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Cullowhee, N.C. – With autumn hues painted across one of the most picturesque backdrops for college athletics, the best gameday atmosphere in the Southern Conference again roars to life this weekend as Western Carolina, riding a two-game winning streak, returns to the friendly confines of E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field to host chromatic conference rival Furman. Kickoff of WCU’s annual Heroes Day game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
Tickets for Saturday’s conference match-up are available in advance through the Athletics ticket office located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center; by calling (800) 34-GOWCU; or online with the option to print from home through CatamountSports.com. The ticket booth at Gate 1 at the stadium also opens at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday for walk-up sales on game day.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network (CSN) with an airtime of the Pepsi Tailgate Show at 1:00 pm. Fans across western North Carolina can hear the game locally on seven CSN affiliates: in Sylva, 105.7 FM and 540 AM WRGC “The River”; 104.9 FM and 1050 AM WFSC in Franklin; WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM and 102.9 FM in Asheville; and 970 AM WYSE in Canton, with live streaming audio online at CatamountSports.com.
The 49th all-time series meeting between WCU and Furman will be broadcast live on ESPN3 (cable subscription required) with Kyle Rush and Phil Cox on the call. Fans can also follow the game with live stats accessible online at CatamountSports.com with timely in-game updates on Twitter using @Catamounts and @CatamountsFB.
Following Saturday’s football game, the Catamount volleyball team plays its final home match of the 2021 season, also hosting Furman on Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m., and admission is free – spectators are asked to wear face coverings per University indoor policies.
Western Carolina returns home for the first of back-to-back home games, hosting rivals Furman (Nov. 6) and ETSU (Nov. 13 – Blue Ridge Border Battle) to close the home portion of its fall 2021 schedule. Saturday is WCU’s first home game since Oct. 9 – a span of 28 days between appearances on the home turf in #CatamountCountry – and are seeking their first victory in front of the home crowd.
The Catamounts have won consecutive road games over Palmetto State foes with Furman representing a third-straight South Carolina program on the schedule, while the Paladins are currently mired amidst a two-game losing skid. WCU can get back to .500 in league play, entering the game with the same SoCon record as Furman at 2-3.
Behind returning QB Rogan Wells, the Catamounts raced out to a 41-7 lead at Wofford last week in Spartanburg, S.C., in winning its second-straight road game, 41-21. Wells, who was named the SoCon’s Offensive Player of the Week, completed 21 passes – a school, single-game record 16 of which went to Raphael Williams – for 309 yards and four touchdowns, adding 48 rushing yards and opened scoring with a 32-yard TD rush. Williams enters Saturday’s game leading the SoCon in both receptions per game at 7.5 – tied for third in the NCAA FCS – and receiving yards per game at 91.8 yds/gm (10th in the NCAA).
Picked fifth in the preseason by the league’s head coaches and among a three-way tie for third by the voting media, Furman (4-4, 2-3 SoCon) opened the year at 2-0 including a home victory over nationally ranked North Carolina A&T. Last week, Furman was limited to just 157 yards of total offense – 104 yards rushing and 47 yards passing – and held out of the end zone by a stingy Chattanooga defense in falling 13-3 in the Scenic City.
Furman enters Saturday’s road game at WCU with the SoCon’s lowest scoring offense, averaging just 18.0 points per game – BUT boasts the league’s second-best scoring defense in limiting opponents to just 18.1 points against. The Paladins will likely be tested by a Catamount offense which is averaging the fifth-most points in the conference at 28.2 points per game – and has the third-best scoring offense in SoCon-only play at 32.8 points per game. WCU ranks third in the league in total offense with an average of 435.2 yards per game including the league’s second-ranked passing offense at 290.8 yards per game and ranks seventh in rushing offense at 144.5 yards per game.
Kickoff is slated for 2:00 pm.
Western Carolina vs. Furman – All-Time Series:
The Catamounts and Paladins meet for the 49th time on the football gridiron with WCU trailing in the all-time series, 12-34-2 … Furman has won the last five meetings in the head-to-head series including a 35-7 win in Greenville, S.C., back in the spring (Feb. 20, 2021) … WCU’s most recent victory came in a convincing 48-10 win in Cullowhee back in 2015, the second of back-to-back series victories for the Catamounts.
Game 9: Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 • 2:00 pm
Location: Cullowhee, N.C. (E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field – 13,790)
Records: Furman (4-4, 2-3 SoCon) at Western Carolina (2-6, 2-3 SoCon)
TV / Video Stream: ESPN3 (cable subscription required)
PBP: Kyle Rush; Color: Phil Cox
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
PBP: Gary Ayers; Color: Greg McLamb; Producer: Jeff Bryson
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
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).
Things to Know Before You Go:
Where to Park:
• Parking lots open at 8:00 am on Saturday, Nov. 6 … Tailgating begins at 10:30 am, pursuant with University Policy 101;
• General Admission parking: H.F. Robinson Building and both the North Baseball Parking Deck and the South Baseball Lot … Access to the HFR lot is through the main entrance – to access the North and South Baseball Lots, turn left onto FOREST HILLS ROAD (third stoplight, near Ramsey Center) … Parking – especially for visiting fans – is also available down Little Savannah Road behind the Catamount Travel Center and past the Cullowhee Post Office at the WCU Health & Human Science (HHS) parking lots (FREE SHUTTLE beginning at 1:30 pm, see below) … It is also suggested that fans consider taking Old Cullowhee Road to the old entrance to the WCU campus and utilize parking in the lots behind Hunter Library for game day;
• Catamount Club Reserved Parking Lots (parking pass required) include: Camp Lab (Lot13), Belk (Lot14), Jordan-Phillips Field House (Lot12), Football Stadium (Lot10), Creek (Lot9C) Lot, and Camp Lab Festival Parking (Lot4A) … All patrons with parking passes should enter the main entrance of the WCU campus, display parking credential to gain access to their designated, assigned parking lots;
• Student Tailgating Lot (pass required): Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center Lots (Lot 13) … those spaces are reserved on-campus by student organizations for each game day … Reminders that set-up is not allowed until 10:30 am when the lot opens and glass beverage containers are not permitted in WCU’s tailgating lots;
Note: WCU Parking & Transportation will run a FREE “Tailgate Express” CatTran Shuttle for each home football game this year. Vehicles will be directed to park at the Health & Human Services (HHS) Lot and HHS Adjacent Lot down Little Savannah Road where patrons will be picked up. The FREE shuttle will transport fans to both the Ramsey Center circle drive for West Side seating and Gate 1 entrance for patrons with East Side tickets. Shuttles will also be available after the game for return trips to these lots. Please note: this is not a shuttle around campus – just to and from the parking lots.
The Catamount Club:
• The Purple Zone (requires RSVP): Located on the Ramsey Center Patio – is open from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm;
• Paws Porch (requires a ticket, access credential): Located on the patio of the Jordan Phillips Fieldhouse; doors open at 1:30 pm;
• Catamount Corner (requires a ticket, access credential): Located on the Northwest patio of the Ramsey Center; opens at 1:30 pm.
Where to Buy Tickets:
• Purchase – and PRINT – tickets in advance through CatamountSports.com … Avoid any lines at the ticket windows on game day and purchase tickets in advance!
On Game Day:
• WCU Athletic Ticket Office: online at CatamountSports.com … (828) 227-2401 – phone lines open beginning at 10:00 am until Noon for ticket information and phone orders ONLY – NO WALK-UP SALES through the Ramsey Center Ticket Office;
• Gate 1 Ticket Sales on the West Side of the stadium open at 10:00 am for walk-up sales;
• Ticket sales at all other gates begin at Noon – Gates 2, 3, and 4;
• All stadium gates open to the public at 12:30 pm … Gate 6 for Player Pass also opens at 12:30 pm;
• Per University policy, face coverings are required indoors in all university buildings – and are encouraged in high density areas where physical distancing can’t be accomplished;
• Please be reminded, WCU Athletics will enforce a clear bag policy this season. Only standard clear bags, 12-inches by 6-inches by 12-inches in size, small purses approximately 4.5-inches by 5-inches not including the strap, and clear gallon size storage bags are permitted. Diaper bags (child must be present upon entry) and any medical-related bags will be allowed … All bags are subject to screening before admittance into the stadium.
• Remember to bring proper photo identification to pick up tickets at WCU’s Will Call;
• Main Will Call for picking up purchased tickets or tickets being left for pick-up is at Gate 1. However, fans are able to receive Will Call at any entrance gate ticket booth;
• Guests of WCU Chancellor’s Office can pick up tickets at Will Call at Gate 4;
• WCU Football Player’s Guest will utilize Gate 6 (as well as Dance/Cheer Guests) … Those who are on the player pass list must show a photo ID to pick up tickets. Player Pass Will Call does not open until 12:30 pm when the stadium gates are open … Once the player pass tickets are picked up, they are scanned, and the individual MUST enter the stadium;
• Football Recruits: North Concourse, enter the Southeast doors of the Ramsey Center. Arrivals after 9:30 am, please go to Gate 6;
• All Other WCU Recruits: Gate 6;
• High School Coaches: Present card to any ticket booth and receive up to TWO free admission tickets … Pick up tickets from any ticket booth — not the player pass location.
• Chair Back Reserved: Adult $35 Youth (Ages 3-12) $25 – Sections DD, JJ, KK, LL;
• Bench Back Reserved: Adult $30 Youth (Ages 3-12) $20 – Sections JJ, MM;
• Bleacher Reserved: Adult $30, Youth (Ages 3-12) $20 – Sections D, E, F, J, K, L
• General Admission – Game Day: Adult $20, Youth (Ages 3-12) $15 – Sections G, GG
• Full-time WCU Students: Free with valid CatCard ID;
• WCU Student Guest Tickets: $13 (WCU students can purchase up to 2 guest tickets and sit in the student section)
Other Helpful Game Day Hints:
• BRING CASH – though WCU’s ticket booths and the concessions stand at Whitmire Stadium are capable of credit/debit card transactions, lines for the popular stadium fare can back up … There will be extra CASH-ONLY lines for items such as drinks on game day;
• Arrive early to avoid long lines entering Whitmire Stadium … Also, numerous gates allow entry to the stadium — familiarize yourself with the best gates to get you to your seats for all the pregame festivities;
• Be sure to enjoy a variety of stadium fare at the Catamount Dining concessions stands, proudly serving ice-cold Pepsi products … Fans can also enjoy concession items from Bojangles and Tubby’s Popcorn & More out of Cherokee.
Game Day Promotions:
• Saturday’s game has been billed “Heroes Day,” with WCU to honor all active military personnel both active and veteran, all civil servants including emergency managers such as police, fire, EMS, and all healthcare and frontline workers for their continued work during the COVID-19 pandemic;
• As a part of Heroes Day, Catamount Athletics will honor those service personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the pregame Cat Walk … Anyone wants to participate in honoring our community’s fallen heroes, please meet the Fallen Heroes Ministry at gate 1 at 11 am to hold posters during the Cat Walk;
• Gather with other Purple & Gold clad faithful to cheer on the Catamounts during the “Cat Walk” to the stadium at approximately 11:45 am in the Stadium and Field House parking lots;
• The “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band, WCU Dance Team, and Catamount cheerleaders pregame march to the stadium begins at approximately 12:55 pm;
• The WCU Game Day Information Booth opens at 12:30 pm just inside of Gate 1 … the WCU Bookstore will be on hand selling WCU merchandise outside of Gate 6 at the stadium;
• At halftime, the “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band will perform their show to the East Side stands with an encore presentation following Saturday’s game;
• Catamount volleyball hosts Furman at 7:00 p.m. on Ingles Court in the Ramsey Center on Saturday evening after the home football game … Admission is free – face coverings are required for the indoor event per University policy.