Friday, July 31, 2020

2020 Football Preseason Preview: Wofford Terriers

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2020 football opponents.

For the eighth game of the season, the Cats return to Cullowhee to face the Wofford Terriers.

Western faces the Terriers for the forty-third time since 1952.

Game #8 - Wofford

When: Saturday, October 31 at TBA
Where: E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC 
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV / video: TBA

The Series: The Cats are 15-27 overall against the Terriers in a series that started in 1952, The Cats Terriers have played a total of 42 times, and Western has lost three in a row to the Terriers.

Games that will be played by the Bulldogs this season prior to the WCU contest:  (6 games)  The Terriers open the season in Traveler's Rest against the Furman Paladins, before returning to Spartanburg to face The Citadel and Mercer on back to back weekends. Wofford then travels to Birmingham to face the Bulldogs of Samford, then to Chattanooga to face the Mocs, before returning home to meet VMI

The last game played vs. WoffordOctober 19, 2019 - WCU Unable to Capitalize on Quick Strike in Loss at Wofford - Spartanburg, S.C. – Quarterback Tyrie Adams threw a career-long 69-yard touchdown pass on a toss-back reverse flea flicker on the game's first play Saturday afternoon, connecting with freshman WR Jaylin Young for the early 7-0 lead for Western Carolina. However, Adams was lost to a game-ending foot injury on the second offensive series and Wofford took advantage, stymieing the Catamounts on offense in limiting WCU to just 172 total yards of offense and four first downs – only one of which came after halftime – in handing the Catamounts a 59-7 setback in Southern Conference action from Gibbs Stadium.  

Head Coach:  Josh Conklin - Josh Conklin is entering his third season as head coach of the Wofford College football team. In his first season at the helm, the Terriers won the Southern Conference Championship and reached the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Wofford announced on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, the hiring of Josh Conklin as the head football coach. Conklin, who spent the previous three seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, was an assistant coach at Wofford from 2007-09 working with the secondary. Conklin has additional experience at Florida International, Tennessee, The Citadel and South Dakota State University, serving as the defensive coordinator at Pitt, Florida International, and The Citadel.

Last Season's Record (2019 Wofford):  8-4 overall, 4-2  home, 4-2 away, 7-1  in the SoCon.  Only conference loss was to Samford

Offensive Formation:  Triple Option
-2019 Offensive:  32.3 ppg.  (28th in FCS)
Defensive Formation:   Multiple 50
-2019 Defensive:  22.1 ppg.  (24th in FCS)
Starters returning/lost:    16  /  9
Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  2  /  9
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  7  /  4
Specialist - Returning/Lost:  2  /  1
Lettermen - Returning/Lost:  47  /  23
2019 Postseason: FCS Playoffs First Round
Final 2019 National Rankings: 17

The defending SoCon champions Wofford won the 2019 Southern Conference Championship for the seventh time in program history, and the Terriers have claimed a portion of the SoCon trophy for the last three seasons. The Terriers are ranked in the top 25 preseason by Athlon (#22).

The Terriers only have 2 returning starters from last season, so there may be a big impact on their triple option.  The Terriers do however return 7 starters on defense.

-WR TJ Luther (19 rec., 447 yards, 3 TD)
-RB Jacquez Allen (52 rushes, 528 yards, 4 TD)
-RB D'mauriae VanCleave (33 rushes, 260 yards, 3 TD, 23 rec., 362 yards, 3 TD)

-LB Joe Beckett (50 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 PBU)
-LB John Beckley (46 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 2 PBU)
-DL Michael Mason (40 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble)

2019 Wofford Statistics
Rushing Offense: 3669 yards
Yards per game: 305.8
Yards per rush: 6.0 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 171
TDs rushing: 42
Passing Offense: 1290 yards or 107.5 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 8.5 yards
Passing 1st downs: 54
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 84-151-6
TDs Passing: 8
Total Offense: 4959 yards or 413.2
3d Down Conversions: 69-153
4th Down Conversions: 14-16
Field Goal: 10 of 12
On-side kicks: 0-1
Red Zone Scores: 43 of 46 for  93%
Red Zone Touchdowns: 34 of 46 for 74%
Avg per punt:  39.9 yrds

Game prediction: Per the Massey Ratings, the Cats have only a 12% probability of winning (17 - 35) over the Terriers.