Post-Game Notes - Western Carolina vs. VMI
September 22, 2018
Western Carolina 52, VMI 50
E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, N.C. – Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018
With the win ...
- WCU starts the season 3-0 for the first time since 1976 when the Bob Waters-led Catamounts defeated Presbyterian (19-7), Livingston (21-14) and Murray State (13-10) to open the year;
- The Catamounts have 16-straight victories against VMI all-time, head-to-head series. … It matches WCU’s longest active win streak against any one team having also won 16-consecutive vs. Mars Hill;
- WCU head coach Mark Speir his 29th career victory at the helm in Cullowhee.
- The two teams combined for an E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Water Field record 102 points on Saturday evening … It was the most combined points since 97 points were hung on the scoreboard back in 1988 in a match-up between the Marshall Thundering Herd (52) and Western Carolina (45) … Saturday’s game did fall shy of the overall school benchmark for combined points in a game, 114 in a road loss at Appalachian State back in 2007 (ASU 79, WCU 35);
- Dual-threat quarterback Tyrie Adams had over 100 yards passing and rushing in the contest, eclipsing the century mark with a team-high 117 rushing on 17 carries to break an individual high he set last week against Gardner-Webb (12 rushes for 106 yards) … Adams had 229 yards passing while completing 21 of 33 passes with two interceptions;
- For Adams, his 229 yards passing marked his 14th career 200+ yard passing performance of his career ... His 117 yards on the ground marked his fourth career 100-yard rushing game ... Saturday was just the third time in Adams' career that he has thrown for over 200 while rushing for over 100 in a single-game game (at Hawai'i in 2017 - 270 yds passing, 107 yds rushing; vs. Samford in 2017 - 312 passing, 152 rushing);
- Adams moved past former WCU quarterback Don Dalton (5,289 from 1966-69) into fifth place in the WCU record books for career passing yards (5,461) on a second-quarter drive to tie the score at 21-21 … Adams finished with 229 yards passing ... a pass completion to Nate Mullen for 14 yards moved him up in the Catamounts’ record book … Later in the same drive, Adams connected with Daquan Patten from 32 yards out for a touchdown;
- Adams had three touchdown passes in the contest giving him 42 career TD tosses to move just one shy of matching former WCU quarterback Mike Pusey (43, 1977-79) for second all-time in program record book – and just eight shy of all-time record holder, Troy Mitchell (50, 2012-15);
- The 553 yards of total offense is the most this year breaking the mark of 482 against Newberry (Sept. 1) … WCU’s 52 points ranks as the third-most scored in a game under head coach Mark Speir – and third-most scored by a Catamount football team against a Southern Conference opponent;
- Defensive back Michael Murphy returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown with 6:15 remaining in the game … It was the first INT of Murphy’s WCU career and third interception on the season for the Catamounts … Murphy’s pick-six was the first for WCU since John Brannon III took one 41 yards in the home win over ETSU on Oct. 14, 2017;
- The Catamounts scored on their first offense possession for the third-straight week – the second time with a touchdown … the Catamounts took the ball 62 yards on nine plays before Adams, who completed his first five passes of the contest, rushed for four yards and then pitched to Nate Mullen for the final 15 yards and a touchdown … Will Horton’s extra point was good for a 7-0 lead;
- WR Nate Mullen’s eight catches marks a season-high receptions this year for a WCU receiver, breaking the mark of six by Connell Young against Gardner-Webb (Sept. 14) … Patten had seven catches for 81 yards … For Mullen and Patten, their receptions were career highs;
- Western Carolina’s defense came up with a season-high six sacks on Saturday giving the squad 16 for the year after having 21 all of last season ... Senior DL Solomon Clark had four sacks in the contest, tying him with three other Catamounts for most in a game – (Michael Spicer vs. UTC, 2002, Derek Summerour vs. Marshall, 1995 and Louis Cooper vs. ETSU, 1984) ... Clarks 5.5 tackles for loss against VMI established a new single-game benchmark, eclipsing the previous mark of five share by six players and most recently accomplished by Tyson Dickson back in 2015;
- Linebacker Mitchell Chancey led WCU in tackles for the third time this year, matching his career-high with 12 tackles … it was his third-straight, double-digit tackle performance ... DB Shamon Elliott likewise set a career-high with 12 stops, surpassing his previous career-high of 11 set in last year's SoCon-opener against nationally-ranked Samford;
- Kicker Will Horton converted his lone field goal attempt for 37 yards and made six extra points in the high-scoring affair on Saturday night ... senior All-American punter Ian Berryman averaged a season-best 40.5 yards on four punts with two going for 50+yards including a season-long 58-yard boot with one downed inside the Keydet 20-yard line;
- WCU had the most penalties in a game this season with 12 for a combined 119 penalty yards.
- WCU’s game captains on Saturday were its season team captains: senior RB #7 Corey Holloway, senior DB #29 Marvin Tillman, senior OL #63 Zach Weeks, and senior P #83 Ian Berryman;
- DL #90 Solomon Clark carried out the American flag and OL #65 Kaleb Spry carried the “All You Got” flag when the Catamounts took the field Saturday;
- VMI won the toss and elected to receive.
- The home attendance of 12,759 is the largest of season. The opening game of Newberry attendance was 12,111.
- The national anthem was performed by Summer McMahan and Brayden McMahan of the Mountain Faith Band.
- Western Carolina was among 16 NCAA football teams that wore “One Carolina” stickers on the back of their helmets on Saturday … the stickers were spearheaded by the Carolina Panthers and are designed to heighten awareness of relief efforts to help victims in both North and South Carolina reeling from the flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.