Monday, October 27, 2008

Western Carolina's latest loss a crusher

On the first play of the fourth quarter Saturday in Cullowhee, Western Carolina scored to push its lead over longtime Southern Conference power Georgia Southern to 31-3. Suddenly, the Catamounts' rebuilding schedule under first-year coach Dennis Wagner seemed way ahead of schedule.

But turning around a beaten-down program is almost never quick and easy.

Georgia Southern, which may have started flat after losing a thriller to Appalachian State last week, finally got rolling, scoring 35 straight points to take a 38-31 victory. During the rally, the Eagles piled up 367 total yards to WCU's 48.

It was Western's 20th straight Southern Conference loss.

Despite the stunning collapse, called "very disappointing" by Wagner, you have to remember that Western had to build that big lead in the first place. That means the Catamounts are at least making progress toward their goal.

Keep in mind that WCU is only starting four seniors, and Saturday's quarterback (Zack Jaynes) and top running back (Quan Warley) were redshirt freshmen. As the Catamounts add experience, they should continue to get better.

If they can forget about Saturday.

--Stan Olson