Overall Rank: #9
2010 Record: (10-3, 7-1)
2010 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Mike Ayers (154-107-1 at Wofford, 165-128-2 overall)
Rushing: Eric Breitenstein, FB, 1,639 yards
Passing: Mitch Allen, QB, 871 yards
Receiving: Brenton Bersin, WR, 703 yards
Tackles: Mike Niam, LB, 65
Sacks: Ameet Pall, DE, 12.5
Interceptions: Blake Wylie, CB, 2
Wofford had a great 2010 season and will look to keep the momentum moving in the right direction in 2011. The Terriers beat Jacksonville State in the playoffs before falling to Georgia Southern, a conference foe they beat on the road earlier in the season. However, the build up to 2011 did not start off very well as a handful of players were dismissed from the team during the spring.
However, it will take a lot more than a few defections to stop the Wingbone offense of the Terriers. Fullback Eric Breitenstein rushed for an amazing 1,639 yards and 22 touchdowns. Quarterback Mitch Allen added 681 rushing yards. Mike Rucker and Jeremy Marshall were involved in the rushing attack and have moved on, so finding a new running back is crucial. Coach Mike Ayers has plenty of options. Donovan Johnson spent his freshman season at fullback, but he can play halfback too. After rushing for 297.77 yards per game last year, Wofford will look to again lead the nation in rushing. On the other side of the ball the team will be extremely talented, especially in the front seven. Ameet Pall is an all-everything defensive end after totaling 12.5 sacks a year ago. Tackle Eric Eberhardt is a great run stuffer who does a superb job of getting into the backfield. The other end is Alex Goltry and this unit has three returning starters who are all seniors. There are a lot of FBS teams who would like to have those three anchoring their 3-4 defense. The linebackers are deep and return a majority of their players who saw action last season. Mike Niam is the key at the inside linebacker position. He only played in eight games last year, but he tied for the team lead with 65 tackles. Mike McCrimon was learning on the job as a freshman and started all 13 games at the other inside linebacker spot. A year of experience should have him prepared for a big season. Phillip LeGrande and Alvin Scioneuax are expected to start at the outside linebacker spots.
The only potential weakness on the defense is in the secondary where Tommy Irvin, Jamar Reaves and Coleman Hornaday need to be replaced. Cornerbacks Blake Wylie and Preston Roseboro are experienced players who can hold down the opposing receivers, but filling in the safety spots will be a bigger issue. Kendall Bratcher brings experience if he can stay healthy and former linebacker James Zotto made the move to free safety to help fill the void. Other than that there is a load of inexperience at the safety spots and that will be the biggest issue on defense. On offense, the big problem is the line. A few players with starting experience return, most notably right guard Nate Page and left tackle Calvin Cantrell. The new faces on the line will have to adjust quickly and Coach Ayers will have to find some quality depth or the rushing attack will not be nearly as effective as it has been in the past.
The Bottom Line:
An inexperienced and ineffective offensive line would not help the passing game either. The Terriers will not put the ball in the air very often, but when they do they need to be efficient. Allen has done a good job with that and should again this year. Last year he threw eight touchdowns and just three interceptions. With the return of Brenton Bersin, who was far and away the most productive receiver on the team with 32 receptions for 703 yards and nine touchdowns, the passing game can do enough to keep the ground game moving effectively. But it will come down to the play of the offensive line since Wofford needs to be able to run the ball, run the clock and play solid defense. They can play solid defense and they will certainly run the ball, but it has to be very effective if they hope to make it back to the playoffs.
Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs
2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 297.77 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 90.69 (115, 7)
Total Offense: 388.46 (26, 4)
Scoring Offense: 28.92 (33, 5)
Rushing Defense: 132.62 (37, 2)
Pass Defense: 153.31 (7, 1)
Total Defense: 285.92 (7, 1)
Scoring Defense: 18.92 (14, 2)
Turnover Margin: .62 (24, 5)
Sacks: 1.92 (49, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.00 (13, 2)