The Citadel (0-2, 0-1 SoCon) at Western Carolina (0-2, 0-0)
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: E.J. Whitmire Stadium (13,742), Cullowhee, N.C.
Sagarin says: WCU by 4.1 points
What to know about Western Carolina: The Catamounts have not played an FCS team since Nov. 3, 2012, when they lost by 45-24 to Chattanooga. WCU has played three straight games against FBS teams since then, losing by 49-0 to Alabama last season, and by 45-24 to Middle Tennessee State and 45-3 to Virginia Tech this season. WCU has lost 28 straight to Division I teams, its last win over a D-I squad by 24-13 over The Citadel in 2010. The Citadel has won seven of its last nine over WCU. Catamounts coach Mark Speier, a former App State assistant, is 1-12 as he begins his second season at WCU.
When last they met: The Citadel took a 45-31 victory last season, the Bulldogs’ defense allowing 298 rushing yards to WCU.
All-time series: Citadel leads, 21-15-1.
Bulldog to watch: FB Darien Robinson has only 87 yards in two games this season. Coach Kevin Higgins vowed to “simplify” things on offense this week, which should mean getting the fullback going in the triple option. Robinson had 116 yards and a TD against WCU last year.
Citadel coaches are worried about: WCU quarterback Troy Mitchell, who ran for 117 yards and two TDs against the Bulldogs last year, killing them on third-down QB draws (WCU was 6 of 12 on third down last year). Mitchell suffered a concussion in the opener and sat out last week’s game at Virginia Tech, but should return this week.
Emotional edge: Both teams are starving for a victory, and WCU is a mystery because it hasn’t played an FCS team in so long: Who knows how good the Catamounts might or might not be? There’s definitely more pressure on the Bulldogs, though, as their highly anticipated season threatens to go off the rails early.