College Football: Catawba at West Georgia

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2016


University Stadium — Carrolton, Ga. — 2 p.m.

Radio: WSAT Memories 1280. Video: Available on


2015 RECORDS: West Georgia 12-2 (Gulf South champs, lost in semifinals of D-II playoffs). Catawba 9-3 (lost in first round of D-II playoffs).

Rankings: Catawba is No. 22 AFCA, West Georgia is No. 2

COACHES: Catawba — Curtis Walker, former All-America linebacker at Catawba, is 21-13 in three seasons as head coach. West Georgia — Will Hall, the Harlon Hill Trophy winner as North Alabama’s QB in 2003, is 24-5 in three seasons at West Georgia.

LAST YEAR: West Georgia pulled away in the second half for a 44-13 victory.

Series: 1-1. Catawba won 28-24 in 2000 D-II playoffs at Shuford Stadium.

WATCH FOR: Catawba’s defense returns nine starters from a defense that allowed 15.8 per game last season. Defense will be the strength of the team. Catawba also returns starting quarterback Mike Sheehan.
West Georgia graduated outstanding QB Dallas Dickey, but his replacement Will Gardner, a 6-foot-5 graduate student who started seven games for Louisville in 2014 (1,669 passing yards, 12 TDs) presents a different kind of threat for Catawba’s defense. Gardner, who had had three knee surgeries, is a drop-back passer.
“He’s not the runner that Dickey was, but he throws it very well,” Walker said.
West Georgia scored 36.7 points per game last season. Catawba probably has to hold the Wolves in the low 20s to have a chance.