JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 6, 2017) – The ETSU football team will get to check another first off its list this Saturday.
For the first time in William B. Greene, Jr. history, the Buccaneers will host a Homecoming game as ETSU faces Robert Morris at 3:30 p.m.
THINGS TO KNOW FOR SATURDAY’S GAME
- Ticket availability for Saturday: While the student ticket allotment has been distributed, students can still enter the stadium for standing room only access by presenting a valid ETSU student ID. As for general public tickets, only a few seats remain in the stands, but standing room only tickets will be available at the door for $10 apiece after all available reserved tickets have been sold.
- Athletics kicks off Homecoming weekend on Friday: Even before Saturday’s game with Robert Morris, ETSU athletics will have a busy evening on Friday night. The Buccaneers’ volleyball team will host Mercer inside Brooks Gym at 8 p.m., while men’s soccer will host Furman inside Summers-Taylor Stadium, also at 8 p.m. Along with the Homecoming Parade – which will begin at 6:30 p.m. and travel through campus, ending at the roundabout near the stadium’s Bank of Tennessee East Entrance – there will also be a pep rally at 7 p.m. followed by a Homecoming Fireworks display taking place on the west side of campus prior to the athletic events at approximately 7:30 p.m.
- 1911 Legacy Wall – Fans are reminded to stop by the 1911 Legacy Wall on Saturday, located on the north end of the stadium on the concourse. Fans can add their name to the wall and do their part to join the “Embrace Excellence Initiatives” by visiting givebucs.com and clicking on the 1911 Legacy link.
- Mobility Assistance Shuttle Service – The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will continue to provide the “Mobility Assistance Shuttle Service” for all home football games at the new William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. Centrally located at the Alumni Pavilion area on the west side of the ETSU parking garage and convenient to Lots 21 and 22, the Mobility Assistance Shuttle Service will consist of golf carts that will provide rides to the stadium for disabled fans and those with mobility issues. The carts will begin service one hour prior to kickoff and at the conclusion of the game.
- Men’s basketball and softball recognitions – Both the men’s basketball and softball teams will be recognized during Saturday’s game for their championship seasons in 2017.
- Buc Walk and Tailgating – The traditional Buc Walk will take place two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff, so Saturday’s walk will begin at 1:15 p.m. Parking lots around William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium will open for tailgating at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. Fans are reminded that the family-friendly Food City Zone will open at 12:30 p.m.
- Public Parking – Parking for the general public will be available in the parking garage and in Lot 22 (located behind Bojangles on Go Bucs Trail). Parking is $10 per car. Click here for parking map. Students are reminded they can still access normal student parking by displaying their parking pass and ID.
- Clear Bag Policy – The new stadium will have a clear bag policy, which can be viewed in more detail by clicking here.
- Game Time App – Remember to download the official ETSU Game Time App for IPhone and Android devices. This one-stop app provides answers to many game day questions as well as other information regarding the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
NOTABLES FROM FURMAN GAME
Austin Herink passed for a school-record 434 yards, while his three touchdowns tied a career high, but it wasn’t enough to lift ETSU past Furman as the Paladins totaled over 600 yards of offense en route to defeating the Bucs, 56-35 … The Bucs had two receivers finish with over 100 yards – Vincent Lowe five receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns; Hunter Wike – two catches for 101 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown reception … The 78-yard reception was the ninth-longest scoring pass play in school history … Marion Watson averaged 44.2 yards per punt – five punts for 221 yards … Watson landed two punts inside the 20, which included one inside the 10 (did not allow a punt return) … The Buccaneer defense forced a turnover for the 10th straight game when Blake Bockrath forced the fumble and Paul Hunter recovered to set up a JJ Jerman field goal in the second quarter … ETSU scored 18 fourth-quarter points, including posting scoring drives on three of its final four possessions … The Bucs went 4-of-13 on third down, while Furman went 7-of-12 … Furman was also 2-of-3 on fourth down with one touchdown … ETSU’s defense allowed nine plays of over 20 yards – six of which went for touchdowns … Furman registered 609 yards of total offense (308 rushing/301 passing), while scoring 28 unanswered points from the 4:02 mark of the second quarter to the 14:08 mark of the fourth quarter.
BUCS ACCOMPLISH RARE FEAT AT FURMAN
For the first time since restarting the program in 2015, the Bucs had two players finish with over 100 receiving yards in last Saturday’s setback at Furman … Vincent Lowe ended with five receptions for 105 yards, while Hunter Wike hauled in two catches for 101 yards, marking the first time two ETSU players had over 100 receiving yards in a game since Sept. 1, 2000, when Cecil Moore and Tim Turner accomplished the feat … Moore had four receptions for 138 yards and Turner added three catches for 145 yards (three touchdowns) as ETSU defeated Liberty, 37-20, in Lynchburg.
HERINK AIRS IT OUT IN GREENVILLE
Despite last weekend’s setback at Furman, redshirt junior quarterback Austin Herink broke ETSU’s single-game passing record with 434 yards … Herink – who became the first Buccaneer since Carl Meadows (Sept. 4, 2003 vs. Concord) to throw for over 300 yards in a game – broke Todd Wells’ record of 377 passing yards, which was set on 1997 in a 51-28 win over No. 6 Appalachian State in Boone.
HERINK CONTINUES TO GROW
Through five games this season, Austin Herink has already eclipsed his passing touchdown total from a year ago … Herink enters the weekend with nine passing touchdowns, while he threw for seven in 11 games last season … Herink has thrown for over more yards (1,257) in his first five games this year than he did in his first nine games last season … The Cleveland, Tenn. native – who earned SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week honors after guiding the Bucs to a 26-23 overtime win over Mercer on Sept. 23 – ranks 16th among FCS quarterback in passing yards, 22nd in completion percentage (64.4), 24th in passing touchdowns, 30th in points responsible for (64) and 32nd in total offense (259.4).
HERINK AND THE COMEBACKS
Austin Herink capped off his fifth career comeback win in the Bucs’ 26-23 overtime win over Mercer on Sept. 23 in Greene Stadium … Of the five comeback wins, three have either come in the fourth quarter or overtime.
WIKE’S LONG SCORING PLAY
Austin Herink found Hunter Wike on a screen play that resulted in a 78-yard touchdown last weekend at Furman … The 78-yard play was the ninth-longest scoring pass play in program history and the third longest pass play in the SoCon this season.
ETSU’s 11 opponents this year currently have a win percentage of .558 (29-23), while its first three opponents – Limestone (3-2), #1 James Madison (5-0), #13 Citadel (3-1) – are a combined 11-3 (.786) through the first five weeks of the season … Overall, ETSU has played the 25th toughest FCS schedule.
SOCON PLAYING THE BEST IN 2017
The SoCon is the only conference in college football that will take on both the reigning FCS and FBS national champions this season. In addition to ETSU squaring off against JMU, The Citadel will face Clemson on Nov. 18.
JERMAN COLLECTES THIRD CAREER SOCON HONOR
JJ Jerman was tabbed Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following ETSU’s win over Mercer on Sept. 23 … Jerman – who made two of his three field goal attempts and both extra points – helped lift ETSU to a 26-23 overtime win over the Bears. The Seymour, Tenn. native connected on a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter, while his career-long 49-yard field goal with 11:22 remaining in the fourth quarter sparked the Bucs’ comeback. The 49-yard field goal marked the fourth longest in program history, and is the longest field goal by a SoCon kicker this season and tied for the sixth longest make among FCS players this year.
WEIGEL TACKLES WAY TO SOCON DEFENSIVE HONOR
Redshirt junior linebacker Dylan Weigel earned Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors following the week three game vs. The Citadel … Weigel recorded a game-high 19 tackles and one quarterback hurry in the Bucs’ 31-25 setback to then-No. 13 The Citadel at William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. The 19-tackle game marked the most by a SoCon player this season, while ranking second-most among FCS players in 2017. Weigel totaled 11 first-half tackles against the Bulldogs, including seven in the second quarter.
WEIGEL, BORUFF AMONG SOCON LEADERS
Linebackers Dylan Weigel and River Boruff among Southern Conference leaders in tackles in 2017 … Boruff ranks third in the league in tackles per game (9.2) and Weigel is fourth (9.0) … Since 2015, both Weigel and Boruff are the top tackle leaders among ETSU players … Weigel has 278 career tackles in 27 games and Boruff has 168 in 26 games.
WINS TO LOSSES
Through its first five games of the season, ETSU has an overall record of 2-3 … In their wins over Limestone and Mercer, the Bucs are averaging 28.5 points, while totaling 383.0 yards of total offense (261.5 passing/121.5 rushing) per game … The Buccaneer defense is allowing 16.5 points per game, along with 314.0 yards per contest (143.0 passing/171.0 rushing) … However, in their three setbacks, the Bucs are being out-scored 139-70 (-69), while being out-gained 490.0 to 279.7 … ETSU has totaled 839 yards in the three losses (734 passing/105 rushing), while opponents have registered 1470 yards (709 passing/761 rushing) … The Blue and Gold are 11-of-40 (28%) in third down chances in the losses, compared to the opposition converting on 59% of their opportunities (26-of-44) … In the wins, ETSU is converting on 43% (10/23) of its third down chances, while holding opponents to a 16% clip (4/25) … The three setbacks have been to No. 1 James Madison, then-No. 13 Citadel and at Furman… Austin Herink is completing 79% of his passes (42-of-53) with 523 yards and four touchdowns (zero INTs) in the wins, while completing 56% of his passes (54-of-96) with 734 yards and five touchdowns (2 INTs) in the losses … Jajuan Stinson is averaging 91 all-purpose yards in the Bucs’ win, while posting 23 all-purpose yards in the losses.
HOME AND ROAD
The Bucs are 2-1 at home this season, but 0-2 on the road … In its home games, ETSU is allowing 21.3 points, but on the road, the Blue and Gold are giving up 54.0 points … The Bucs are allowing 354.3 yards at home, compared to 517.5 yards on the road … At home, the Blue and Gold are holding the opposition to 31% on third down (13/42), but opponents are converting on 63% of their chances on the road (17/27) … The Bucs are outscoring its foes, 21-7 at home in the first quarter, but are being outscored 35-7 in the frame on the road … In addition, ETSU is being outscored 31-3 in the third quarter on the road … The Bucs have scored 10 touchdowns at home (8 for the opponents), but only have five touchdowns on the road (15 for the opponents) … Austin Herink is completing over 70% of his passes (60-for-85) with six touchdowns at home … Jajuan Stinson is averaging 4.2 yard per carry at home, but only 1.4 per run on the road … Stinson is also averaging 71.7 all-purpose yards at home, but just 13.0 on the road.
ETSU has forced at least one takeaway in each of its first five games this season … Paul Hunter has two interceptions this season, which ties him for the most by a single player in a season since the return of the program in 2015, when former cornerback Tavian Lott reached that same number of interceptions … ETSU has now forced at least one turnover in 10 straight games and in 20 of its last 23 contests.
SHARING THE WEALTH
Austin Herink did a tremendous job sharing the wealth with his Buccaneer receivers in the season opener against Limestone … Herink – who threw for 239 yards in the 31-10 win over Limestone – completed passes to eight different wide receivers … Senior Vincent Lowe led the group as he tied a career high with five receptions … Redshirt junior Drake Powell finished with three receptions, while Quan Harrison and Braxton Richburg both hauled in two catches in their first ever collegiate game … Herink also completed passes to eight different receivers the next week at James Madison … Overall, 16 different players have caught at least one pass this season … Of the 16 players, nine are wide receivers, three tight ends, two running backs, one full back, and Austin Herink caught a tipped pass for negative-2 yards against The Citadel.
BIG PLAYS FOR CASH IN FOR THE BUCS
ETSU’s offense has totaled 20 plays of over 20 yards this season … The Bucs came through with a handful of big plays in the season opening win against Limestone … Three of the Bucs’ four touchdowns came on plays 25 yards or longer … Austin Herink found Andrew Heyward for a 43-yard score on the opening series of the game, while following that up with a 45-yard strike to Anthony Spagnoletti in the second quarter … Herink capped off the touchdown plays when he connected on a 25-yard score to Vincent Lowe with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter … In total, the Blue and Gold had five plays go for over 20 yards (four offense/one kickoff return) … Last season, the Bucs only scored touchdowns on two plays over 20 yards – 69-yard touchdown reception to Drake Powell and 29-yard reception to Jajuan Stinson … This season, ETSU has scored on eight plays over 20 yards, including four over 40 yards.
ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS
- Robert Morris enters this weekend’s game with a 2-2 record … RMU defeated Dayton 13-10 to start the season and also beat VMI 23-0 … The Colonials’ two losses have come to a pair of top-10 teams in No. 6 Youngstown State (30-0) and No. 2 North Dakota State (56-0)
- Robert Morris is coming off its bye week as the Colonials’ last game was at North Dakota State on Sept. 23.
- Robert Morris is averaging nine points per game, while allowing 24 points per contest …, The Colonials are averaging 215 yards per game on offense (147.8 passing/67.2 rushing), while allowing 329.5 yards per game (152 passing/177.5 rushing)
- RMU has forced six turnovers (five fumble recoveries/one interception), while the Colonials have turned the ball over six times (three interceptions/three fumbles lost)
- The Colonials rank fifth in FCS in punt returns (17.25), eighth in passing yards allowed (152.), ninth in fumbles recovered (5), and 24th in sacks (2.75)
- Quarterback Jimmy Walker is 38-for-78 with 572 passing yards and four touchdowns to one interception … Eleven players have caught at least one pass with Tavin Allison leading the team in receptions (8) and yards (167)
- RMU has yet to record a rushing touchdown this season … Cole Blake leads the team with 130 rushing yards on 33 carries … Harrison Dreher leads the team with 45 rushing attempts (105 yards)
- Adam Wollet leads the club with 41 tackles, while Gerald Ferguson has 27 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks and two fumble recoveries … Ryan Richards Jr. also has two fumble recoveries to go with 22 tackles
- The Colonials have won six Northeastern Conference Championships and went to the FCS Playoffs in 2010
- Since the inception of RMU football in 1994, RMU is 72-5 (.935) when scoring 30 or more points
- Linebacker Gerald Ferguson has been named NEC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season
- Robert Morris’ defense has ranked in the top-30 of the FCS in eight of Scott Fairson’s 13 seasons as defensive coordinator
- The Colonials return 15 starters from a year ago – 7 on offense, 7 on defense and 1 specialist
- Linebacker Gee Stanley and Punter Adam Check were both named to the 2017 Preseason All-NEC Team
- From our 2015 game against RMU, eight of our defensive starters from that game are still on the team, while six of our offensive starters are still on the team … RMU has four of its starting offensive players back; however, two have changed positions – QB Mathew Barr is now a WR, while RT Mike Lamb is a DL … RB Cole Blake and WR Warren Robinson are still at the same positions on offense … On defense, RMU has four starters for the 2015 game – DT Zack Zamiska, S Ryan Richards Jr., S Andy Smigiera and CB Drew Allen
Saturday marks the second all-time meeting between ETSU and Robert Morris … The Colonials rallied for a 21-9 win over the Buccaneers back on Nov. 7, 2015 in Moon Township, Pa. …. The Bucs jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of second-quarter field goals by JJ Jerman, but Robert Morris took a 7-6 lead into halftime when Craig Thompson scored on a five-yard touchdown pass from Mathew Barr with six seconds remaining in the second quarter … ETSU regained a 9-7 lead on Jerman’s third field goal early in the third quarter, and the Bucs led until the Colonials scored on an 84-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Buss with 3:18 remaining in the contest … After the Bucs turned the ball over on downs, RMU iced the game with a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 21-9 … Jajuan Stinson (71 yards) and Falon Lee (73 yards) combined for 144 rushing yards; however, Austin Herink was sacked six times for negative-25 yards and Nick Sexton was sacked three times for negative-26 yards … The Blue and Gold were held to 1-of-19 on third down chances as Marion Watson was forced to punt a career-high 10 times … ETSU totaled 236 yards on offense (134 passing/102 rushing), compared to Robert Morris posting 322 yards (225 passing/97 rushing) … Dylan Weigel finished with 11 tackles (one sack), Austin Gatewood added eight tackles (2.5 sacks) and Trey Quillin added 1.5 sacks.
Saturday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app … David Jackson will handle the play-by-play duties, while former ETSU quarterback and Hall of Fame member Mark Hutsell will be the color analyst and Kasey Marler will handle sideline reporting.
The Buccaneer Sports Network (BSN) will provide ETSU fans with complete pregame, in-game and postgame coverage on the radio. Games air live on the Bucs’ flagship station WXSM-AM 640 and affiliate station 104.9 FM NASH ICON.
The BSN begins its pregame programing one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute long ETSU Football Tailgate Show, followed by the Carl Torbush Pregame Show Powered by Ford which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Appalachian Orthopaedic Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff.
The broadcast team of “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, color analyst and former ETSU quarterback Matt Wilhjelm, sideline reporter Robert Harper, and studio hosts Mike Gallagher and Andy Jackson will provide ETSU fans all the information they need to complement their game-day activities.
Following each game, fans can tune into the General Shale Post Game Show for a full wrap up, with game statistics, players and coach interviews, and other post-game information.
In addition to following the Bucs on your mobile device and/or tablet with live audio and video, fans can get up-to-the-minute stats by following the action via StatBroadcast. Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices via ETSUBucs.com.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available … Tickets can be purchased by calling the ETSU Ticket Office at (423) 439-3878, online or on gameday at the ticket gate … Single-game tickets range between $20-30.
ETSU returns to conference play next weekend as the Bucs head to Cullowhee, N.C. to face No. 22 Western Carolina … Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at E.J. Whitemire Stadium.