Sept. 11, 2007
WCU Game Notes at #23 Georgia
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Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina head football coach Kent Briggs spoke with members of the media via phone Tuesday morning on the Southern Conference Football Coaches' Teleconference. Briggs commented on last week's game at Eastern Kentucky, as well as this week's opponent, #23 Georgia, and how playing at Alabama earlier this season helped his squad.
Below is an excerpt from that football coaches' teleconference:
On EKU's running attack:
"Obviously, they did a good job running the football. I felt it really was a matter of them being successful on third down plays, keeping drives alive and wearing us down. On one instance, we were in the right place to stop a third down play, hitting the quarterback behind the line on the option, but he was able to pitch the ball at the last second and they ended up scoring. Another occasion, we gave them a first down with a close roughing the passer call on the sideline. Regardless, I believe we have to be better on third down as that was the biggest factor."
On playing Alabama helping at Georgia:
"I think (playing Alabama in week one) helps a lot. Just about every player that is going to play at Georgia played at Alabama. And, many of our players that played in Tuscaloosa played last year at Florida. The environment at those places will help us this weekend."
On the physical toll of playing Alabama and Georgia:
"Whenever you are playing the game of football, the physical aspect of the game can take a toll on your team. Every team gets beat up through the course of a season and it's something you have to be concerned about. I feel that Georgia will be the most physical team we have faced since I've been here at Western. They appear more physical on film than was Alabama, so this week will be a big challenge for us this weekend."
On the current quarterback situation:
"We will not make a change at this point. When Adam (Hearns) gets more game experience, he will help this football team. Todd's (Spitzer) numbers were a little different than Adam's with his interceptions coming in the second half when we were forced to put the ball in the air rather than being able to mix it up. Todd was very successful in moving the team in the first half."
"Adam has really come on and he is a real asset for our team. The more experience he gets the better he will get - which I also feel about Todd. He's been under a lot of pressure as the starter and is still our starter. As the season progresses, we will reassess our situation and see which quarterback gives us the best chance of being competitive."
On senior tailback/kick return specialist, Mike Malone:
"Mike (Malone) had a tremendous game last week. He really stepped up at tailback position and that is one area where he hadn't really done it yet. He did a great job running the ball early in the game, but especially as a receiver catching the ball out of the back field. And of course, as a specialist, that's where he has excelled for years for our program. Mike is a team player and one of our captains. He goes out and gives his all to help this program get better."
On defensive players, safety Chris Collins and linebacker Drew Walker:
"Chris Collins has really come on this year. He can still get a lot better and we're hoping he will continue to improve. He is probably right about where he should be at this point in his career. He will have to play physical this weekend."
"Drew (Walker) is very intelligent and has played hurt through most of his career and this season alike. He has been a warrior for our defense. He puts himself in a great position to make plays and really help direct our defense from his middle linebacker position.
On the focus of the team:
"We are going to focus on what we are doing and what makes us better and building our football program for the future. The (losing) streak is going to end. But, we have a tremendous challenge with Georgia this weekend."
Western Carolina will tangle with No. 23 Georgia this Saturday, Sept. 15 "between the hedges" in Athens, Ga., at Sanford Stadium. The game will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network (CSN) across five radio stations in Western North Carolina: WWCU, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee; 680 AM WRGC in Sylva; 1480 M WPFJ in Franklin; and 1590 AM WBHN in Bryson City; and 1600 AM WTZQ in Hendersonville. There are also two online options at www.WWCUFM.com and www.WRGC.com. Air time on Saturday is set for high Noon, with kickoff slated for 1:00 pm.
Saturday's game will be available as a pay-per-view broadcast by Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS). Viewers may order the game through their local, participating cable provider for $29.99. Matt Stewart will handle the play-by-play duties, while former Georgia quarterback Buck Belue will provide the analysis with Allison Williams on the sideline.
Catamount Club Pre-game Tailgate:
Attention Catamount fans making the trek to Athens -- join your fellow Purple & Gold supporters for a pre-game tailgate beginning at 11:00 am at the corner of Broad and Milledge, across from the "Varsity" in Athens. Be sure to look for the Purple & Gold tent and stop by for light refreshments before the game.