Wofford coach Mike Ayers has seen enough film on Baylor to know that its team speed is frightening.
No Football Championship Subdivision team has a collection of burners like Baylor wide receivers Tevin Reese, Robbie Rhodes and Antwan Goodley and running back Lache Seastrunk.
“I’ll put it like this – the closest we’ve seen to Baylor’s speed was when the Carolina Panthers were here for training camp,” said Ayers in a Tuesday teleconference. “We didn’t practice against them, so we don’t really know. We’ll give the best look we can (in practice) with our skill guys and then we’ll need to pick it up a couple of notches. Then you get an idea how fast those guys are.”
Wofford will be a heavy underdog when it travels from Spartanburg, S.C., to play the Bears at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.
The Terriers are an FCS power that’s ranked No. 5 in the national poll and has made the playoffs five of the last six years. Don’t expect them to be afraid of playing a Football Bowl Subdi
Last year, the Terriers were locked in a 7-7 tie with South Carolina before the Gamecocks scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 24-7 win.
Though 2,000-yard rusher Eric Breitenstein and starting quarterback Brian Kass are gone from last year’s 9-4 team, talented players like fullback Donovan Johnson and quarterbacks James Lawson and Michael Weimer are back to lead the offense. Johnson has rushed for 1,440 yards in the last two seasons.
Now in his 26th season as Wofford’s coach, Ayers has to replace 12 starters but believes his team is confident coming out of preseason camp.
“They have a belief in what they are doing,” Ayers said. “They’ve worked hard to get to a point where they feel they can execute no matter who it is against. We’re excited about the opener in Waco. We’re playing one of the most explosive offenses in the country and it will be a big challenge for us.”
The Terriers hope their run-based triple-option offense will seem so foreign to the Bears that they will have trouble defending it. After leading FCS schools in rushing yardage in 2010 and 2011, Wofford ranked second with 349.69 yards per game last season.
“The oddity of our offense helps to a certain extent,” Ayers said. “Quite frankly, a lot of coaches that have come up through the ranks haven’t seen triple-option football.
“A generation of players have missed out on it. In the past 10 to 15 years, we’ve seen a lot of spread offenses that throw the ball all over the place. We run a true triple-option.”
Wofford will also put a solid defense on the field led by linebacker Alvin Scioneaux who recorded 14 tackles for losses and seven sacks last year.
“We play an old school 50 defense and at times he drops back in pass coverage and at times he rushes the passer,” Ayers said. “He’s a proven playmaker. He has a great motor and skill set. He’s quick and explosive and can run. We’d like to have 11 just like him.”