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Western Carolina Announces 2010 Catamount Schedule
Five home dates including the 35th edition of the “Battle for the Old Mountain Jug” against Appalachian State on October 2 highlight the 2010 Western Carolina Catamount football schedule released today by head coach Dennis Wagner.
The 11-game schedule opens with a pre-Labor Day road meeting with Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs on Saturday, Sept. 4 and concludes 10 weeks later with the Catamounts hosting Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 13 at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.
“We think this is a very competitive schedule. We will play 11 weeks consecutively – and as a coach, I don’t mind that. It keeps you focused, keeps you tuned in,” said head coach Dennis Wagner. “Playing North Carolina State is big for our fan base and exciting for our players.”
One week after starting the season in Boiling Springs, N.C., at Gardner-Webb, Western Carolina will open its 2010 season at home by hosting the NCAA Division II Tusculum Pioneers out of the South Atlantic Conference on Sept. 11 in the lone night game scheduled at Whitmire Stadium. The home-opening weekend will also see WCU induct its 21st class into its Athletics Hall of Fame.
One week later, the Catamounts will travel to Raleigh to face North Carolina State, rekindling a 24-year old rivalry against the in-state foe. WCU last faced the Wolfpack in 2003 season-opener for both squads, falling to the then 14th-ranked ‘Pack, 59-20, at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Western Carolina opens eight-straight weeks of Southern Conference play on the final weekend of September, traveling to Elon on Sept. 25. The following week, Western Carolina will host defending conference champion, Appalachian State, in the annual “Battle for the Old Mountain Jug” on Oct. 2, the earliest meeting between the two mountain rivals since an Oct. 20 meeting in the 1990 season.
The gridiron grudge-match not being at or near the end of the season isn’t a novelty, though, as the Catamounts and Mountaineers opened the season against one another in 1986, and have met mid-season a combined four times since WCU joined ASU in the Southern Conference in 1976.
“Our Southern Conference schedule starts out with Elon and Appalachian State back-to-back. We will find out right away where we are as a team and how we stack up against the two teams that were the best in the league a season ago. It will set the standard for the progress our program has made,” Wagner said.
October continues with the annual Homecoming game as Georgia Southern visits Whitmire Stadium Waters Field. The last time the Eagles ventured into Cullowhee, the Catamounts had them on the ropes before a feverish fourth-quarter rally saw GSU rattle off 35 unanswered points, including 28 in regulation, in a 38-31 come-from-behind, overtime victory.
WCU will make a return trip to Furman’s Paladin Stadium on October 16, last falling by just seven points, 28-21, to the Paladins in 2008’s meeting in Greenville, S.C. The following week, a Family Weekend crowd will welcome Samford back to Cullowhee on Oct. 23 for just the fourth home meeting all-time with the Bulldogs.
Western Carolina will round out the month of October with a trip to Charleston, S.C., and to Johnson Hagood Stadium to face The Citadel, the Catamounts’ lone conference win last season.
Two SoCon games wrap-up the season in November including a trip to Wofford (Nov. 6) and the regular season finale against Chattanooga (Nov. 13).
Western Carolina is coming off a 2-9 season which included a 1-7 mark in league play. However, the Catamounts are slated to return 43 letter-winners from a season ago, including SoCon Freshman of the Year, Michael Johnson, in the offensive backfield, and are expected to have nearly 15 red-shirts active for the 2010 season.
“We ‘re looking forward to the off-season,” said Wagner who along with his coaching staff has been on the road recruiting since the 2009 season ended. “We are planning on bringing in anywhere from 3-to-6 players during the mid-term to provide immediate help and impact on our program at several positions.”
He added, “Our players are ready to come back and get to work. We didn’t take time off at the end of the season, simply progressed into our off-season training regiments to get ready for our spring practices.”
National Signing Day for college football is Wednesday, Feb. 3. Western Carolina is scheduled to open its annual spring drills on April 6 on-campus in Cullowhee.
2010 Western Carolina Catamount Football Schedule
Date Opponent (2009 record) Time
Sept. 4 at Gardner-Webb (6-5) TBA
Sept. 11 Tusculum (3-7) 6:00 pm (Hall of Fame Weekend)
Sept. 18 at N.C. State (5-7) TBA
Sept. 25 at Elon * (9-3) TBA
Oct. 2 Appalachian State * (11-3) 3:00 pm
Oct. 9 Georgia Southern * (5-6) (WCU Homecoming) 3:00 pm
Oct. 16 at Furman * (6-5) TBA
Oct. 23 Samford * (5-6) 3:00 pm (Family Weekend)
Oct. 30 at The Citadel * (4-7) TBA
Nov. 6 at Wofford * 3-8) TBA
Nov. 13 Chattanooga * (6-5) 3:00 pm
By Western Carolina University Media Relations