#24 Wofford FCS Football 2015 Preview

George Hammond

Wofford Terriers

Overall Rank: #24
#3 SoCon

Wofford Team Page#24 Wofford FCS Football 2015 PreviewBuy Wofford Football Tickets

The Terriers have compiled an uncharacteristic 11-11 overall record in the last two years and haven’t made the FCS playoffs since 2012. It might be difficult to make the playoffs again this year with Chattanooga definitely the team to beat in the SoCon, but with 19 returning starters, veteran coach Mike Ayers has the makings of a contender. Last year, the Terriers were just too up and down. It defeated Samford but lost to Western Carolina and Chattanooga. Always one of the top rushing teams in FCS, the Terriers were just 74th in total offense last year and 56th in scoring offense. Those numbers might need to come up a bit if Wofford wants to make the playoffs.
2014 Record: 6-5, 4-3
2014 Postseason: None
Coach: Mike Ayers (182-126-1 at Wofford, 193-147-2 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Wade Lang
Defensive Coordinator: Nathan Fuqua

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Lorenzo Long, RB, 930 yards
Passing: Evan Jacks, QB, 399 yards
Receiving: Will Irwin, WR, 289 yards
Tackles: Jaleel Green, S, 58
Sacks: Terrance Morris, LB, 4
Interceptions: Drake Michaelson, LB, 2; Jaleel Green, S, 2

Other Key Returnees: OL Anton Wahrby, P Brian Sanders, OL T.J. Chamberlin, NT E.J. Speller, RB Will Gay, TE Zach Miller, RB Ray Smith.

Key Losses: DE Tarek Odom, RB Brody Hingst, LB Kevin Thomas, LB Travis Thomas, CB Bernard Williams, LB Tyrese Little.

The running game, which usually is a Wofford staple, should be good again with fullback Lorenzo Long, halfback Ray Smith and quarterback Evan Jacks, who started the first six games last year before suffering a season-ending injury. Wofford averaged 296.7 yards rushing in 2014, good enough for third nationally and second in the SoCon behind fellow run-oriented team The Citadel. Two members of the Terriers’ offensive line were cited as preseason All-SoCon selections: Anton Wahrby and T.J. Chamberlain so that should help the running game. The front seven on defense had three All-SoCon picks: nose tackle E.J. Speller and linebackers Terrance Morris and Drake Michaelson.

The rushing defense was solid in 2014, but the pass defense wasn’t. The Terriers allowed 222.3 yards passing per game (74th nationally) and that number has to improve for Wofford to make noise this fall. None of the Terriers’ all-conference selections were in the secondary either. Speller will be counted on to fill the void left by departure of standout defensive end Tarek Odom.

The Bottom Line:
For the last two seasons, it just seems as if the Terriers haven’t been operating on all cylinders. Injuries might have had something to do with that, but expect a steady dose of Long, Smith and Jacks if they’re healthy. Wofford opens at Clemson, but three key SoCon games: Western Carolina, Chattanooga and Samford are all in Spartanburg, S.C. With all the experienced returners, look for Wofford to fight for a possible FCS playoff berth. It might be too much to overtake Chattanooga for the top spot, but the Terriers should definitely battle for that No. 2 spot.

Projected Postseason: None

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 296.7 (3rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 69.4 (121, 8)
Total Offense: 366.1 (74, 7)
Scoring Offense: 27.3 (56, 4)  
Rushing Defense: 107.5 (9, 1)
Pass Defense: 222.3 (74, 7)
Total Defense: 329.7 (23, 3)
Scoring Defense: 23.0 (37, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.18 (71, 6)
Sacks: 1.91 (70, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 0.91 (9, 2)

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#22 Dominique Lemon
#45 Thad Mangum
#51 Weston Rountree
#64 George Gbesee
#145 Lennox McAfee


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