Before this season started, one of the main topics of conversation concerning Wofford football pertained to the relative weakness of the schedule.
Several non-Division I opponents combined with other factors made our slate, especially the games scheduled at Gibbs Stadium, quite an undesirable reality for some Terrier fans.
Now, the week following a tough 43-36 decision to Gardner-Webb, a contest that served as the second-consecutive defeat at the hands of the Runnin' Bulldogs, and a week before entering the SoCon schedule, an unlikely opponent may serve as a blessing for our recuperating 'Short-haired Dogs' (1-2), who are absolutely still a work in progress.
That opponent is the University of Virginia at Wise's Highland Cavaliers, who compete in the Division II Mountain East Conference, where they finished second-to-last in the conference last season, with a 2-7 Mountain East and 2-9 overall mark.
This season, UVA-Wise is 0-3, as they fell to Urbana (Ohio), West Virginia Wesleyan, and the University of Charleston (W.Va.). In those contests, the Cavaliers were outscored 77-34 (averaging 11.33 points per game), and were outgained in total offense 1285 yards to 1090 yards. Of those 1090 yards, 593 have been on the ground, and 497 have been through the air.
Sophomore quarterback Ty Ryans has a 51.02 completion percentage and an 86.27 efficiency rating so far in the season. He has thrown for 491 yards and a single touchdown; the Rogersville, Tenn., native also amassed 244 rushing yards, which happens to lead the team.
|Wofford won their only ever meeting with|
UVA-Wise, 47-14 in 2011.
Josh Byrum/Spartanburg Herald-Journal
Other rushing leaders for the Cavaliers include Carlton Griffith (171 yards, 2 touchdowns on 34 rushes), Andre Dickerson (127 yards, 1 touchdown on 32 rushes), and Von Purvis (107 yards on 35 carries).
Terrence Younger leads the team in receptions with 20 (with a long of 46 yards), good for 227 yards and a touchdown.
Linebacker Jeremiah Cooke, a senior, leads the defense with 26 tackles; Michael Tarrer (25 tackles) and Chris Flood (21 tackles) are close behind. Marcus Jones (19 tackles) is the only UVA-Wise player to force a fumble.
Wofford has logged only a single meeting with Virginia-Wise, one that occurred in 2011. The Terriers won handily, 47-14.
"They're a quality team," Mike Ayers said to TerrierVision on Monday. "...They've got good athletes, and they throw the ball all over the place."
"We'll be challenged. Our goal is to, no doubt, win the game; but [it] is to get better."