Friday, September 19, 2014

Last year's shutout one of only eight during Ayers' career

It was 1987. Rick Gilstrap was busy coaching what would be his final season at Wofford. Little did he know that his replacement, an energetic Mike Ayers that was fresh from an Eastern Tennessee State job, would still be at helm of the program to this very day.

However, Ayers' career longevity wouldn't be the only thing from those times to endure.

During the eighth game of that 1987 campaign, the Terriers, then a disappointing 1-7 overall, entered Snyder Field on October 24 to take on the Davidson Wildcats. Wofford fell to the Wildcats, who were SoCon members at the time (as Wofford was a Division II program), by a score of 10-0.

In all likelihood, nothing much was thought of the loss. After all, it was the second time that the Terriers had been shut out that season (The Citadel had defeated them 38-0 to open the schedule).

With all the ups and downs the Terriers have faced since 1987 - from divisional transitions and off-years to conference titles and changing personnel - they hadn't suffered another shutout loss at home.
J.R. McNair in action against Air Force in 2003,
a game that served as one of Wofford's
more recent times being shut out.
U.S. Air Force Photo/John Van Winkle

Hadn't, that is, until last season's seemingly routine non-conference game against Gardner-Webb went awry and out of Wofford's hands in a 3-0 loss.

The last time Wofford failed to score during a game in Gibbs Stadium? Well, that had never happened until that fateful contest last September.

Since joining the SoCon in 1997, the Terriers have only been shut out four times, against Lehigh in 1998 (26-0), Air Force in 2003 (49-0), and Western Carolina in 2005 (24-0), along with the loss from last year.

Wofford suffered three shutouts in 1995, to Furman (38-0), Alabama-Birmingham (28-0), and Liberty (37-0), and Youngstown State blanked the Terriers, 24-0, to open the 1996 season.

Those were the only other times that the Terriers have been shutout since 1987.

During Mike Ayers' career, there have been a total of eight instances in which the Terriers have been blanked, losing by a combined score of 229-0.

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