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Catamounts Get Us Started

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Let's see. New offense. New unis. Renewed hope.

Western Carolina brings all three to downtown Atlanta Sept. 1 as the first team in the So South region - the Southern and Big South conferences - to take the field in the 2011 season. They'll look good in the new uniforms and will seek to look good in the new Pistol offense. Head coach Dennis Wagner and staff installed the Pistol after visiting and researching the offense at a few FBS schools. Of course, like all the other schools, the Catamounts take the field with hope for a special season, something not seen in Cullowhee in some time.

Starting well will be a challenge against Georgia Tech, which is under the direction of former Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets have some issues of their own, coming off a disappointing 2010 and not exactly getting consistent love from the prognosticators.

Getting first shot at running the Pistol will be sophomore quarterback Brandon Pechloff, a tall lefty who played a good bit last year but struggled with the college game. The Catamounts are turning to a new set of running backs since last year's leading rusher, Michael Johnson, is nicked up and being held out. Junior college transfer Michael Vaughn gets the starting nod. He'll be backed by a pair of freshmen, Shaun Warren and Petey Boone.

Western Carolina had its difficulties stopping others in 2010. They'll be up against Georgia Tech's option offense that at least looks familiar, given that three SoCon teams run similar sets and plays. Whether that will help the Catamounts make enough key stops remains to be seen.

The important thing, though, about the Catamounts and Yellow Jackets meeting at Grant Field is that it starts the season.

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  1. dcoulson's Avatar
    Stay safe in that rough neighborhood. Must be a fun place to cover a game. Western Carolina never did very well against Paul Johnson-coached teams when he was at Georgia Southern. Sounds like more of the same tonight.