Monday, September 8, 2014

Ayers: North Greenville an 'excellent team,' not one to overlook

"It doesn't matter whether they're a Division II program or not," Wofford head football coach Mike Ayers remarked to TerrierVision on Monday afternoon, referring to the Terriers' next opponent, the North Greenville Crusaders. "They're an excellent team. We're going to have to play really well."

And that's just what the Terriers hope to do when they take the field on Saturday night at Gibbs Stadium, donning the home black uniforms for the second straight week (Georgia Tech traditionally wears white uniforms at home).

In preparation for the matchup, the Terriers didn't waste any time. "We weren't quite sure exactly what they would be running, until we saw them play. They sent the film after the ball game, and then we evaluated them."

Wofford hopes to, by keeping a close eye on the Crusaders, gain a sturdy footing early in the game, allowing the Terriers to come up big offensively, and hone some of the younger talent a bit more, en route to a 1-1 record.

There's something that would like to say otherwise to that, however: the scrappy, pass-heavy Crusaders (1-0), who disposed of the Ave Maria Gyrenes last Saturday by a score of 45-21.

Against the young Florida-based program in Ave Maria, North Greenville came up big both on the ground (271 yards) and through the air (368 yards). 

Crusaders junior QB Nathan Hughes was 15-for-25, passing for 324 yards and three touchdowns. "We're going to have get great pressure on the quarterback, we're going to have to get him out of his comfort zone. If you don't, then he'll pick us apart all day," Ayers said of Hughes. "He is an excellent player; above-average arm strength; very knowledgeable. Their scheme is very sophisticated; they understand what they're doing."

Hughes' favorite target on Saturday was Robbie Brown, who caught seven passes for 206 yards, including all three of the junior's passing touchdowns.

Trey Walker led the NGU rushing charge, logging twelve rushes for 132 yards and a touchdown.

"We're going to have to do the things that a good football team does. We've got to take care of the ball, and we've got to play better defense than what we did against Georgia Tech - can't afford to blow coverages; those guys throw the ball too well."

Gametime for the Terriers' home opener is slated for 7:00 P.M. (Eastern Time) on Saturday.

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