Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Marshall Football: Fast Facts, Gardner-Webb

Everything you need to know about Gardner-Webb before Saturdays showdown at Joan C. Edwards Stadium against Marshall.

1) Gardner-Webb is coming off a week one victory over Furman. Playing Marshall’s old Southern Conference rival at home, the Bulldogs took down the Paladins 28-21. Gardner-Webb played from behind the majority of the game but, a early fourth quarter touchdown catch by Kenny Cook put the Bulldogs up for good.

2) Employing a balanced offensive attack, Gardner-Webb racked up 434 yards against Furman. The Bulldogs managed 276 yards through the air and 158 rushing yards.

3) In his College Football Preview Magazine, Phil Steele named Bulldogs quarterback Lucas Beatty a All-Big South Conference second team selection. Beatty returns to Gardner-Webb after leading the Big South Conference in passing yards per game last year.

4) Wide receiver Kenny Cook is Beatty’s favorite target, last season he lead the team in receptions (48), receiving yards (666) and touchdowns (7). Cook opened 2013 by catching 9 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns against Furman.

5) When Gardner-Webb ran out of the wildcat formation last year it used running back Juanne Blount behind center. Now entrenched as the Bulldogs number one option out of the backfield, Blount rushed for 158 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns in last week’s win.

6) Voted on by the leagues head coaches and media members, Gardner-Webb was predicted to finish third in the six team Big South Conference.

7) Three Bulldog defenders were selected to the preseason All-Big South First Team, defensive lineman Preston Pemasa, Matt Goods, and linebacker Tanner Burch. Out of the bunch, Burch had the most impressive 2012, ranking second nationally (FCS) with 12.6 tackles per game. In total he registered 113 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and two sacks last year.

8) One other Bulldog to watch on Saturday, kick returner J.J. Hubbard. Last year Hubbard averaged 15.2 yards per punt return and 22.1 yards per kickoff return.

9) Gardner Webb is breaking in a new head coach, GW alumnus Carroll McCray. McCray has previous head coaching experience at North Greenville University and Austin Peay.

10) The Bulldogs finished the 2012 season 3-8 season which included a 55-10 loss at Pittsburgh, the only FBS opponent Gardner-Webb played last year. 

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