College Football: Wofford visits Appalachian State tonight
By Jeffrey Collins
Associated PressCOLUMBIA, S.C. ó Wofford coach Mike Ayers is taking his team to the mountain tonight.
The Terriers will climb 3,300 feet into the Blue Ridge Mountains to take on Appalachian State in a game being shown on ESPN2.
But Ayers said Wofford has an even bigger mountain to climb ó beating the three-time defending champions at their home for only the second time in the Mountaineers’ last 39 games.
“If you’re in this business, you want games to mean something. You want games to be big games,” Ayers said. “Last week was a big game, and this week it’s even bigger. We’ll get ready and come to the mountain and see what happens.”
Wofford (6-1, 4-0 Southern Conference) will again try to tilt power away from Appalachian State (6-2, 4-0).
Last season, the Terriers broke the Mountaineers’ 17-game winning streak with a 42-31 victory just three weeks after Appalachian State shocked the college football world by beating Michigan. Wofford went on to share the SoCon title with the Mountaineers and got the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.
Wofford’s offense is even more powerful this season, averaging 45 points and 513 yards a game against FCS teams. The Terriers option attack is still churning up yards on the ground, but senior quarterback Ben Widmyer is adding another dimension with an efficient passing game that averages better than 11 yards the 12 or so times a game he throws the ball.
“People are struggling to try to stop us. They load the box up and that gives us opportunities to have big plays in the throwing game,” Ayers said.
Appalachian State’s offense should be better Friday, too. Quarterback Armanti Edwards is healthy this year after missing most of the second half of last year’s loss to Wofford with a shoulder injury. The junior also is the Mountaineers’ leading rusher.
“Armanti is as good as probably any quarterback who has ever played on this level. He is a difference maker. He is a guy who scares you every time he has the football in his hands,” Ayers said.
Appalachian State is coming off a victory over Furman where the Mountaineers took advantage of several Paladin turnovers.
Two area players start for the Mountaineers. Davie County’s Billy Riddle is a defensive back and Northwest Cabarrus’ Anthony “Whopper” Williams is a defensive tackle. Salisbury’s Gordon Witte is a backup defensive lineman for App. State.