#14 Wofford FCS Football 2012 Preview

Wofford Terriers

Overall Rank: #14
#3 Southern
Wofford FCS College Football 2012 Team Preview
Wofford Team Page


Wofford had a relatively successful 2011 campaign. They won eight games and reached the FCS Playoffs, where they lost to Northern Iowa in the second round. This season may be a little tougher since they have to go on the road to play Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. At home last season they knocked off the Mountaineers and lost to the Eagles. This time around not only are both games on the road, but they are back to back. The Terriers will need to develop their new leader under center before those tough road tests in the middle of October.

2011 Record: (8-4, 6-2)
2011 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Mike Ayers (162-111-1 at Wofford, 173-132-2 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Wade Lang
Defensive Coordinator: Nate Woody

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Eric Breitenstein, FB, 1,474 yards
Passing: Brian Kass, QB, 157 yards
Receiving: Jeff Ashley, WR, 188 yards
Tackles: Alvin Scioneaux, LB, 85
Sacks: Alvin Scioneaux, LB, 8.5
Interceptions: Blake Wylie, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: S Kendall Bratcher, OT Calvin Cantrell, G Tymeco Gregory, RB Donovan Johnson, LB Phillip LeGrande, LB Mike McCrimon, OT Jake Miles, LB Mike Niam, RB Brad Nocek, C Jared Singleton, S James Zotto

Key Losses: QB Mitch Allen, WR Brenton Bersin, DT Eric Eberhardt, DE Alex Goltry, TE Joseph Inman, G Nate Page, DE Ameet Pall, CB Preston Roseboro

As usual, Wofford led the nation in rushing offense. Fullback Eric Breitenstein enters his senior season as the active FCS leader in rushing yards and touchdowns. As a junior he tallied 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns. And, believe it or not, Wofford may ask him to do even more this time around. Donovan Johnson spent time at halfback and fullback last season and rushed for 967 yards and nine scores. With Bryan Youman, Brad Nocek and a handful of other experienced players in the backfield, the Terriers ground game will again be among the best, and probably the best, in the country. An extremely strong offensive line will help pave the way for the dynamic wingbone ground game. Tackles Calvin Cantrell and Jake Miles are among the best in the conference and Tymeco Gregory and Jared Singleton are also returning starters.

But the ground game does rely very heavily on the leadership of the quarterback and three-year starter Mitch Allen is gone. Brian Kass has waited his turn, but the lack of game experience could be an issue early. Kass did play in six contests in 2011, passing for 157 yards and three touchdowns and adding 43 yards on the ground. He will have to rush for a lot more than that to replace Allen’s 856 yards and ten scores on the ground a year ago. The good news is Kass has proven to be an efficient passer. That is all the quarterback in this offense needs to be as far as throwing the ball is concerned. However, receiver Brenton Bersin is gone after being the only player to tally more than seven catches on the year. On the other side of the ball the big concern is on the defensive line where all three starters need to be replaced. Replacing ends Ameet Pall and Alex Goltry will not be easy. Tarek Odom and Zach Bobb are the likely starters. In the middle redshirt freshman E.J. Speller will have to quickly step up to replace the production of Eric Eberhardt. The secondary was the weak point of the Terriers defense in 2011 and could emerge as a strong suit in 2012. Unlike the defensive line, the defensive backs are a very experienced group. Blake Wylie and Stephon Shelton are senior corners and Kendall Bratcher and James Zotto will return to their safety spots after starting last season. The problem is they were not that successful last season and if the front three cannot get pressure on the opposing quarterback, it may be quite easy to throw against the Wofford defense.

The Bottom Line:
The linebackers will shoulder much of the defensive load, especially early in the season while the line takes form. Fortunately, there are not many better groups of linebackers than the one in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Phillip LeGrande and Alvin Scioneuax will man the outside spots. Scioneuax is a superb tackler, a big hitter and will certainly help the front three get into the backfield. Mike Niam and Mike McCrimon are very experienced interior linebackers who have proven to be very effective in run defense. Niam is also solid dropping back in coverage. The defense should be in decent shape as long as the line can find enough depth. This is a program built on a system and the system works. Breaking in a new quarterback and a few new defensive players will not stop Wofford from getting back to the playoffs.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 364.58 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 80.08 (119, 8)
Total Offense: 444.67 (7, 1)
Scoring Offense: 32.33 (24, 2)
Rushing Defense: 135.83 (30, 1)
Pass Defense: 176.00 (17, 6)
Total Defense: 311.83 (17, 2)
Scoring Defense: 24.33 (43, 5)
Turnover Margin: -.08 (58, 6)
Sacks: 2.50 (27, 1)
Sacks Allowed: .67 (5, 2)

Madness 2012 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#93 Drake Michaelson
#120 Tom Bove