After the Buccaneers began their season with a 20-17 double-overtime win at Kennesaw State, ETSU hosted Western Carolina in the Food City Bucs at Bristol game on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
A press conference at Bristol Motor Speedway was held to announce Food City as the sponsor and unveil the trophy.
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
For the first time, the Bucs enter Bristol Motor Speedway to take in the surroundings and hold a 90-minute practice.
Saturday, September 17th, 2016
The Tennessee Gamma Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon at ETSU ran the game ball from Johnson City to Bristol.
Prior to kickoff, fans arrive outside "The Last Great Colosseum" and start tailgating!
THE BUC WALK
Coach Torbush gives his final speech to the team minutes before taking the field.
Western Carolina needed a fake punt by Ian Berryman to keep its second possession of the game alive, and the Catamounts took the early seven-point lead.
The Bucs finally broke through on the scoreboard, taking advantage of a roughing the passer penalty to move into position for a JJ Jerman 43-yard field goal.
After recovering a WCU fumble at its own 29-yard line, the Bucs took just 1:19 off the clock to close out the half with an Austin Herink touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Vincent Lowe.
HALFTIME - ETSU 10, WESTERN CAROLINA 21
Saturday's attendance was 13,863, marking a new ETSU single-game record.
The Bucs took their first drive of the second half 75 yards on 10 plays to score on another Herink pass from 12 yards out to freshman wide receiver Keith Coffee.
After a three-and-out on defense, the Bucs’ rally continued and ETSU took its first lead of the game thanks to an impressive 16-play, 76-yard that ended with a Herink pass to sophomore running back Matt Thompson. On the drive, ETSU rushed the ball 11 times to control the clock and basically take most of the third quarter time of possession. The drive totaled seven minutes, twenty-six seconds.
The Bucs opened the fourth quarter scoring with a 30-yard field goal from Jerman.
Facing a 3rd-and-4 at the WCU 24-yard line with 2:45 remaining in the game, Herink went to the air again on a gutsy play call that ended with a catch by sophomore wide receiver Drake Powell at the 1-yard line. Three plays later Jajuan Stinson's strong second effort touchdown run sealed the victory for the Bucs!
BUCS WIN! BUCS WIN! ETSU rallies from an 18-point deficit for a historic win in its return to the SoCon... ETSU 34 - Western Carolina 31.
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
"This was a great, great win. Our team fought the entire game, and we became a mentally, physically, and an emotionally tough unit." - Carl Torbush
"Facing adversity in the first half, we had to get the guys together in the locker room at half time to make sure we were on the same page. We had to make some adjustments, and come out and execute better in the second half. We did just that." - Dylan Weigel
"It was awesome! Obviously, last year we didn’t start out like this, and we didn’t want this year to be anything like last year. We are a year older and a year stronger." - Austin Herink
“Our quarterback (Austin Herink) kept saying we’re good. The coaches were even saying it. It came from the top to the bottom. When you hear good things, you do good things” - Vincent Lowe
"At half time, our running backs coach told me to be the best running back on the field... I took that to heart and tried to prove that in the second half." - Jajuan Stinson