Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs
Location: Boiling Springs, NC
Coach: Carroll McCray (24-44), 4th season at Gardner-Webb
Stadium: Ernest W. Spangler Stadium (Capacity: 9,000)
7th: Big South
13th: North Carolina
232nd: Division I
2018 In a Sentence: Win or lose last year, one thing was for certain in Gardner-Webb games: it would not be close. The closest margin of victory in every game the Bulldogs played was 16 points – a 16-0 loss to Charleston Southern. Non-competitive games and a 3-8 record made for a long season for Gardner-Webb.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: The cupboards were pretty bare for the Bulldogs, but LB Corey Horne was a bit of a bright spot on the defense. The senior led the team with 90 tackles – 15 more than the next highest total on the team – and added one sack and a fumble recovery. In a hard to recruit state like North Carolina, his production may be difficult to replace.
Key Players:RB Jayln Cagle was the best offensive player for Gardner-Webb last year. He was the team’s leading rusher with 474 yards in 10 games played. Cagle also added 4 touchdowns. This year, the senior will be looked to as a leader on the offense and will need to improve his production in order for the Bulldogs to have a shot to win games.
Fearless Prediction: With a tough out of conference schedule including two matchups against FBS teams, it seems possible that Gardner-Webb may go through the 2019 season winless. The Runnin’ Bulldogs’ home game vs. Hampton will go a long way in figuring out whether that will happen.
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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