25%)
Field goal attempts 0 - 0
PAT-Attempts: 0-0
Red Zone Scores: 2 of 4
Red Zone Touchdowns: 2 of 4
On-Side Kicks: 9 of 48
Penalties-Yards: 13 - 131 - Avg. per gm 65
Punts-Yards: 11 - 254549 - Avg. per gm 22.6

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Monday, September 12, 2022

2022 SoCon Football Power Rankings - (after week #2)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings after week #2 of play.

Each Monday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.

We know it's early in the season, but, here are this week's power rankings.  After 2 weeks of  play, here's how we see it shaping up....  (last week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. (1.) Chattanooga  (2-0, 1-0 SoCon)
Next: North Alabama

2. (2.) Mercer (1-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  The Citadel 

3. (4.) Samford (1-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Tennessee Tech

4. (5.) Western Carolina  (1-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  Presbyterian

5. (7.) VMI (1-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  Cornell

6. (8.) The Citadel  (1-1, 1-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Mercer

7. (6.) Furman (1-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next: at ETSU

8. (3.) ETSU  (1-1, 0-1 SoCon)
Next: at Furman

9. (9.) Wofford  (0-2, 0-1 SoCon)
Next:  at Virginia Tech


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Never Forget 9-11-01

Remember and honor those lost 21 years ago in an attack that forever changed our country.  May we Never Forget


WCU Player of the Game (GT)

Purple & Gold's "Catamount Player of the Game" for the Georgia Tech game is  sophomore safety, Andreas Keaton

This week, we look to the defensive side of the ball for our player of the game, 
Andreas Keaton. 

Keaton led the Catamount defense effort with seven tackles including three solo stops with one for loss, adding a pass breakup. 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Game #2 - Georgia Tech

For the 2022 season's second game, the Catamounts remain on the road and travel to Atlanta, Georgia to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, for the sixth time overall. 

The Yellow Jackets finished the 2021 season in sixth place in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Game #2 - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

When: Saturday, September 10, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
  -Play-by-Play  Gary Ayers    Color: Daniel Hooker    Producer: Jeff Bryson
TV/videoACC NetworkExtra / ESPN+
   -Play-by-Play - John Schriffen • Analyst - Rene Ingoglia • Sideline Reporter  - Jalyn Johnson
Live Stats: GT Live Stats
Conference:  Atlantic Coast Conference
Message BoardGT Swarm
Game NotesWestern Carolina  -  Georgia Tech   -   SoCon Notes

The Series: The Yellow Jackets have won all five previous meetings between the two teams, all played at Bobby Dodd Stadium.   

Head Coach
: Geoff Collins is in his fourth season at Georgia Tech. A metro-Atlanta native, Collins was named the 20th head coach in Georgia Tech football history on Dec. 7, 2018, after recording 15 wins in two seasons as head coach at Temple. Prior to becoming head coach at Temple, Collins was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators, serving in the role at Florida, Mississippi State, FIU, and his alma mater, Western Carolina. He is the only coach to ever be nominated for the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant coach, at three different schools.

Geoff Collins' Record at GT: 9-25 overall (3 seasons), and  24-35 overall

Geoff Collins' record vs. Western Carolina: 0-0
Kerwin Bell's record vs. Georgia Tech: 0-0

Last Season's Record - (GT 2021): 3-9 overall, 2-5 home, 1-4 away, 2-6 ACC

GT OFFENSE:  Spread Pro-Style
GT DEFENSE:  4-2-5
GT Offense - Returning/loss:  6 / 5
GT Defense- Returning/loss:  4 / 7

Collins enters his fourth year with an unhappy fan base and pressure to show progress on the field. The Yellow Jackets have almost as many personnel questions now as they did when Collins got the job (due to turnover in the coaching staff and players) and he is banking on the new assistants to make an immediate impact.

A total of 17 transfers joined Georgia Tech football this offseason, with the group of incoming transfers ranked No. 4 in the Atlantic Conference and No. 20 nationally in 247Sports 2022 transfer rankings.

On defense, the unit lost eight of its top 11 tacklers either to graduation or transfer and needs several players who gained experience last season to step up, particularly in the secondary and the pass-rushing positions.

The Yellow Jackets were a big underdog in its 2022 season opener against No. 4 Clemson, however, Tech gave the Tigers all they could handle for two-and-a-half quarters before falling, 41-10, in Monday night’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Tech (0-1, 0-1 ACC) trailed just 14-10 midway through the third quarter, then Clemson scored on five of its final six possessions to hand GT a loss that wasn’t quite as lopsided as the final score would make it appear. After a slow start, the Yellow Jackets’ offense hit its stride and racked up 146 yards over three series spanning the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, capped by a nine-play, 57-yard drive that culminated with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Sims to E.J. Jenkins that made it 14-10 with 9:47 to go in the third quarter. 

Georgia Tech So. QB Jeff Sims completed 23-of-36 passes for 164 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 13 times for 41 yards.  Georgia Tech linebacker Charlie Thomas was disqualified for targeting in the Clemson game and will sit out the first half of the WCU game.

2022 Georgia Tech (1 game)
Rushing Offense: 101 yards
Yards per game: 1019
Yards per rush: 2.4 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 5
TDs rushing: 0
Passing Offense: 164 yards or 164 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 8
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 23-36-1
TDs Passing: 1
Total Offense: 237 yards or 237 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 2 - 0
3d Down Conversions: 2 of 16 (13%)
4th Down Conversions: 2 of  3 (66%)
Field goal attempts:  1 - 2
PAT-Attempts: 1 of  1
Red Zone Scores: 1 of  1
Red Zone Touchdowns: 1 of  1
On-Side Kicks: 0 - 0
Penalties-Yards: 10 - 86 - Avg. per gm 86
Punts-Yards: 2 - 284 - Avg. per gm 35
Sacks: 3 for 19 yards

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Georgia Tech's Above the Line (2-deep roster)

Georgia Tech's version of the two-deep roster...  called above the line (ATL) and includes all players ready to play in a specific game...

Taken from the GT Game Notes vs. WCU


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

2-Deep Roster vs. Georgia Tech


Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

SoCon Teams Rise in Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Rankings

The Southern Conference now has four teams on the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 ETSU leads the SoCon teams coming in at #9 up three from last week.  Chattanooga is at #11, just outside the top 10 by moving up one position.  Mercer holds at #23, while Samford moved into the top 25 with their win over Kennesaw StateFurman is in the "others receiving votes".  

Stats Perform FCS Top 25

 (Sept. 5)

1. North Dakota State (1-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley), 1,348 points (52 first-place votes)
Previous Ranking: 1; Week 1 Result: 56-14 win over Drake

2. South Dakota State (0-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley), 1,259 (2)
Previous Ranking: 2; Week 1 Result: 7-3 loss at Iowa

3. Montana (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), 1,244
Previous Ranking: 3; Week 1 Result: 47-0 win over Northwestern State

4. Montana State (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), 1,210
Previous Ranking: 4; Week 1 Result: 40-17 win over McNeese

5. Missouri State (1-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley), 1,065
Previous Ranking: 5; Week 1 Result: 27-14 win at Central Arkansas

6. Villanova (1-0, 0-0 CAA), 1,064
Previous Ranking: 6; Week 1 Result: 45-17 win over Lehigh

7. Sacramento State (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), 1,009
Previous Ranking: 7; Week 1 Result: 56-33 win over Utah Tech

8. UIW (1-0, 0-0 Southland), 899
Previous Ranking: 14; Week 1 Result: 64-29 win over then-No. 9 Southern Illinois

9. ETSU (1-0, 0-0 Southern), 815
Previous Ranking: 11; Week 1 Result: 44-7 win over Mars Hill

10. Delaware (1-0, 0-0 CAA), 768 
Previous Ranking: 19; Week 1 Result: 14-7 win at Navy 

11. Chattanooga (1-0, 1-0 Southern), 752 
Previous Ranking: 12; Week 1 Result: 31-0 win over Wofford 

12. Eastern Washington (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), 719 
Previous Ranking: 13; Week 1 Result: 36-29 win over Tennessee State 

13. Jackson State (1-0, 1-0 SWAC), 700 
Previous Ranking: 15; Week 1 Result: 59-3 win over Florida A&M 

14. UT Martin (1-0, 0-0 Ohio Valley), 518 
Previous Ranking: 18; Week 1 Result: 42-25 win over Western Illinois 

15. Holy Cross (1-0, 0-0 Patriot), 495 
Previous Ranking: 16; Week 1 Result: 31-17 win at Merrimack 

16. Weber State (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky), 451 
Previous Ranking: 20; Week 1 Result: 41-5 win over Western Oregon 

17. Southern Illinois (0-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley), 450 
Previous Ranking: 9; Week 1 Result: 64-29 loss at then-No. 14 UIW 

18. Stephen F. Austin (1-1, 1-0 ASUN-WAC), 394 
Previous Ranking: 10; Week 0/1 Results: 42-17 loss to Jacksonville State and 31-27 win at Alcorn State 

19. Kennesaw State (0-1, 0-1 ASUN-WAC), 379 
Previous Ranking: 8; Week 1 Result: 27-17 loss at Samford 

20. William & Mary (1-0, 0-0 CAA), 350 
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked;Week 1 Result: 41-24 win at Charlotte 

21. Southeastern Louisiana (0-1, 0-0 Southland), 348 
Previous Ranking: 17; Week 1 Result: 24-7 loss at Louisiana 

22. Rhode Island (1-0, 1-0 CAA), 324 
Previous Ranking: 22; Week 1 Result: 35-14 win at Stony Brook 

23. Mercer (1-1, 0-0 Southern), 206 
Previous Ranking: 23; Week 0/1 Results: 63-13 win over Morehead State and 42-16 loss at Auburn 

24. Northern Iowa (0-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley), 187 
Previous Ranking: 21; Week 1 Result: 48-17 loss at Air Force 

25. Samford (1-0, 0-0 Southern), 162 
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 1 Result: 27-17 win over Kennesaw State 

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Richmond (0-1, 0-0 CAA) 104; UC Davis (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) 85; Eastern Kentucky (0-1, 0-0 ASUN-WAC): 67; South Dakota (0-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley): 44; Furman (1-0, 0-0 Southern): 31; Dartmouth (0-0, 0-0 Ivy): 30; New Hampshire (1-0, 1-0 CAA) 14; Elon (0-1, 0-0 CAA): 13; North Dakota (0-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley) 11; North Carolina Central (1-0, 0-0 MEAC) 3; Austin Peay (1-1, 1-0 ASUN-WAC) 3 

Monday, September 5, 2022

WCU Player of the Game (CSU)

Purple & Gold's "Catamount Player of the Game" is a junior and quarterback, Carlos Davis 

Carlos Davis
 threw for a career-high 433 yards and a school-record six touchdown passes going to six different receivers as Western Carolina won its 2022 season opener on Saturday afternoon, 52-38, over Charleston Southern. 

Davis tallied the second 400-yard passing game of his WCU career, as he connected on 10 of his first 12 pass attempts with two going for touchdowns on consecutive attempts.  

There is no doubt he should have been selected as the SoCon offensive player of the week. 

2022 SoCon Football Power Rankings - (after week #1)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings after week #1 of play.

Each Monday throughout the season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.

We know it's early in the season, but, here are this week's power rankings anyway.  After 1 week of  play, here's how we see it shaping up....  (last week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. Chattanooga  (1-0, 1-0 SoCon)
Next: at Eastern Illinois

2. Mercer (1-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  Bye 

3. ETSU  (1-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Next: at The Citadel

4. Samford (1-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Georgia

5. Western Carolina  (1-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  at Georgia Tech

6. Furman (1-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Next: at Clemson

7. VMI (0-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Next:  Bucknell

8. The Citadel  (0-0, 1-5 SoCon)
Next:  ETSU

9. Wofford  (0-1, 0-1 SoCon)
Next:  Elon


Saturday, September 3, 2022

0 days to WCU Football Kickoff - Jaylen Floyd & TJ Jones

-Catamount Game Day-

Welcome to the twelfth annual Catamount Football  "100 days to WCU Football Kickoff Countdown".

It's now game day, for Catamount football  -  Saturday, September 3rd, 2022, the Cats will play the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, on Buccaneer Field in Charleston, SC today.

Today, we highlight two players assigned to #0, one offense, one defense:  a running back and a defensive safety:

#0 Jaylen Floyd
CLASS Graduate Student
HOMETOWN Miramar, Fla.
COLLEGE Lehigh University
2021 (Senior): Played in one game before he was sidelined with an injury ... Recorded three tackles on the year, each solo stops ... Made his WCU debut against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 4), posting three tackles.

Prior to Western Carolina: Graduate transfer from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. … Did not play in Lehigh’s abbreviated, three-game 2021 spring season ... Was named a team captain as a senior in the spring season ... Graduated from Lehigh with a bachelors in psychology.

2019 (Junior, Lehigh): Appeared in all 11 games with eight starts at cornerback … Also served as one of Lehigh’s primary kickoff and punt returners ... Named the team's top defensive back … Established a career high with 15 tackles at UC Davis … Finished with team-best six pass breakups on the season … Had five tackles and two pass breakups at Bucknell … Averaged 20 yards on 15 kickoff returns … Career-long 34-yard kickoff return versus Merrimack.

2018 (Sophomore, Lehigh): Played in nine games with two starts at rover at Georgetown and Lafayette … Credited with four pass breakups … Made four tackles versus Fordham … Four tackles and a tackle for loss at Lafayette … Lehigh’s top punt returner with 86 yards on 14 returns.

2017 (Freshman, Lehigh): Appeared in 11 games, making six starts at cornerback … Made four straight starts beginning with Penn game … Career-high seven tackles at Colgate … Added four tackles in win over Georgetown.

High School: Was a team captain ... Awarded defensive MVP ... Selected for Florida Public vs. Private School All-Star Game … National Honor Society member.

Personal: Is the son of Sherrell and Harold Floyd … Has two siblings, Justyce Floyd and Jamaal Floyd.

#0 TJ Jones

POSITION Running Back
CLASS Senior
HOMETOWN Lakeland, Fla.

2022 (Senior):
Was a second-team preseason All-Southern Conference selection at running back by the league's head coaches ... Tabbed third-team preseason All-SoCon by Phil Steele.

2021 (Junior): Played in all 11 games with four starts at running back ... Led WCU in rushes (125), rushing yards (589), and rushing touchdowns (9) on the season, averaging 53.5 yards rushing per game ... Totaled 895 all-purpose yards on the season, eclipsing the 100-yard mark five times - twice surpassing the century mark rushing ... Finished with 12 total touchdowns on the year to finish second on the squad in scoring with 72 points and tied for fourth in the SoCon with 12 total TDs ... Ran for 115 yards and a touchdown with 31 receiving yards and a score in his WCU debut against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 4) ... Rushed for a career-high 132 yards and two TDs in the road win at The Citadel (Oct. 23), adding 73 receiving yards and a score for three touchdowns in the victory - amassing a career-best 205 all-purpose yards ... Completed a 25-yard pass against ETSU (Nov. 13) to go along with 102 all-purpose yards (62 rushing, 40 receiving).

Prior to Western Carolina: Transferred to WCU in the summer of 2021 from Tusculum; Tusculum: In five games in the spring season, led the Pioneers with 337 rushing yards on 62 carries, averaging 67.4 rushing yards per game and 5.4 yards per rush … Scored five touchdowns on the ground … Added 18 receptions for 243 receiving yards and three scores out of the backfield; Georgia Military College: Scored eight touchdowns in 2019 in helping GMC to an 8-3 record … Rushed for 458 yards on 56 carries (8.2 ypc average) ... Rushed for a season-best 140 yards and three TDs at Hocking College including a 93-yard TD run ... Also returned punts and kickoffs during the season.... Coached by Bert Williams; 

High School: Accumulated 3,769 rushing yards and a school-record 54 TDs ... Rushed for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons ... Named first-team All-State ... All-County first team selection .... Offensive MVP ... 3-time District Champions ... State Runner-Up ... Coached by Doug Deymer and Keith Deymer

Personal: Full name Travell Jones ... Prefers to go by "TJ"... Son of Sherry Carson... Has four siblings: Trenard Carter, Lakeith Wilson, Keonte Wilson, Derwin Carter.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Game #1 - Charleston Southern Bucs

For the 2022 season's first game, the Catamounts travel to North Charleston, SC to face the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in the first-ever meeting in a new (home and home) series between the two teams on the gridiron. 

The Bucs completed the 2021 season tied for third place in the Big South Conference standings.  

Game #1 - Charleston Southern Buccaneers

When: Saturday, September 3, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon
Where: Buccaneer Stadium, North Charleston, SC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
CSN Broadcast team - PBP: Gary Ayers; Color: Daniel Hooker; Producer: Jeff Bryson
TV/video: ESPN+
Live Stats: CSU Live Stats
Conference:  Big South 

The Series: This is the first meeting between the two teams on the football field, and is the first game in a new home and home series between the two universities. 

Head Coach
Autry Denson Jr. was named the Charleston Southern head football coach in January 2019. Denson became the fifth CSU head football coach in program history. He came to the Buccaneers after coaching stops at Notre Dame, South Florida, Miami (Ohio), and Bethune-Cookman. 

Autry Denson's Record: 12-16 overall (3d season)

Autry Denson's record vs. Western Carolina: 0-0
Kerwin Bell's record vs. Charleston Southern: 2-0

Last Season's Record - 2021 (CSU): 4-6 overall, 2-2 home, 2-4 away, 3-4 Big South

Offensive Formation:  Has transitioned from a run-oriented triple-option approach to a spread attack 
Defensive Formation:  
base 4-3 defense

CSU Offense - Returning/loss:  6 / 5
CSU Defense- Returning/loss:  6 / 5
CSU Special Teams - Returning/loss:  0 / 1

In the Big South preseason, CSU was selected number three (tied with Gardner-Webb) in the preseason poll (total of 6 members this season).  On the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver,  Cayden Jordan, (R-Jr. ) was selected for the first team all-conference, and defensively linebacker  Garrett Sayegh (Gr.,) and defensive back  Hombre Kennedy (Gr.) were both selected for the first team. 

Charleston Southern enters the fourth year of the Autry Denson era, after transitioning from a run-oriented triple-option approach to a spread attack. The Bucs are returning 12 starters from the offense and defensive sides of the ball while losing 5 starters on each side of the ball. Over the past couple of seasons, the Buccaneers have shown flashes of success on offense, but have also struggled at times with consistency.  

In 2019, during the first year of Denson as head coach, the Buccaneers averaged 22 points per game, and last year's 24.5 ppg after assistant coach Klay Koester took over as the team's offensive coordinator is a minor improvement in scoring.  With the loss of an experienced quarterback, Jack Chambers behind center, the Buc's biggest need in 2022 is to fill the QB position. CSU currently has 4 qbs on their roster, including last season's back-up, redshirt sophomore Ross Malmgren.  

In  2021, the Bucs completed the season in seventh place in scoring with an average of 24.5 points per game, and completed the season in fourth place in scoring defense, giving up 29.9 points per game.  scoring

2021 Charleston Southern Statistics (Fall -10 games)
Rushing Offense: 1144 yards
Yards per game: 114.4
Yards per rush: 3.4 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 72
TDs rushing: 12
Passing Offense: 2553 yards or 255.3 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 111
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 434-239-10
TDs Passing: 19
Total Offense: 3697 yards or 369.7 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 9 - 5
3d Down Conversions: 67 of 174 (38.5%)
4th Down Conversions: 5 of 17 (29.4%)
Field goal attempts:  6 - 15
PAT-Attempts: 29 of 29
Red Zone Scores: 25 of 35
Red Zone Touchdowns: 20 of 35
On-Side Kicks: 0 - 1
Penalties-Yards: 45 - 446 - Avg. per gm 44.6
Punts-Yards: 67 - 2572 - Avg. per gm 38.4
Sacks: 23 for 133 yards

1 day to WCU Football Kickoff - Cameron McCutcheon & Desmond Reid

Welcome to the twelfth annual Catamount Football  "100 days to WCU Football Kickoff Countdown".

It's now 1 day until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022, against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, on Buccaneer Field in Charleston, SC

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully, get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we will highlight two players assigned to #1, one offense, one defense, a running back and a defensive cornerback:

#1 Cameron McCutcheon

POSITION Cornerback
CLASS Fifth Year

2022 (Fifth Year): Was selected to the third-team preseason All-Southern Conference by Phil Steele.

2021 (Senior): Played in all 11 of WCU's seasonal games with 10 starts in the defensive secondary ... Finished fifth on the team with 48 total tackles including 27 solo stops and two tackles for loss ... Made his WCU debut in the season-opener against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 4) and his first start for the Purple & Gold at Oklahoma (Sept. 11), recording a season-best seven tackles ... Matched his season-high with seven stops against Furman (Nov. 6) ... Recorded two interceptions on the year with picks against Samford (Sept. 18) and at VMI (Nov. 20), also recoverin a fumble in the road win over the Keydets ... Has one year of eligibility remaining.

Prior to Western Carolina: Transferred to Western Carolina from Gardner-Webb during the summer of 2021 … Played in 25 games at Gardner-Webb since 2018, recording 87 career tackles including 63 solo stops and a tackle for loss … Recorded his first career interception as a junior in the 2020-21 season against Elon … Credited with seven passes defended in his career … Posted a career-high 11 tackles in the 2019 season-opener at Charlotte … Had eight solo stops against N.C. Central in 2019 … Made his collegiate debut against Limestone in 2018 with his first career tackle coming against Wofford (9/29/2018).

High School: Played at Seneca (S.C.) High under Coach Hal Capps … Earned first-team All-Region honors in 2017 as a senior … Helped squad to an 8-4 record … Named second-team All-Area by the Anderson Independent-Mail … Picked off four passes on the season … Broke up six passes and had one fumble recovery … Returned one punt for a touchdown … Earned honorable mention All-Area honors as a junior in 2016 … Also a standout in Track & Field, running the 100m and 400m hurdles.

#1 Desmond Reid

POSITION Running Back
CLASS Freshman 
HOMETOWN Miami Gardens, Fla. 

 Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year varsity letter winner … Rushed for 1,536 yards and 22 touchdowns a season ago in guiding his high school to the second round of Florida's 7-A playoffs … Caught 13 passes for 243 yards and three scores … Added a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns … Listed as a three-star athlete by 247Sports and a two-star athlete by … Also runs track as a prep competing in both the 100 and 200-meter dash events. 

Personal: Goes by the nickname, "Dez" ... Is the son of Tamesa Willis-Reid and Donovan Reid ... Is one of four children - Edward, CaRon, and Tyler.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

2 days to WCU Football Kickoff - Rod Gattison & Raphael Williams

Welcome to the twelfth annual Catamount Football  "100 days to WCU Football Kickoff Countdown".

It's now 2 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022, against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, on Buccaneer Field in Charleston, SC

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully, get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we will highlight two players assigned to #2, one offense, one defense, a wide receiver and a defensive cornerback:

#2 Rod Gattison

POSITION Cornerback
CLASS Junior
HOMETOWN Hartsville, S.C.
COLLEGE Georgia Military College

2021 (Sophomore): Saw action in nine of the team's 11 games on the season, missing the final two games of the regular season ... Credited with 20 total tackles including 16 solo stops and two tackles for loss with a sack ... Intercepted two passes and forced a fumble ... Tallied two tackles and forced a fumble at Gardner-Webb (Sept. 25) ... Posted a season-high five tackles with an interception at Chattanooga (Oct. 2) ... Intercepted his second pass of the year to accompany two tackles in the road win at Wofford (Oct. 30), returning the second-quarter pick 25 yards to set up a WCU touchdown that gave the Catamounts a 34-7 halftime lead agaisnt the Terriers.

2020-21 (Sophomore)
: Played in all six games in the spring semester with one start … Recorded 26 total tackles on the season including 20 solo stops … Made his WCU debut in the spring-opener at Furman (Feb. 20), finishing with five total tackles … Recorded his first career interception against the Paladins, returning the pick 30 yards … Posted a career-high seven tackles including five solo stops against VMI (March 6) … Credited with three solo stops and a pass break-up at ETSU (March 27).

Prior to Western Carolina: Transferred to WCU from Georgia Military College … Played in 11 games in 2019 recording 14 tackles with 10 solo stops … Credited with three pass break-ups with one interception while also recovering a fumble; 

High School: Led Hartsville High with five interceptions as a senior … Finished with 35 total tackles as a prep with one fumble forced and one recovered while recording one defensive touchdown … Also played basketball and ran track as a prep.

Personal: Full name is Rod’Darius Malik Gattison … Is the son of Priscilla Gattison.

#2 Raphael Williams

POSITION Wide Receiver
CLASS Sophomore
HOMETOWN Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
COLLEGE Tusculum

2022 (Redshirt Sophomore): Was a first-team preseason All-Southern Conference selection at wide receiver by the league's head coaches ... Named preseason All-Southern Conference by The Bluebloods online publication and first-team preseason All-SoCon by Phil Steele.

2021 (Redshirt Freshman): Started all 11 games at wide receiver ... Led WCU with 73 receptions for 959 receiving yards and nine touchdowns ... Paced the SoCon both with a 6.6 reception per game and 87.2 receiving yards per game average ... Ranked ninth in the SoCon in scoring with nine TDs, averaging 4.9 points per game ... Recorded five, 100-yard receiving games with three double-digit reception games including setting a school-record with 16 catches for a season-high 177 yards in the road win at Wofford (Oct. 30), scoring two TDs ... Caught eight passes for 122 yards in his WCU debut against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 4) ... Caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns against Samford (Sept. 18) ... Posted his first double-digit receptions game with 11 at Gardner-Webb (Sept. 25), eclipsing that with a 12-catch, 147-yard performance with a score in the road win at The Citadel (Oct. 23) ... Named first-team All-Southern Conference by both the league's head coaches and SoCon Sports Media Association ... Tabbed SoCon Freshman of the Year by Phil Steele ... Was a Freshman All-America selection by both HERO Sports and Phil Steele.

Prior to Western Carolin
a: Transferred to WCU in the summer of 2021 from Tusculum; 

Tusculum: Played in five games in the spring 2021 season, catching 13 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown … Averaged 38.8 receiving yards per game with a long reception of 51 yards … 

High School: Was a First-Team All-Broward selection and a Second-Team All-State honoree … Considered one of the best route runners in South Florida … Selected to the Broward All-Star Team ... Named his high school’s team MVP ... 31 catches for 800 yards and 12 TD in his senior campaign ... Was an honors student ... High school coach was Eddie Frasier.

Personal: Full name is Raphael Williams, Jr. ... Nickname is "Poppi" ... Is the son of Rachel Sims and Raphael Williams Sr. … Has four siblings: Mikheal McCray, Radaijah McCray, Ryan Sims - who joined the WCU football team in 2022, and Ry'Carri Dailey.