HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three). Today we give you … Wofford.
The Southern Conference (1st in SoCon)
COACH: Josh Conklin – 1st year (0-0 record)
2017 OFFENSE: 25.7 ppg (54th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 22.4 ppg (36th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Wofford is an awesome version of old school. On offense, the Terriers know what they're going to do, the opponent knows what the Terriers are going to do — and none of that knowledge means squat if you don't execute perfectly to stop it. Meanwhile, Wofford's best defense is its offense, which chews up the clock like a Terrier gnaws through … well … everything. Ask a Terrier owner. When all things are clicking with Wofford, that's how its system works. It isn't trying to "outflash" you.
Wofford coaching legend Mike Ayers created a monster with the triple option, wrapping his career with two straight 10-win seasons and playing in December. He retired shortly after the playoff loss at North Dakota State last year. New coach Josh Conklin has been in Spartanburg before, coaching three seasons about 10 years ago under Ayers. His most recent stint before Wofford was as the defensive coordinator at Pitt, and he also has stints at Tennessee, FIU, The Citadel and South Dakota State. All in all, the Terriers — with 13 starters returning — look to be one of the top competitors in what is going to be a brutally challenging Southern Conference slate this year. With the top three running backs returning, a junior QB (Joe Newman) who has been put in challenging situations before (see 2016 playoff run) despite not being a full-time starter before, and a defense that was one of the more solid in the FCS (subtract NDSU and South Carolina scores), things look good. The Terriers will aim to get back to the Time of Possession strangling they had going in 2015-16, when they owned the clock to the average tune of 33+ minutes per game.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Everything in the SoCon this year is going to come down to schedule. On paper, Wofford looks like it has a starting point of six wins. The road trip to FBS Wyoming — sans Josh Allen — is interesting, too. The question about where this season "goes" comes down to the SoCon road trips — and they aren't exactly easy. Chattanooga, Furman, Samford and Western Carolina are all on the road. That may have more to do with Wofford not getting the preseason "SoCon favorite" love from the media than anything. It's not that Wofford looks down, it's that its in-conference road schedule is so brutal. Still, Wofford can play with anybody in this league — the only question is, will these guys be road warriors in October and November? It's possible, but there are no gimmes in this group this year.
TOP RETURNEE: DL Miles Brown (HERO Sports Preseason All American – 10 TFLs, 3 sacks, 4 hurries, 44 tackles).
THE NEXT BEST: FB Andre Stoddard (825 rushing yards, 15 TDs); HB Lennox McAfee (747 yards rushing, 6 TDs); HB Blake Morgan (640 yards rushing, 8 TDs); DT Datavious Wilson (71 tackles, 4.5 TFLs); CB Devin Watson (4 INTs, 55 tackles); OL Michael Ralph (First Team All SoCon); PK Luke Carter (11 of 12 FGs); Mason Alstatt (76 tackles – leading returner)
TOP NEWCOMER: OG Al Hogan (high school recruit with a Virginia offer, 4 FBS offers and 10 overall)
DID YOU KNOW?: Mike Ayers, the recently retired Wofford head coach, was the Terriers' head coach since 1988 and won more than 60% of his games during his tenure. He finishes his career at Wofford with 207 wins, 137 losses and 1 tie.
THE QUOTE: "We have a long way to go, but we knew that we did. We have a lot of young guys that need to understand the urgency of stepping up. Next week we will more than likely rep the older guys more than we did today which will be good. We have a lot of work to do in all phases, so it was good to give a wake-up call to everybody. We are trying to figure out where guys fit in the system and what guys strengths and weaknesses are, so we are going to put some guys in uncomfortable situations. Defensively except for a few big plays with our back-ups in there we executed well. There is still a lot to improve upon." — coach Josh Conklin said after the first fall scrimmage
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #ConquerAndPrevail
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @Wofford_FB
Miles Brown named HERO Sports Preseason All-America Second Team; Terriers picked 14th in the preseason poll … https://t.co/kgsXF4YPp1
— Wofford Football (@Wofford_FB) June 12, 2018
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