2021 Western Carolina Stats
Make no mistake about it, Western Carolina is rolling into Norman to collect a paycheck and any success they find on on the field against Oklahoma is just an added bonus. The Catamounts will take the field with an 0-1 record after falling to Eastern Kentucky 31-28 to open the season.
Catamounts quarterback Rogan Wells threw for 275 yards and a score last week in the loss to Eastern Kentucky. Wells is at his third program after beginning his career at Valdosta State and then coming to WCU from Tusculum where he led the Pioneers to the spring 2021 South Atlantic Conference championship. Wells also ran the ball 8 times for 72 yards, and another score, last week. The grad transfer was responsible for two interceptions and was sacked once.
Redshirt freshman Raphael Williams was Wells’ top target last week, catching eight passes for 122 yards. Western Carolina’s running averaged 5.05 yards per carry last week and were also very active in the passing game. Kenny Benjamin (11 carries for 38 yards) was second on the team with six receptions (56 yards) and TJ Jones (17 for 115 yards) caught three passes for 31 yards and hauled in the only touchdown reception of the game.
WCU’s offensive line was incredibly efficient last week, paving the way to 31 first downs, 226 rushing yards, and 275 passing yards with just one sack allowed.
Defensively the Catamounts allowed Eastern Kentucky an average of 3.3 yards per carry and gave up a total of 142 yards and three scores on the ground. EKU averaged 11.9 yards per pass completion and had one score through the air on their way to a 238-yard passing day.
Western Carolina’s linebackers are the strength of the defense. Kareem Taylor paced the team with 10 tackles last week and Ivan Hogans was just behind with 9 take downs. Safety Andreas Keaton recorded 8 tackles and an interception. WKU’s defense is aggressive and plays behind the line of scrimmage. They didn’t record a quarterback sack in Week 1 but they did have six tackles for loss.