Q&A with WCU writer Goode 

July, 24, 2012
7/24/12
6:45
AM ET
Each week at TideNation we will speak with a writer who covers one of Alabama's 2012 opponents. Today we spoke with Tyler Norris Goode, who covers Western Carolina for Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times.

Scarborough: To start things off, give us a brief tutorial on the Catamounts. What's their style of play? What are their strengths and weaknesses as you see them?
Goode: Any summary on WCU has to begin with the program’s recent plunge from near mediocrity to utter futility. Since the Catamounts’ last winning season (5-4 in 2005), Western has lost 43 of its 46 Southern Conference games. Dennis Wagner, who stepped down as head coach before the Cats’ final game last year, had a four-year winning percentage of .182 (8-36) -- second-worst in the program’s 78-year history. The team’s greatest strength right now is probably hope and enthusiasm surrounding new coach Mark Speir and his staff, who are implementing their version of the spread offense. Weaknesses are too numerous to name, but the top one would be defensive ineptitude.

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