The Catamounts (5-2, 3-1 SoCon) are coming off a 49-10 win over East Tennessee State that played a bit closer than the final score would make it seem. Western Carolina led just 7-3 at the half before exploding for 42 points in the second half, getting touchdowns on an interception return and a blocked punt in the onslaught.
The Catamounts gained just 327 yards in the win, well below its 479.4-yards-per-game season average.
WCU will work off its strong running game on offense. The Catamounts gain 258.1 yards per game on the ground, 5.9 yards per attempt, and run the ball on 62.7 percent of their snaps.
The passing game is coolly efficient. QB Tyrie Adams completes 60 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,483 yards and 14 touchdowns, with six interceptions, and a passer rating of 150.7.
His top two downfield targets, Terryon Robinson and Steffon Hill, are among the best in FCS. Robinson has 35 catches for 579 yards and six TDs, and Hill has 29 catches for 479 yards and 4 TDs.
Adams can also move the sticks with his feet, gaining 505 yards and averaging 5.3 yards per attempt on the ground.
Detrez Newsome is averaging 125.2 yards per game on the ground, and 7.5 yards per carry, with seven TDs.
Corey Halloway (327 yards, 6.3 yards per carry, five TDs) and Donovan Spencer (197 yards, 4.8 yards per carry, six TDs) will also get touches in the backfield.
The WCU defense gives up 378.6 yards per game, including 188 yards per game on the ground, and 4.4 yards per rush, though it has been getting much more stout of late, giving up an average of 304 yards per game over the past three weeks.
VMI (0-7, 0-4 SoCon) is coming off another dispiriting loss, a 49-10 setback at Furman this past weekend. The Keydets actually hung around in this one for a half, trailing just 14-10 at the break, but the Paladins put up 307 yards of offense, including 208 yards on the ground, in the second half in pulling away.
Game Preview by Chris Graham