#21 Wofford FCS Football 2016 Preview

Wofford Terriers
Overall Rank: #21
#3 SoCon
Wofford suffered through some tough times last season, but that was a young team. The Terriers were sitting at 3-2 with their two losses coming against FBS opponents, but then lost three games in a row and their playoff hopes were dashed. Veteran coach Mike Ayers has a deep and experienced team that should be able to compete for a Southern Conference title.
2015 Record: 5-6, 3-4
2015 Postseason: None
Coach: Mike Ayers (187-132-1 at Wofford, 198-153-2 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Wade Lang
Defensive Coordinator: Nathan Fuqua
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Lorenzo Long, RB, 969 yards
Passing: Evan Jacks, QB, 524 yards
Receiving: R.J. Taylor, WR, 186 yards
Tackles: John Patterson, LB, 78
Sacks: Miles Brown, DL, 3.5
Interceptions: Jaleel Green, S, 1; John Patterson, LB, 1; Michael Roach, LB 1; JoJo Tillery, S, 1; Nick Ward, S, 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Nick Colvin, OL Anton Wahrby, LB Daryl Vining, LB Dylan Young, DE Boston Bryant
Key Losses: RB Ray Smith, CB Brion Anderson, LB Drake Michaelson
As always, Wofford is going to be one of the best rushing teams in the nation. Fullback Lorenzo Long rushed for 969 yards and eight touchdowns and Nick Colvin added 329 yards and two scores. Long should be the top rusher on the team, but this team has plenty of rushing threats. One of the many rushing threats is quarterback Evan Jacks. The senior signal caller ran for 675 yards and seven touchdowns, while throwing for 524 yards and one touchdown. Top receiver R.J. Taylor returns as well, but this team is not going to throw much. Still, it is nice to have some experience at wide receiver. With an experienced offensive line and plenty of talented rushers, Wofford should be able to eclipse their 300 yards per game on the ground average from 2015.
It is on the other side of the ball where the Terriers struggled last season. They allowed 27.7 points per game and were not able to create enough turnovers. With nine starters returning, there should be some improvement overall though. However, the two losses are big ones. Linebacker Drake Michaelson led the team with 88 tackles and cornerback Brion Anderson picked off a team high three passes. The front line features Miles Brown, who led the team with 3.5 sacks. Other linemen like Boston Bryant need to help get more consistent pressure on the quarterback. At linebacker, John Patterson figures to step into the leading tackler role after recording 78 in 2015. Daryl Vining, Dylan Young and Michael Roach are experienced linebackers as well. The secondary features free safety Jaleel Green, who recorded 54 tackles during his junior campaign. The unit as a whole needs to find playmakers though. Anderson was the only player on the team that had more than one interception and somebody needs to start creating more turnovers.
The Bottom Line:
After Chattanooga, the SoCon appears up for grabs. There are a handful of pretty good teams who will likely be battling for a couple of playoff spots and Wofford is right in that mix. If all goes as expected, the Terriers will have everything to play for during the month of October. Trips to Samford and Western Carolina to start the month will be very difficult. And after that The Citadel and Mercer come to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Wofford cannot afford to lose too many of those games, especially with a trip to Chattanooga coming up later in the year.
Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 300.0 (4th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 69.1 (122, 8)
Total Offense: 369.1 (66, 7)
Scoring Offense: 25.8 (64, 6)
Rushing Defense: 148.5 (40, 1)
Pass Defense: 232.0 (91, 7)
Total Defense: 380.5 (58, 3)
Scoring Defense: 27.7 (71, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.18 (75, 6)
Sacks: 1.64 (89, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 0.73 (3, 2)
Madness 2016 Recruit Rankings:
#81 Datavious Wilson
#108 Ostin McPherson