WVU - Wofford Game Preview

WVU looks to avoid a letdown after its season-opening Big East win over Syracuse as the Terriers of Wofford come to town.






BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: First Meeting
Sat 9/10/05, 6:00 p.m.
Morgantown, WV

Mountaineer Field
Record: 1-0
Poll Rank: NR
Last Game
Syracuse 15-7

Returning Lettermen
Defense: 13
Offense: 14
Click for Morgantown, West Virginia Forecast
Record: 1-0
Poll Rank: NR
Last Game
Georgetown 34-24
Returning Lettermen
Defense: 22
Offense: 41
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2005 Schedule
First Meeting: --
Last Meeting: None
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2005 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date:

None

Injuries:

WVU - Erick Phillips (Knee) Out, Rayshawn Bolden (Foot) Probable, Darius Reynaud (Shoulder) Probable

Wofford - Unavailable

Game Outlook:

WVU offense vs. Wofford defense

The Terrier defense excels at creating turnovers, and will likely be going for broke int hat department as they face a WVU offense that committed five boo-boos against Syracuse in Week One.

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Game Info
WVU 1-0, 1-0
WC 1-0, 0-0
Sat 9/10/05 6:00 pm
Mountaineer Field
Series: First Meeting
TV: None
BCS: WVU-na: WC-na
Line: None
Stats & Trends
Katon Bethay (6-2, 285) leads the Terriers three man defensive front from his nose guard position. Bethay had just one tackle against Georgetown, but he excels at occupying blockers and freeing up the linebackers behind him. Erik Hutchinson (5-11, 245) and Brian Blair (5-9, 255) flank Bethay up front, and will give up a lot of size to WVU's offensive tackles.

Justin Bell (6-0, 230) heads the linebacking corps. His eight tackles against Georgetown led the team, and showed the level of productivity this solid group can achieve. Three-year letterman Jim Thurman (6-2, 215) and Josh Smith (6-0, 225) were also very productive in the Terriers' opening win, as was Derek Newberry (6-2, 215). The trio combined for 16 tackles last week.

Sophomore Jason Leventis (5-10, 205) recorded five tackles in week one, while Kyle Horne (6-2, 195) added one of Wofford's two sacks.

In the secondary, Wofford boasts a great deal of experience, with three returning starters. Safety Dan Tavani (5-10, 200) heads the group, and is joined by Brian Kemp (5-11, 175,) and Dedrick Stuckey (5-10, 180). The trio did yield three TD passes against Georgetown a week ago, and WVU's bigger wide receivers will no doubt be hoping to duplicate that number. Brian Ford (6-3, 195) rounds out the starting group at strong safety. He and Tavani each had four tackles in Wofford's opening win.

By The Numbers (1AA Rankings for Wofford):
WVU is ranked 68th in total offense (338 yds/game), 40th in rushing offense (172 yds/game) and 79th in passing offense (167 yds/game).

Wofford is ranked 52nd in total defense (341 yds/game), 23rd in rushing defense (70 yds/game) and 64th in passing efficiency defense (130.15 rating).

Advantage: WVU

WVU defense vs. Wofford offense

Wofford's wingbone offense incorporates principles of the classic option as well as elements of the veer. With numerous cutbacks and lots of misdirection, the attack tries to take advantage of overpursuit and undisciplined defense play to create gaps and running lanes in the defensive front.

Keying the attack is quarterback Josh Collier, who had 11 carries for 25 yards in the opening game. Collier is a respectable threat n the ground, but struggled through the air in the opening contest, completing just four of his 17 tries. That performance put Wofford last in Division 1AA in passing offense. Collier isn't expected to burn up the passing lanes, however. His primary job is distributing the football in the running game, which he does very well.

The strength of the Terrier offense is obviously in the backfield, where the starting trio of fullback Michael Hobbs (5-10, 195) and halfbacks Gabriel Jackson (5-9, 185) and Corey Dunn (5-11, 205) nearly pulled off a triple-100 yard day. Hobbs, who WVU must pay close attention to, rumbled for 118 yards in the opener. Jackson added 104 and Dunn another 98, giving the them 320 yards total. Terrence Ware (5-9, 180) chipped in with another 45 yards on just seven carries, giving the Terriers a stable of backs that can pile up yardage quickly. Jackson's 104 yards came on just seven carries, giving him a gaudy yards per carry average of 14.9

The passing game, conversely, doesn't figure to be much of a threat. No Wofford receiver caught more than one pass in the game. Brandon Berry (5-8, 160) was the Terriers top receivng threat a year ago, and but he will have to do better than the single six-yard catch he has to date in order to spark the Wofford passing attack. Tight end Fenn Allen (6-5, 215) had the longest pass play on the team with a 14-yard reception.

By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 1st in total defense (103 yds/game), 5th in rushing defense (18 yds/game) and 2nd in passing efficiency defense (58.53).

Wofford is ranked 19th in total offense (448 yds/game), 3rd in rushing offense (413 yds/game) and 94th in passing offense (35 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. Wofford special teams

The Terriers could give up a lot of field position in this battle. Only their punt return average comes close to the Mountaineers' average, so exchanges of punts and kickoffs could yield appreciable field position switches. Syracuse took advantage of this last week with the booming punts of Brendan Carney, but this week it could be the Mountaineers' turn to shine.

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Tailgating
Punter Chris Tommie (6-0, 175) got off a shaky 19-yard effort in his only punt attempt, so his performance bears watching on Saturday. QB Collier nailed a 40-yarder in his only attempt, in what was presumably a quick kick situation similar to that in which WVU employs Adam Bednarik. Tommie is also the kickoff man, and put three of his six kicks into the end zone for touchbacks.

Either Tommie or Nick Robinson (5-10, 180) will handle field goal attempts, should the Terriers decied to attmept one. They went for eight fourth down conversions a week ago, converting three of them.

Wide receiver Berry heads the punt return game, but had just two chances for 12 yards. Defensive back Alex Love (6-0, 185) did better with his one chance, scampering 15 yards to gain some of that all important hidden yardage. Kemp did a respectable job on kickoff returns, averaging 21 yards on four tries.

By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 67th in net punting (35.57 yds/punt), 10th in kick returns (31 yds/return) and 35th in punt returns (11 yds/return).

WC is ranked 67th in net punting (29.5 yds/punt), 68th in kick returns (17.2 yds/return) and 37th in punt returns (9 yds/return)

Advantage: Push

Picks to Click:

On Offense: Brandon Myles

On Defense: Keilen Dykes

Totally Useless Facts:

  • Wofford is named for the Rev. Benjamin Wofford of Spartanburg, who left $100,000 to found a college in his home town. Wofford opened in 1854.

  • The Terriers have just one 300-pounder (offensive lineman Ben Miller) on their roster.

  • Wofford's last home game of the year is Oct. 22. Following that date with Appalachian State, the Terriers hit the road for the final four games of the season.

    Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more match up information!

    Prediction:

    Wofford won't be nervous coming into Morgantown, as the Terriers have averaged more than one Division 1A road trip over the past seven years. However, that won't be enough for the 1AA visitors to overcome the talent gap. WVU got a big boost of confidence with their road win over Syracuse, and will be looking to put more pieces together offensively against the visitors.

    WVU - 38 Wofford - 10


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