ETSU vs. Mercer: What you need to know ahead of the Bucs’ final home game


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The ETSU Buccaneers (2-8, 0-7) hope to snap a six-game losing streak and grab a conference win this Saturday when the team plays its final home game of the season by hosting the Mercer Bears (4-6, 3-4).

The Bucs’ 23-20 overtime loss to Western Carolina last weekend secured a last-place finish in the Southern Conference. ETSU’s football team hasn’t finished last in the SoCon since the program returned to the conference in 2016. 

The game also marked the sixth time this season the Bucs have fallen by seven points or less.

During Monday’s press conference, Head Coach Randy Sanders said the team needs to focus on the small details.

“The intensity’s there, but we’ve got to have the focus and the attention to detail,” Sanders said. “That’s what separates great players from average players, usually. It’s not ability. It’s doing the little details well and consistently.”

“As a team, we know that we just got to keep going and keep moving,” said defensive back Artevius Smith. “We can’t focus on the past too much. We just need to keep moving forward and just be positive.”

RELATED » ETSU Focused on Small Details for Mercer Showdown

Mercer’s season so far includes wins over Western Carolina, Presbyterian, VMI, and Samford. The Bears lost to Austin Peay, Furman, Campbell, Chattanooga, The Citadel, and Wofford. 

Last season, ETSU handed Mercer a 21-18 loss in Macon. 

Here’s what you need to know ahead of Saturday’s game:

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Location: William B. Greene Jr. Stadium, Johnson City

Tickets: ETSU says tickets are still available. Click here to buy tickets.

Heroes Day: ETSU says all service members and first responders are invited to attend the game free of charge.

Rolling Thunder, Inc. Tennessee Chapter 4 has installed an empty black chair inside the stadium to honor POW/MIAs.

ETSU players’ helmets will also feature American flag “E” logos.

RELATED » Bucs to honor service members, first responders during Mercer game

Senior Day: Before kickoff, 21 seniors will be honored for their contributions to the football program.

Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 53 degrees.

Coverage: Saturday’s game will be live-streamed on ESPN3. News Channel 11’s Kasey Marler will report from the sidelines.

Click here to watch.

The game will also be covered on Buccaneer Sports Network stations WXSM-AM 640 and 104.9 FM NASH ICON. “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will be joined by former ETSU quarterback Matt Wilhjelm as color analyst, sideline reporter Robert Harper, and studio hosts Mike Gallagher and Don Helman.

Pre-game radio coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Click here to listen live.

Click here for live stats.

Security: ETSU has a clear bag policy for all home football games inside William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. In addition, new security procedures including metal detectors and security wands will be employed at entry gates. Prohibited items inside the stadium will include the following:

  • Outside food and beverages (including alcoholic beverages)
  • Illegal drugs
  • Firearms
  • Tobacco Products
  • Strollers
  • Backpacks
  • Pets
  • Umbrellas
  • Camping/Tailgating chairs

Who’s next: The Bucs will travel to Nashville the following Saturday, November 23, where they will face the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-7, 1-5). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on one of the SEC Network platforms, but the specific channel has not yet been announced.

SEE ALSO » David Crockett QB Cade Larkins commits to ETSU

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