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  • Daniel Hooker

WCU's McCollum Named National FCS Special Teams Player of the Week

Western Carolina redshirt senior placekicker Richard McCollum was today named the FedEx Ground FCS National Special Teams Player of the Week as the national awards and honorable mentions were announced by Stats Perform FCS.

In the same release, WCU sophomore quarterback Cole Gonzales was listed as an honorable mention for the national Offensive Player of the Week award. Gonzales tallied his third, 300-yard passing game of the season with 363 yards on 25-of-38 attempts and matched his career-high for a third time with five touchdown passes.

McCollum scored 16 points – tying for the second-most by an FCS kicker this season – in last Saturday's win over ETSU, connecting on three field goals of 32, 41, and 24 yards and adding seven PATs in WCU's 58-7 victory in the "Blue Ridge Border Battle." His 16 points are tied for the second-most by an FCS kicker this season. Saturday marked the second time this season McCollum kicked three successful field goals in a game, matching what he did earlier this season in the win over then No. 7/8 Samford.

McCollum’s 32-yard field goal put WCU on the board to cap the game-opening drive for the early, 3-0 lead. His 41-yard boot in the second quarter marked his third 40+ yard field goal of the season.

Nationally, McCollum ranks tied for second in NCAA FCS in field goal percentage (13-of-14, 92.9%). He also ranks seventh in the NCAA FCS in scoring with 87 total points this year (8.7 points per game), marks that also lead the Southern Conference.

Currently with 294 career points scored, McCollum moved into second place in program history for career scoring, by-passing former RB Detrez Newsome (278 points, 2014-17) and PK Dean Biasucci (280, 1980-83). McCollum enters Saturday’s 2023 regular-season finale at VMI just eight points shy of the program's all-time leading scorer, three-time All-America and a four-time All-SoCon selection Kirk Roach (302 points, 1984-87).

Additionally, McCollum's three field goals against ETSU give him 47 made field goals for his WCU career (47-of-54, 87.0%) as he maintains possession of third all-time in program history. McCollum trails second-place Biasucci (57-of-70, 1980-83) and Roach (71-of-101, 1984-87).

Western Carolina (7-3, 5-2 SoCon) closes the regular season on Saturday (Nov. 18) with a road trip to Lexington, Va., to face the VMI Keydets (4-6, 3-4 SoCon). Kickoff from Alumni Memorial Field at Foster Stadium on post is scheduled for Noon in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live audio through the Catamount Sports Network beginning at 11:00 a.m.

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