Post-Game Notes

Gardner-Webb 24, Western Carolina 21

E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field

Cullowhee, N.C.  

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Att: 87

With the Loss …

- Snaps Western Carolina’s four-game winning streak in the head-to-head series with Gardner-Webb marking the first victory for the Runnin’ Bulldogs over the Catamounts since 2009 (27-20) also in Cullowhee;

- The Catamounts were relegated to 1-4 on the year, the slowest opening to a season since 2016 when WCU started 1-7 before finishing 2-9 overall.

Post-Game Notes:

- Redshirt junior DB Michael Murphy had a hand in both WCU takeaways on Saturday against Gardner-Webb … Murphy corralled a pass deflection by LB Trevor Childers for his first interception of the season marking the fourth of his career after he had three interceptions in 2018 … Murphy also tallied WCU’s first forced fumble of the season, recovering on a play to jar the football loose with John Brannon, the squad’s takeaway leader, falling on the loose football for the fumble recovery;

- Murphy led the Catamount defense with 12 tackles, matching his career high … Murphy was one of three WCU defensive players with double figure tackles as Childers likewise tied his career-best with 11 total hits and JerMichael White finished with 10 tackles … the trio of Catamounts each have three career double-figure tackle games;

- After tallying a season-low one tackle for loss last week at Chattanooga, WCU matched a season-high with seven tackles for loss on Saturday against Gardner-Webb including three sacks;

- Redshirt senior QB Tyrie Adams returned to the starting lineup for the first time in three games, making his first start since the season-opener against Mercer … He eclipsed the 10,000 yard mark for total offense a career, the first Catamount to do so … Adams ranks fifth in the SoCon ledgers with 10,092 yards of total offense;

- With 16 pass completions, Adams has now completed 644 passes in his career and is just 12 completions away from moving into first-place in the WCU record books and supplanting former mentor Troy Mitchell (2012-15), who ended his career with 655 completions;

- Adams’ 16 completions were spread between eight different receivers with Nate Mullen and D.J. Thorpe finishing with four apiece to lead the way … Mullen hauled in his first receiving touchdown of the season and the third of his career on a 15-yard strike from Adams;

- With his WCU record 57th touchdown pass, Adams moved into tie for seventh in SoCon history, matching Mercer’s John Russ (57, 2014-16) and Marshall’s Michael Payton (57, 1989-92) and is just two shy of the top five in former App State QB Richie Williams (59, 2002-05) … All told, with two touchdowns on Saturday – one passing, one rushing – Adams has accounted for 73 touchdowns in his WCU career, ninth in the SoCon record books;

- Adams has amassed a WCU career record 7,789 career passing yards to move into sixth-place in the Southern Conference record books for career passing yards, leaping over four players on the day … Adams by-passed VMI’s Al Cobb (7,727, 2014-16), Furman’s Reese Hannon (7,730, 2012-16), ETSU’s Todd Wells (7,735, 1997-00), and App State’s Richie Williams (7,759, 2002-05) … Adams is just 37 yards shy of fifth-place Greg Ryan of ETSU (7,826 yds, 1993-96);

- Adams finished with 98 rushing yards against Gardner-Webb pushing his career total to 2,303 yards rushing … Adams leapfrogged four former WCU running backs to move into seventh-place in WCU’s all-time career record books … Adams moved past Leonard Williams (2,210 yds, 1979-83), Carlton Terry (2,213 yds, 1987-90), Darius Fudge (2,274 yds, 2003-06), and David Lomax (2,289 yds, 1965-68) … Adams is just 143 yards shy of sixth-place and Kevin Thigpen (2,447 yds, 1990-93);

- Collectively, WCU recorded a season-high 56 rushes on Saturday against Gardner-Webb, one more than the previous season-high of 55 posted at Chattanooga the week before … WCU’s 224 rushing yards were its second-most of the season behind the 423 at Chattanooga;

- WCU’s offense tallied three long scoring drives on Saturday including two of 90+ yards – an 18-play, 93-yard drive to start the game capped by a three-yard run by Connell Young – his first rushing score of the season – and a 12-play, 97-yard drive capped by an eight-yard rush by Tyrie Adams;

- In the special teams, left-footed redshirt freshman PK Julian Pletz handled all placekicking duties on Saturday, connecting on all three PATs while also averaging 54.2 yards per kickoff with a touchback on four attempts … Punter Caleb Ferguson boomed his second kick of 50-plus yards while downing three of his six attempts inside the GWU 20-yard line … WCU freshman long-snapper Kevin Thompson made his collegiate debut on Saturday, recording a solo tackle on a punt;

- A season-best 11,865 fans were on-hand for Western Carolina’s Family Weekend game on Saturday … Over its three home dates this fall, WCU – which led the SoCon in overall average attendance the past two seasons – has averaged 9,874 over its first three home dates …

Miscellaneous Notes:

- WCU’s team captains for Saturday’s afternoon’s game were: redshirt senior WR #2 Nate Mullen; redshirt senior DB #22 JerMichael White; sophomore DB #13 Ronald Kent, Jr; and redshirt sophomore QB #15 Will Jones;

- Senior TE #46 Austin Phillips carried the United States flag and redshirt sophomore LB #57 Alan Harris carried the “All You Got” flag;

- Western Carolina won the coin toss and deferred … WCU kicked off to Gardner-Webb to open the game.