Saturday, October 30, 2021

WCU Defensive Player of the Game (Wofford)

Purple & Gold's
 "Defensive Player of the Game" is linebacker Kareem Taylor

Senior LB Kareem Taylor paced WCU with 10 tackles including eight solo stops and 2 assists, including 1.5 tackles for loss, recording double-digit stops for the fifth time this season. Taylor was also credited with a forced fumble to key a strong defensive effort.

Honorable Mention:  Jacob Harris and Marlon Alexander were both credited with five tackles with Alexander recording two tackles for loss with one of two sacks for the Catamounts. Rod Gattison came up with his second interception of the season with a second-quarter pick that set up WCU's final score of the opening half.

WCU Player of the Game (Wofford)

Purple & Gold's
 "Catamount Player of the Game" is redshirt freshman, wide receiver Raphael Williams.  

Raphael Williams caught a school-record 16 passes for 177 receiving yards and two TDs as Western Carolina won its second-straight Southern Conference road game, defeating Wofford 41-21 at Gibbs Stadium.  Williams' 16 receptions eclipsed the previous school benchmark of 15 accomplished twice by Terryon Robinson in both 2014 and 2016 and Eric Rasheed in 1984. It also represents the most catches by a player in the FCS this season. Williams finished with his fourth, 100-yard receiving game this season and his third game with double-digit receptions.

Honorable Mention:  Quarterback Rogan Wells threw for 309 yards and four touchdowns. Wells amassed 357 yards of total offense, adding a team-best 48 rushing yards including a game-opening 32-yard touchdown rush on WCU's opening possession.

At Wofford, the Cats are....

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Game #8 - Wofford Terriers

For the eighth game of the season, the Cats travel to Spartanburg, SC to face the Wofford Terriers. This will be the second straight time facing the Terriers in Sparkle City, as Wofford, like Chattanooga, opted out of their final games in the Spring season. 

The ankle bitters opted of their remaining games the very week they were scheduled to travel to Cullowhee, thus earning them the moniker, Woffraud.  The Cats missed two scheduled home games in the spring due to both conference schools opting out just prior to their scheduled WCU game, I'm talking about you too, ChattaQuitta.

Western faces the Terriers for the forty-third time since 1952.

Game #8 - Wofford Terriers

When: Saturday, October 30, 2021
Time:  1:30 pm
Where:  Woffraud's Gibbs Stadium, Spartanburg, SC 
-announcers:  Gary Ayers,  (play-by-play); Daniel Hooker, (color); Greg McLamb, (sideline)
-stations:  105.7 FM / 540 AM WRGC (Sylva); 104.9 FM / 1050 AM WFSC (Franklin); 102.9 FM / 1310 AM WISE (Asheville); 970 AM WYSE (Canton); 95.3 FM WWCU (Cullowhee)
-announcers: Jim Noble (play-by-play) Thom Henson (color) Van Hipp (sideline)
Live Stats:  Wofford Live Stats
Message Boards:       Western Carolina    -    Wofford
Mascot:  Terrier
Colors: Old Gold & Black
Message Board:  Wofford Fans

The Series: The Cats are 14-25 overall against the Terriers in a series that started in 1952, The Cats Terriers have played a total of 42 times, and Western has now lost four in a row to the Terriers, and are 4-16 in games played in Spartanburg.  The Cats last won in Spartanburg in 2015.  The last game played against the Terriers was a 7-59 spanking of the Cats by Conklin's Terriers in Spartanburg in 2019.  

Games that will be played by the Bulldogs this season prior to the WCU contest:  (7 games)  The Terriers opened the season at Elon with a win, followed by a home game loss to Kennesaw State, then visited VMI and ETSU (both losses) before returning home to face Furman and Samford (both losses as well).  The Terriers then traveled to Macon to face the Bears and a 14-45 beat-down by Mercer, before meeting the Catamounts in Gibbs Stadium.  

The last game played vs. WoffordOctober 19, 2019 - WCU Unable to Capitalize on Quick Strike in Loss at Wofford - Spartanburg, S.C. – Quarterback Tyrie Adams threw a career-long 69-yard touchdown pass on a toss-back reverse flea-flicker on the game's first play Saturday afternoon, connecting with freshman WR Jaylin Young for the early 7-0 lead for Western Carolina. However, Adams was lost to a game-ending foot injury on the second offensive series and Wofford took advantage, stymieing the Catamounts on offense in limiting WCU to just 172 total yards of offense and four first downs – only one of which came after halftime – in handing the Catamounts a 59-7 setback in Southern Conference action from Gibbs Stadium.  

Head Coach:  Josh Conklin - Josh Conklin is entering his third season as head coach of the Wofford College football team. In his first season at the helm, the Terriers won the Southern Conference Championship and reached the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Wofford announced on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, the hiring of Josh Conklin as the head football coach. Conklin, who spent the previous three seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, was an assistant coach at Wofford from 2007-09 working with the secondary.

Josh Conklin's record vs. WCU:  0 - 2
Kerwin Bells' record vs. Wofford:  0 - 0

Last Season's Record (2020-21 Wofford):  1-4 overall, 1-2  home, 0-2 away, 1-4 SoCon.  
This Season's Record (2021 Wofford):  1-6 overall, 0-3 home, 1-3 away, 0-5 SoCon.

Offensive Formation:  Triple Option
Defensive Formation:   Multiple 50
Starters returning/lost:    19  /  6
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  7  /  4
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  9  /  2

Wofford returned 3 players receiving post-season awards from the spring. Wofford players honored include defensive lineman Micheal Mason (first-team coaches and media), defensive back Tahir Annoor (second-team coaches), and running back Irvin Mulligan (All-Freshman team). Mulligan, a second-year freshman, led the Terriers with 342 rushing yards on 51 carries. He had a pair of touchdowns and also had two receptions for 23 yards. Wofford fullback Nathan Walker was named a Stats Perform FCS Second Team All-American. All return for the fall season.  

During the offseason (between spring & fall), the Terriers added six additional student-athlete transfers – Okachi Emmanwori, Anthony Garcia, Romello Gray, Anthonie Lattany, Devin Mathews, Jason Swann – who join the Terriers as transfers for the fall of 2021. Wofford added nearly 20 walk-ons to the roster.  

Also in the offseason, Wofford football offensive coordinator Wade Lang has announced his retirement effective last June 30, 2021. A 1983 graduate of Wofford, he has spent 33 seasons as an assistant coach, including the last 31 as offensive coordinator at his alma mater.  Head coach Josh Conklin hired former WCU assistant (who was relieved of duties) Tyler Carlton as the quarterback coach and co-offensive coordinator. He will share offensive coordinator duties with running backs coach Dane Romero.

So far this fall season, the Terriers are 0-5 in the SoCon, having only beat Elon to kick off the season in out-of-conference play So far this season, Wofford is in last place in the conference in scoring, averaging just 19.4 points per game (PPG), and last in total offense (averaging only 332.1 yards per game). The Terriers are in 5th place in rushing yardage, putting up 198 yards per game, and in 8th place in passing offense with an average of 134 yards per contest. The Terriers are also in last place in 3rd down conversions (28 made of 84 attempts), as well as 4th down conversions (3 made of 8 attempts). 

The Terriers return 18 starters from the 2021 spring season, including six on offense, nine on defense, and three specialists.  Wofford is ranked 83rd in the nation in total offense and 103rd in total defense through the first seven games. The rushing offense was ranked fifth overall at 232.8 yards per game in the spring. The Terriers are being outscored in all four quarters. In the second half the Terriers are being outscored 102 to 49.  

At quarterback, while Peyton Derrick has started five games,  and Jimmy Weirick and Bryce Corriston have one start each,  Corriston has played in two games with 104 rushing yards and 16-of-31 passing for 165 yards and is expected to start at QB for the WCU game, with Derrick as the backup. Irvin Mulligan is the leading rusher with 613 yards on 89 carries and seven touchdowns, Jamari Broussard has 173 rushing yards on 45 carries with a touchdown, with Nathan Walker and Ryan Ingram adding rushing touchdowns.

The top receiver for the Terriers is Alec Holt with 15 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Jim Welsh has added 14 receptions for 123 yards and R.J. Khayo has 14 catches for 158 yards. The offensive line has seen nine players start, with none starting the same position for all seven games. They rank 10th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed with seven. 

2021 Wofford Statistics (Fall 7 games)
Rushing Offense: 1394 yards
Yards per game: 199
Yards per rush: 5.1 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 57
TDs rushing: 12
Passing Offense: 947 yards or 135.3 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 7.0 yards
Passing 1st downs: 43
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 135-70-5
TDs Passing: 4
Total Offense: 2341 yards or 334.4 per game
3d Down Conversions: 28 of 85 (33%)
4th Down Conversions: 3 of 5  (38%)
Field Goal: 6 of  9
On-side kicks: 0-0
Red Zone Scores: 13 of 16 
Red Zone Touchdowns: 8 of 16
PAT: 16 of 16
Punts: 39, Avg per punt:  36.7 yards

Monday, October 25, 2021

2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings (after Week #8)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings.  Ratings are after week #8 of play.

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

 1. (1) VMI  (5-2, 3-1 SoCon)
   Next:  Samford 

2. (2) ETSU (7-1, 4-1 SoCon)
   Next:  Bye

3. (6) Chattanooga (4-3, 3-1 SoCon) 
   Next:  Furman
4. (3) Mercer (5-2, 4-1 SoCon)                                                               
   Next:  at The Citadel

5. (4) Furman (4-3, 2-2)
   Next:  at Chattanooga

6. (5) Samford (3-4, 2-3 SoCon)
   Next: at VMI

7. (8) Western Carolina (1-6, 1-3) 
    Next: at Wofford

8. (7) The Citadel (2-5, 1-3)
   Next:  Mercer
9. (9) Wofford (1-6, 0-5)
   Next: Western Carolina

Saturday, October 23, 2021

WCU Player of the Game (The Citadel)

Purple & Gold's
 "Catamount Player of the Game" is sophomore quarterback Carlos Davis.  

Quarterback Carlos Davis threw for a career-high 401 yards and three touchdowns while running back TJ Jones amassed 205 total yards, including 132 rushing with a pair of scores and three catches for 73 yards and a touchdown, while Raphael Williams pulled in 12 receptions for 147 yards and one touchdown, as Western Carolina upended The Citadel 45-31 on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Game #7 - The Citadel

After a couple weeks' rest, for the seventh game of the season, the Cats travel to South Carolina's low country to face the Bulldogs of The Citadel.

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

Game #7 - The Citadel

When: Saturday, October 23
Time:  2:00 pm
Where: Johnson Hagood Stadium (11,332), Charleson, SC 
Radio:  Catamount Sports Network
-announcers:  Gary Ayers, PxP; Daniel Hooker, color; Greg McLamb, sideline
TV/video: ESPN+
-announcers:  Kevin Fitzgerald (PxP) Jason Kempf (analyst) Anna Witte (Sideline)
Live StatsCitadel live stats
Game Notes:  Western Carolina   -    The Citadel 
Citadel Message BoardCitadel Fan Message Board
Nickname:  Bulldogs
Mascot:  Spike

The SeriesWestern is currently 18-26-1 vs. the Bulldogs overall. The Cats and Dogs first played on the gridiron in 1972. The Cats own a 7-14 record vs. the Citadel in games played in Charleston. 

Games played by the Bulldogs this season before the WCU contest: (6 games)  The Bulldogs opened the season on the road at Coastal Carolina with a 14-52 loss on the road, before returning to Charleston for three home games, facing Charleston Southern and another loss. The dogs then hosted North Greenville for their first win of the season. VMI visited next, and the Bulldogs got their second win of the season at home. The Citadel then went on the road for two game, traveling to ETSU and then to Furman, losing both road games.  

Last Season's Game vs. The Citadel (3-13-21) - Spencer, Defense Key Catamount Victory over The Citadel, 21-14 - Cullowhee, N.C. – Donnavan Spencer rushed for a career-high 220 yards and two touchdowns, with Mikai Stanley adding a third score on the ground as Western Carolina built a 21-6 halftime lead and held off The Citadel to earn a 21-14 victory in Southern Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.

Last season's Record - spring (The Citadel): 2-10 overall, 1-4 home, 1-6 away, 2-6 SoCon
This season's Record - fall (The Citadel):  2-4 overall, 2-1 home, 0-3 away, 1-2 SoCon

Head Coach: Brent Thompson -  Brent Thompson was named The Citadel's 25th head football coach on January 19, 2016. In his first year, he led the Bulldogs to unprecedented heights while authoring one of the best seasons in Southern Conference history. Thompson’s first season in charge featured a program-record 10-game winning streak, a single-season school-record six road victories, only the seventh 8-0 conference record in 84 years of SoCon football, a second consecutive conference championship, a No. 6 national seed in the FCS Playoffs and the first home playoff game in 24 years. He was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year for the 10-2 campaign that resulted in the first time in program history with back-to-back playoff appearances.

Offensive Formation: Triple Option
Defensive Formation: Multiple

Thompson's Record at The Citadel: 28-31 (.483) 
Overall Record: Same
Tompson's Record vs. WCU:  3-2
Bell's record vs. The Citadel: 0-0

In six games, the Bulldogs lead the conference in rushing offense. The dogs are averaging 277 yards per game on the ground, rushing for 4.8 yards per carry. While the Bulldogs lead the conference in rushing, they come in last place in the pass offense, averaging only 101.2 yards per game.  In scoring offense, The Citadel ranks 6th in the conference, scoring an average of 25 points per game (PPG). 

The Citadel is currently tied for second (Kennesaw State) in the FCS in rushing yards per game at 277.3 and tied for fourth in the FCS with 18 rushing touchdowns.

2021 The Citadel Statistics (Fall - 6 games):
Rushing Offense: 1664 yards
Yards per game: 277.3
Yards per rush: 4.8 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 91
TDs rushing: 8
Passing Offense: 607 yards or 101.2 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 8.5 yards
Passing 1st downs: 18
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 35-71-3
TDs Passing: 3
Total Offense:  2271 yards or 378.5 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 7 - 4
3d Down Conversions: 38 0f 86 (44%)
4th Down Conversions: 8 of 20 (40%)
Field goal attempts: 1 of 3
PAT-Attempts: 21 of 21 
On-side kicks: 0 of 20
Red Zone Scores: 15 of 21 (71%)
Red Zone Touchdowns: 14 of 21 (67%)
Punts - Yards: 24 for 1056 yrds - Avg per punt: 44

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Meet the Basketball Cats: Cam Bacote

Welcome to our annual meet the Catamount Men's Basketball Team.

During the countdown, we'll highlight each player on the official roster, starting with the freshmen, then moving up class by class, countdown the days until "Tip-Off". 

It's 20 days until the Cats tip off the season on November 9th against the Bowling Green Falcons in the Ramsey Center.

Today, we meet another grad student:

#11 Cam Bacote

CLASS Graduate Student 
COLLEGE  Indiana State
HOMETOWN Hampton, Va.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played the past two seasons at Indiana State…During the 2020-21 season he averaged 2.7 points in 17 games with a season-best eight points in the Missouri Valley conference tournament against Loyola Chicago…Saw action in 30 games in 2019-20, averaging nearly 12 minutes per game and scored a season-best 11 points against North Dakota State…Began his career at Maryland Eastern Shore in 2017-18 where he started 16 of 32 games played and averaged 7.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game…Sank 45 3-pointers and averaged 79 percent at the free throw line.

High School: Prepped at Bethel HS in Hampton, Va. where he was a four-year starter and 1,000-point scorer…Averaged 20 points per game as a senior…Named 5A Region Player of the Year and was a First-Team All-State selection as a senior…Surpassed the 30-point mark in five games and tallied a career-high 40 points against Ocean Lakes during his senior season.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

WCU 2 Deep Roster vs. The Citadel

Meet the Basketball Cats: Nicholas Robinson

Welcome to our annual meet the Catamount Men's Basketball Team.

During the countdown, we'll highlight each player on the official roster, starting with the freshmen, then moving up class by class, countdown the days until "Tip-Off". 

It's 21 days until the Cats tip off the season on November 9th against the Bowling Green Falcons in the Ramsey Center.

Today, we meet a grad student:

#25 Nicholas Robinson

CLASS Graduate Student
COLLEGE Valparaiso 
HOMETOWN Chicago, Ill.

Prior to Western Carolina: Saw action in eight games during the 2020-21 season at Valparaiso, averaging 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in eight games…In 2019-20, started 19 of 25 games played…Averaged 6.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game…Tallied a season-high 19 points at SIU-Edwardsville on Nov. 12…Distributed a Valparaiso season-best and career-best nine assists at Loyola on Feb. 9…Sat out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules…Played the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons at Saint Joseph’s, starting 30 of 62 games played…Averaged 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Hawks.

High School: Attended Kenwood Academy… Was a second Team All-State selection from both the Associated Press and the IBCA as a senior... led Kenwood to 22 wins in 2015-16, averaging 17 points and nine rebounds per game...Was a member of Kenwood teams that earned Public League Red-Central titles in his final two seasons.

Monday, October 18, 2021

2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings (after Week #7)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings.  Ratings are after week #7 of play.

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

 1. (3) VMI (5-2, 3-1 SoCon)
   Next: Bye 

2. (1) ETSU (6-1, 3-1 SoCon)
   Next: at Furman

3. (2) Mercer (4-2, 3-1SoCon)                                                               
   Next:  Wofford

4. (4) Furman (4-2, 2-1)
   Next:  ETSU

5. (6) Samford (3-3, 2-2 SoCon)
   Next: Chattanooga

6. (5) Chattanooga (3-3, 2-1 SoCon) 
   Next:  at Samford

7. (7) The Citadel (2-4, 1-2)
   Next: Western Carolina

8. (8) Western Carolina (0-6, 0-3) 
    Next: at The Citadel

8. (9) Wofford (1-5, 0-4)
   Next:  at Mercer

Meet the Basketball Cats: Joe Petrakis

Welcome to our annual meet the Catamount Men's Basketball Team.

During the countdown, we'll highlight each player on the official roster, starting with the freshmen, then moving up class by class, countdown the days until "Tip-Off". 

It's 22 days until the Cats tip off the season on November 9th against the Bowling Green Falcons in the Ramsey Center.

Today, we meet another junior:

#33 Joe Petrakis

CLASS Redshirt Junior
COLLEGE  Kansas State
HOMETOWN Wichita, Kan.

Prior to Western Carolina: Spent the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons at Kansas State…As a redshirt sophomore he played in 11 games and averaged 1.5 points and 0.9 rebounds per game…Tallied a season-best six points off the bench against Oklahoma on Jan. 9, 2021…Used a redshirt during the 2019-20 season…Played the 2018-19 campaign at Dodge City Community College, playing in all 30 games with 12 starts…Averaged 4.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.5 rebounds, and 14.7 minutes per game.

High School: Attended Valley Center High School where he was a three-year letterwinner…Averaged 12.4 points and 10.5 rebounds along with two blocks per game as a senior, earning honorable mention all-conference honors…Also lettered in soccer as a freshman and golf as a junior

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Meet the Basketball Cats: Travion McCray

Welcome to our annual meet the Catamount Men's Basketball Team.

During the countdown, we'll highlight each player on the official roster, starting with the freshmen, then moving up class by class, countdown the days until "Tip-Off". 

It's 23 days until the Cats tip off the season on November 9th against the Bowling Green Falcons in the Ramsey Center.

Today, we meet another junior:

#1 Travion McCray

CLASS Junior
HOMETOWN Timmonsville, S.C.
HIGH SCHOOL Village Christian

2020-21 (Sophomore): Saw action in 13 games…Started the first nine games of the season…Finished in double figures in six games with a career-high 26 points against Newberry, making a career-best nine field goals and going a perfect 5-for-5 at the free throw line…His double-digit games came in sets of three consecutive games…Tied a career-high with six rebounds in the season-opener against UNCW and duplicated the feat against Piedmont…Equaled career-best six assists against Newberry and at ETSU.

2019-20 (Freshman): Competed in all 31 games with seven starts including the final four games…Averaged 4.7 points and 2.4 rebounds…Finished in double figures in six games including five straight from Feb. 15-Feb. 29…Scored a career-high 15 points at ETSU…Grabbed six rebounds against The Citadel and at ETSU…Dished out a career-best six assists against The Citadel…Swiped a career-high three steals against Samford.

Prior to Western Carolina: Attended Village Christian in Fayetteville, N.C... Helped lead Village Christian to a runner-up finish in the NCISAA 3-A state tournament and earned a spot on the NCISAA 3-A All-State Team...Also claimed a spot on the Fayetteville Observer's Best of 910Preps All-Star team... As a junior, McCray was named the Sandhills Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a member of the NCISAA 3-A All-State Team