Thursday, July 20, 2017

2017 Football Preseason Preview: Wofford

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2017 football opponents.  For the sixth game of the season, we'll look at the Wofford Terriers.

The Cats remain on the road this week for a trip to Spartanburg, SC for the fourth road game of the season.

In a series that started in 1952, The Cats & Terriers have played a total of 39 times, and Western has won 2 of the last 3 games against the Terriers.


When: Saturday, October 7 at 1:30 pm

Where: Gibbs Stadium, Spartanburg, SC

Radio: Catamount Sports Network

TV / video: ESPN3/SoCon Digital Network

The Series: The Cats are 14-25 overall against the Terriers. having won the last two of the last three games played.

The last game played vs. Wofford: Oct. 8, 2016 - Catamount Football Tripped by the Wofford Terriers, 31-19 - Cullowhee, N.C. - Redshirt junior receiver Terryon Robinson tied a school-record with 15 receptions including a pair of touchdown grabs on Saturday night, but it was not enough as Western Carolina dropped a 31-19 decision to the Wofford Terriers in Southern Conference action at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Logan Howard added a pair of field goals as the Catamounts suffered their third-straight defeat of the season. WCU dropped to 1-4 overall, 0-3 in the SoCon while Wofford improved to 4-2 overall, 2-1 in league play.

Head Coach: Mike Ayers - Now entering his 30th season, the leader of the Wofford football program is head coach Mike Ayers. For three decades, Ayers has guided the Terriers from the NAIA and NCAA Division II ranks to Division I and the Southern Conference. Along the way, the team made appearances in the Division II Playoffs in 1990 and 1991, the Division I FCS Playoffs in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016, and claimed Southern Conference titles in 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2012.

Last Season's Record (Wofford): 10-4 overall, 5-1 home, 5-3 away, 6-2 in the SoCon  (lost to Youngstown State in first round of the playoffs in double-overtime, 23-30)

Offensive Formation:  Triple Option

Defensive Formation: Multiple 50

Starters returning/lost:  15 /  10

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 6  /  5

Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 /  3

Specialist - Returning/Lost: 1  /  2

Lettermen Returning:  50  (23 offense, 26 defense, 1 specialists)

Lettermen Lost:   27  (14 offense, 11 defense, 2 specialists)

Top returnees: Offensive linemen Ross Demmel, Jared Jacon-Duffy and Roo Daniels, wide receiver R.J. Taylor, and quarterback Brandon Goodson. On defense, the eight returners are defensive linemen Miles Brown, Mikel Horton and Tyler Vaughn, safety Malik Rivera, cornerbacks Devin Watson and George Gbesee, plus linebackers Terrance Morris and Datavious Wilson. In addition, long snapper Ross Hammond returns.

In preseason honors, the Terriers had eight players recognized by the coaches, including five on the first team. The SoCon's nine head coaches selected Wofford to win the league championship as did the Sports Media Association.

Leading the Terriers on the first team were offensive lineman Roo Daniels, defensive linemen Tyler Vaughn and Miles Brown, linebacker Datavious Wilson and cornerback Devin Watson. Second team honorees include offensive lineman Ross Demmel, cornerback George Gbesee and tight end Chandler Gouger.

2016 Wofford Statistics
Rushing Offense: 3915 yards
Yards per game: 280
Yards per rush: 5.0 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 189
TDs rushing: 36
Passing Offense: 887 yards or 63 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 7 yrds
Passing 1st downs: 40
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 65-123-4
TDs Passing: 4
Total Offense: 4802 yards or 343 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 20 - 10
3d Down Conversions: 80 of 195 (41%)
4th Down Conversions: 20 of 34  (59%)
Field goal attempts: 17 - 23
PAT-Attempts: 42 of 43  (98%)
On-side kicks: 0-0
Red Zone Scores: 41 of 51 (80%)
Red Zone Touchdowns: 32 of 51  (63%)
Punts - Yards: 57 - 2597 - Avg per punt:  46
Touchdowns scored: 46


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