Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina returns home to step away from Southern Conference play this weekend, hosting the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs out of the Big South Conference in the annual Family Weekend game at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm.
Tickets for Saturday's Family Weekend game are available in advance, online at CatamountSports.com or through the WCU Athletics ticket office located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center, or by phone at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401. Season ticket three-game mini flex plans that includes a choice of any three of WCU's remaining four home dates including Saturday' Family Weekend game, the Oct. 26 Homecoming game with Furman, the Blue Ridge Border Battle rivalry game with ETSU on Nov. 9 – which also includes admission to the men's basketball home-opener against NCAA tournament team Gardner-Webb – or the Hall of Fame / Senior Day game on Nov. 16 are still available.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network (CSN) with live streaming audio available online at CatamountSports.com. Fans across the region can also hear the game beginning at 2:30 pm with the Pepsi Tailgate Show on eight CSN affiliates: in Cullowhee on 90.5 WWCU FM; 105.7 FM and 540 AM WRGC “The River” in Sylva; 104.9 FM & 1050 AM WFSC in Franklin; WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM and 102.9 FM in Asheville; and 970 AM WYSE in Canton.
The 10th all-time series meeting between regional rivals WCU and Gardner-Webb will also be broadcast on ESPN+ (subscription required) with live streaming video available online with Daniel Hooker calling play-by-play, Rik Richards on color commentary, and Summer McMahan patrolling the sidelines.
Western Carolina seeks its fifth-straight victory in the all-time head-to-head series after out-weathering the Runnin' Bulldogs, 28-10, last year in Boiling Springs, N.C., in a game that was moved to a Friday night due to the impending threat of Hurricane Florence. This year's meeting marks the fourth game in an initial four-year, home-and-home series.
Last season, WCU quarterback Tyrie Adams accounted for 214 yards of total offense, tossing two TD passes including one to Connell Young who also added a game-sealing 31-yard touchdown rush on the ground in the fourth quarter in the Catamounts' 18-point victory. Adams and Young both ran for over 100 yards apiece – 106 by Adams and 105 by Young – while the Catamount defense stymied the Runnin' Bulldog offense, limiting Gardner-Webb to 246 yards of total offense including 149 passing and just 97 yards rushing.
Adams, who returned to the Catamount offensive lineup last weekend at Chattanooga and accounted for 115 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, has been very productive in his three meetings with the Runnin' Bulldogs in his career. He has guided WCU to three victories in the current four-game streak, amassing 759 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and rushing for 226 on the ground – averages of 253 passing and 75.3 yards rushing per game.
Both teams enter the game in search of a much-needed victory. Despite a lopsided final score last week at Chattanooga, WCU managed to hang with the Mocs in the offensive slugfest, trailing only by one score entering the fourth quarter. Gardner-Webb, which was idle a week ago, has FBS losses to in-state foes Charlotte (L, 49-28) and East Carolina (L, 48-9) with a victory over North Carolina Central, 21-12, on Sept. 14. Most recently, the ‘Dogs – who are playing their fourth road game in the first five match-ups of the season – fell at Wofford, 49-10, on Sept. 21.
Game 5: Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 • 3:30 pm
Location: Cullowhee, N.C. (E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field – 13,790)
Records: Gardner-Webb (1-3) at Western Carolina (1-3)
Online Video Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)
PBP: Daniel Hooker; Color: Rik Richards; Sideline: Summer McMahan
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
PBP: Gary Ayers; Color: Greg McLamb; Producer: Jeff Bryson
- Cullowhee – WWCU, 90.5 FM
- Sylva – 105.7 FM / 540 AM WRGC
- Franklin – 104.9 FM / 1050 AM WFSC
- Asheville – WISE Sports Radio 102.9 FM / 1310 AM
- Canton – WYSE Sports Radio 970 AM
- Online: CatamountSports.com
Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir looked back at the takeaways from the offensive display in the road game at Chattanooga last Saturday evening before previewing this Saturday's meeting with Gardner-Webb in the latest installment of "Catamount Football Weekly,” originally recorded live-on-location on Monday night at BC Outdoors Cullowhee Taproom located on campus at Noble Hall in Cullowhee. Join Speir and the CSN crew each Monday night at 7 pm at BC Outdoors in Cullowhee.
Keep track of everything related to Catamount football and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/CatamountSports) and Twitter (@Catamounts, @CatamountsFB).