Saturday, September 15th at 2:00 PM (Mountain)
Getting to Know the Wofford Terriers:
The Wofford Terriers are an FCS team from Spartanburg, South Carolina. While Spartanburg is well inland from the coast, it’s likely to be a good weekend to be playing in Wyoming rather than South Carolina due to Hurricane Florence.
As to the Wofford football program, it has been a good to very good one for quite some time. Until this season, Mike Ayers coached Wofford for 30 seasons before retiring. During that time, Wofford was 207-139-1. As such, Wofford has been a pretty stable program. More recently, Wofford is coming off of back-to-back seasons with 10 wins and making the FCS Quarterfinal in the playoffs, so Ayers left behind a strong program.
Entering this season, Josh Conklin is the new head coach. Conklin had served as the defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh the last three seasons prior to becoming head coach at Wofford. How are things going for Conklin? So far, so good for this season as Wofford is 2-0 heading to Laramie this Saturday.
Wofford runs the ball. A lot. The Terriers are a triple-option team. One of the first things Conklin did was retain Wade Lang as offensive coordinator. This is Lang’s 31st season as an assistant at Wofford, and his 29th as offensive coordinator. As such, the Terriers are designed to run the ball. After Wyoming struggled against two passing offenses in Missouri and Washington State, this will be a different challenge. However, likely a welcome one as Wyoming’s defense has been better against the run than the pass. Still, the Wofford offense is a good one and should not be overlooked.
The Terriers defense has been good in recent years, but they have a new defensive coordinator this season in Sam Siefkes. This will actually be the third defensive coordinator in as many years for Wofford. Last season, Shiel Wood was defensive coordinator, but Wood was hired to coach safeties at Georgia Tech this season. Prior to Wood, Nate Fuqua was defensive coordinator, but he left to take the same position at Georgia State. While this defense should be solid, they lack the same continuity as the offensive side of the ball.
For special teams, Wofford has a solid kicker/punter in Luke Carter who is entering his 2nd season as the starter at those positions.
Wyoming has struggled to contain the passing offense from a couple of good Power 5 teams the last two weeks. This week Wyoming must stop the run. Offensively, Wyoming is still searching for balance as the passing game has not caught up to the running game. I expect the Wyoming defense to look much, much better against a run-first team like Wofford. Also, I expect the offense to be more in their element, running more to setup the pass without having to worry about getting into a shootout. Wofford is too good of a program to get blown-out by this Wyoming team that is still figuring things out offensively. As such, Wyoming wins a closer, low-scoring game.
Wofford 16, Wyoming 26