Western Carolina 24, VMI 20
Foster Stadium / Lexington, Va.
Sat., November 21, 2015
With the Win…
- Western Carolina claimed its 13th-consecutive victory over the VMI Keydets dating back to 2002 … It was also WCU’s sixth-straight win in games played in Lexington, Va.;
- Gave Western Carolina its seventh seasonal victory, matching its total from a season ago … It was just the third, seven-or-more victory season since 2000 for the Catamounts and just the sixth seven-or-more win season since becoming a NCAA Division I program in 1976;
- WCU finished with back-to-back seven-or-more win seasons for the first-time since 1983 and 1984, finishing 11-3-1 and 8-3, respectively;
- Western Carolina improved to 14-26 all-time in final regular season games, claiming just its fourth victory when the game is played on the road (4-14) … WCU halted both a string of 11-straight losses in the regular season finale and snapped 14-consecutive losses in season finales on the road, claiming its first season-ending road victory since 1984;
- It was also WCU’s first SoCon victory in a season finale since 2001 – a home 28-25 win over The Citadel in a rescheduled game … the win was WCU’s first in a regular season finale against a league foe on the road since 1985 (W at VMI, 35-30).
- Sophomore tailback Detrez Newsome recorded his sixth, 100-yard rushing performance of the season, with 141 rushing yards on a career-high 30 rushes … He closed the year matching a career-long streak of three-consecutive, 100-yard games … Newsome eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the second quarter of Saturday’s game at VMI, finishing the season with 1,109 rushing yards – the fourth-best individual single-season performance … Newsome is the first Catamount since Darius Fudge (1,001 yards in 2006) to run for 1,000 yards in a season – and just the ninth WCU running back since 1967;
- Newsome recorded a career-high 90 receiving yards including a career-long 75-yard TD reception against VMI in Lexington, Va.;
- Newsome scored both a rushing and a receiving touchdown in Saturday’s win over the Keydets … It was the first time in his collegiate career that he had recorded multiple touchdowns on the ground and through the air … It was Newsome’s second, two TD game of the season – and the sixth time over the past two years that he has scored twice in the same game;
- Senior QB Troy Mitchell threw for 300 yards on Saturday, his third, 300-or-more yard passing performance of the season – and the sixth of his Western Carolina career … Mitchell finished with 7,354 career passing yards, WCU’s all-time career leader and ranked seventh in the Southern Conference record books;
- Mitchell closed his career with 2,043 rushing yards, just shy of 11th-place on WCU’s career record books … the Houston, Texas, native finished his career ranked 10th in SoCon history for rushing yardage accumulated by a quarterback;
- All told, Troy Mitchell amassed 9,397 yards of total offense over his career – 7,354 passing and 2,043 rushing … He finished ranked fourth in SoCon history in total offense … Mitchell averaged 257.5 yards of total offense over his last two years including a school-record 3,096 yards of total offense as a junior;
- Over his four-year career, Troy Mitchell accounted for 69 touchdowns including 50 TD passes and 19 touchdown rushes … Mitchell is WCU’s all-time career leader in TD passes and finished ranked eighth in Southern Conference history;
- Redshirt senior WR Karnorris Benson posted his second, 100-yard receiving game of the season with 121 yards against the Keydets … Benson finished his career with eight, 100-yard receiving games;
- Benson finished his Catamount career with 2,386 receiving yards, eighth in the program’s record books … He had 153 career catches, seventh in program history … His 23 career receiving touchdowns rank second in school history, just three shy of all-time record holder Gerald Harp (26, 1977-80);
- Redshirt sophomore LB Daniel Riddle recorded his ninth, double-digit tackle performance of the season, finishing with 15 total stops against VMI … Riddle had double-figure tackles in all but two of WCU’s games this season – and has 10 double-digit tackle games in his career … Defensive backs Fred Payne and A.J. Newman both recorded career-high, double-digit tackle totals in the win over VMI … Payne matched Riddle with a team-high 15 while Newman finished with 11;
- Senior Sertonuse Harris posted 325 tackles over his four-year career, finishing sixth in program history for career tackles;
- WCU’s defense finished the year strong, tallying 10 of its 20 seasonal sacks over the final three games including two against VMI.
- Western Carolina’s team captains for Saturday afternoon’s game were DB #3 Fred Payne; senior DB #4 Sertonuse Harris; senior QB #10 Troy Mitchell; redshirt sophomore LB #58 Daniel Riddle; and redshirt senior OL #61 Jake Thornton … VMI won the opening coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff;