Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir was true to his word. Following last Saturday's road win over VMI, the Catamount head ball coach said that his team would take full advantage of the end of Daylight Saving Time to celebrate the road victory over the Keydets for 25 total hours – one more than his normal “24-hour” rule.
On Sunday evening, the Catamounts had turned the page and were back to work, not content to rest on the squad's most complete game to date this season. And on Monday night at BC Outdoors Cullowhee Taproom, Speir was mostly all business on the weekly Facebook LIVE, on-location coaches show, “Catamount Football Weekly.”
Fresh off that first league victory last weekend on the road in Lexington, Va., Western Carolina returns home to open a two-game November homestand beginning this Saturday as the Catamounts host mountain-rival East Tennessee State in Southern Conference play at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Kickoff of the first official “Blue Ridge Border Battle” game in Cullowhee is scheduled for 3:30 pm.
Tickets for Saturday's game are available in advance at the first-floor Athletics Ticket Office in the Ramsey Center or by phone at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401. Fans can also avoid walk-up lines on game day by purchasing tickets online at CatamountSports.com. Active duty and military veterans, as well as first responders (i.e., police, fire, EMS) receive FREE admission with ID; their family members will receive a discounted ticket rate.
Saturday's doubleheader festivities get underway at Noon in the Ramsey Center as Catamount men's basketball hosts the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, the defending Big South champion and an NCAA tournament team a season ago. The first 400 WCU students sitting in the student section are eligible to receive a special WCU camouflage cap. Patrons that present a ticket to the WCU-ETSU football game will gain FREE admission into Saturday's basketball game.
Also at Noon on Saturday, the “Heroes Day” edition of Tailgate Town located just outside the Ramsey Center and adjacent Catamount Road will open.
Gates to E.J. Whitmire Stadium as well as Paws' Playground presented by Western Builders open at 2:00 pm. Fans entering the stadium will receive a free American flag (while supplies last) courtesy of Ingles – and everyone will want to be in their seats for a special pregame presentation of the American flag by the All Veterans Group parachute team coupled with the pregame performance of the “Pride of the Mountains” marching band.
Western Carolina and ETSU have played 48 times on the football gridiron all-time with the initial meeting coming back in 1932. The margin in the head-to-head series is razor-thin after last year's thrilling triple-overtime game in Johnson City, Tenn. – WCU holds a one-game series edge, 24-23-1 all-time in a series that was dormant from 2003 until 2016 after ETSU dropped its football program. The two rekindled the rivalry in 2016 with a meeting held at the “Last Great Colosseum” – the World's Fastest Half-Mile – the Bristol Motor Speedway in what was ETSU's first SoCon game in over a decade.
WCU enters after halting a myriad of winless droughts last weekend – while also managing to extend its longest active series winning streak. The Catamounts halted their five-game seasonal drought as well as a 15-game losing skid to NCAA Division I competition. The road win marked WCU's first in nine games away from Cullowhee while also putting the clamps on a 12-game SoCon drought which had ranked as the second-longest skid in the NCAA FCS (Brown, L-19 in Ivy League play).
After opening the year at 2-2, ETSU (2-7, 0-6 SoCon) has dropped five-straight games on the year including a gut-wrenching, 31-27, Homecoming loss to The Citadel last Saturday in Johnson City after leading by 10 points early in the fourth quarter. The third-consecutive, one-possession loss relegated the Bucs to seven-straight defeats against SoCon foes – currently tied with three others (Jacksonville, Pioneer; Delaware State, MEAC; and Long Island University, NEC) for the fourth-longest active skid in the FCS.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with air time of the Pepsi Tailgate Show scheduled for 2:30 pm ahead of the 3:30 pm kickoff. The game will also be broadcast on the Nexstar Media Group (see below for affiliate clearances) and simulcast on ESPN+ (subscription required).
Game 10: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 • 3:30 pm
Location: Cullowhee, N.C. (E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field – 13,790
Records: ETSU (2-7, 0-6 SoCon) at Western Carolina (2-7, 1-5 SoCon)
Online Video Stream: Nexstar / ESPN+ (subscription required)
PBP: Pete Yanity; Color: Jay Sonnhalter
WYCW, CW62 (Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville)
WJHL, News Channel 11 (Tri-Cities)
WCBD, Lowcountry CW14 (Charleston)
WMUB, Ch. 38 (Macon)
WWCW, CW21.1 (Lynchburg/Roanoke)
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 reflected on his squad's road win over VMI last Saturday before previewing this Saturday's gridiron grudge match, the mountain rivalry game with ETSU in the latest installment of "Catamount Football Weekly,” originally recorded live-on-location on Monday (Nov. 4) 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).