Cullowhee, N.C. – Six home dates including a late-October Homecoming match-up with chromatic rival, Furman, and road trips to NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foes North Carolina State and national runner-up Alabama highlight Western Carolina’s 2019 Catamount football schedule released today by head coach Mark Speir.
Game times, broadcast schedules, and additional home game promotional details will be released at a later date.
Eight Southern Conference games split evenly between home and away are supplemented with four nonconference tilts, two at home and two on the road. In addition to the traveling to the FBS Wolfpack and Crimson Tide, the Catamounts host North Greenville University (Sept. 14) for the first-ever series meeting and Gardner-Webb (Oct. 5) as a part of the six home contests.
The upcoming schedule marks the first time in two years that WCU will play a pair of FBS opponents – and the first time since 2015 that the Catamounts tangle with a pair of Power Five conference schools (ACC & SEC). It is also the first time since 2014 that WCU’s schedule features six home dates at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.
“We’re excited about the 2019 schedule and our six home games. We have a lot of great nonconference opponents to add to the ever-challenging Southern Conference regular season,” said Speir. “Thanks to Catamount Nation, our players and staff are fired-up about leading the conference in attendance the past two years – and we want to continue the trend that is quickly becoming a tradition in Cullowhee of having the best gameday atmosphere in the SoCon.”
WCU’s 2019 schedule opens in a big way with a Labor Day weekend, Southern Conference showdown with the Mercer Bears. It marks just the third time in program history that the conference-opener also raises the curtain on the season – and the first time since 1986 when the Catamounts faced archrival Appalachian State on Aug. 30. WCU also squared-off against VMI in a season and SoCon-opener in 1980.
Additional home conference games include Furman for Homecoming on Oct. 26 and back-to-back SoCon home dates against defending champion ETSU in the Blue Ridge Border Battle on Nov. 9 and the Samford Bulldogs the following week on Nov. 16.
Despite the season-opening league game, the Catamounts play three of their first four SoCon games away from the friendly confines of Whitmire Stadium / Waters Field. Following its bye week on the weekend of Sept. 21, WCU closes the month at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga against the Mocs on Sept. 28 before consecutive road league meetings in the Palmetto State at The Citadel (Oct. 12) in Charleston and at Wofford (Oct. 19) in Spartanburg. The squad’s final road SoCon game is set for Nov. 2 at VMI in Lexington, Va.
Western Carolina concludes the regular season on the road by visiting Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 23, the fifth meeting in the all-time series and the first since 2014.
Season ticket information for 2019 Catamount football will be released in the coming weeks.
Speir and the Catamount coaching staff turn their attention to National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 6 and the subsequent National Signing Day Reception (11:00 am – 1:30 pm, open to Catamount Club members Top Cat and above) on-campus in Cullowhee on Saturday, Feb. 16 prior to the Catamount men’s basketball home game against The Citadel (2:00 pm tip-off). The squad’s annual Spring Drills are slated to begin in late-February to span the month of March and conclude in early April.
2019 Western Carolina Catamount Football Schedule:
|Aug. 31||MERCER *||CULLOWHEE|
|Sept. 7||at North Carolina State||Raleigh, N.C.|
|Sept. 14||NORTH GREENVILLE||CULLOWHEE|
|Sept. 21||Bye Week|
|Sept. 28||at Chattanooga *||Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|Oct. 5||GARDNER-WEBB (WCU Family Weekend)||CULLOWHEE|
|Oct. 12||at The Citadel *||Charleston, S.C.|
|Oct. 19||at Wofford *||Spartanburg, S.C.|
|Oct. 26||FURMAN * (Homecoming)||CULLOWHEE|
|Nov. 2||at VMI *||Lexington, Va.|
|Nov. 9||ETSU * (Blue Ridge Border Battle)||CULLOWHEE|
|Nov. 16||SAMFORD *||CULLOWHEE|
|Nov. 23||at Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Ala.|
|Nov. 30||NCAA FCS Playoffs (First Round)||TBA|
* ALL CAPS – denotes home games
* Denotes Southern Conference Game