Wofford Celebrates Win Over Top-Ranked Appalachian State
Wofford College Upsets FCS Top-Ranked Appalachian State University
Wofford College, the smallest school in Division I football, entered its showdown with Division I-AA’s (FCS) top-ranked Appalachian State searching for an identity and left with a victory that could open the way to a landmark season.
The Terriers ran for 316 yards and had four touchdowns in the second half to beat the two-time defending I-AA champion Mountaineers 42-31. The loss ended ASU’s 17-game winning streak and was its first Southern Conference defeat since 2003.
“We did not play well the week before (in a loss at I-A North Carolina State), and not many people gave us a chance Saturday,” Wofford coach Mike Ayers said Sunday. “I think that created a bunch of players with a chip on the shoulder who wanted to prove they could play with the team that beat Michigan this season.”
Kevious Johnson ran for 98 yards for the Terriers (3-1), who had not beaten ASU (3-1) since 2003. “They come at you like a hurricane, and the next thing you know you’re behind by three or four scores,” Ayers said. “We had to weather those storms. We had to make it a four-quarter fight, not a one-round knockout, and we did.”
Note: On September 1st, Appalachian State defeated The University of Michigan, which at that time was ranked No. 5 among Division I schools. The score of that upset win was: Appalachian State 34, The University of Michigan 32.
Wofford College vs. The University of South Carolina (2006)
Now here’s an inspirational sporting event: It was just about a year ago that Wofford College, smallest Division I school in the nation) played against The University of South Carolina and almost upset the Carolina Gamecocks. Wofford’s final drive in the game took the Terriers down to the South Carolina 10-yard line, but a fumble on the fourth down ended any hopes of an upset as the Gamecocks managed to hold on for a 27-20 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC. The Terriers brought the score within one touchdown with 4:43 on the clock as Josh Collier hit Andy Strickland for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Wofford then stopped USC on its next possession before mounting its final drive covering 51 yards with just one timeout remaining. “I can’t describe how proud I am of the guys,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “Our coaching staff worked their tails off. We came down here with the mindset that we could win.”
Wofford College vs. The University of South Carolina (1:38 into the video)
Final Score: The University of South Carolina 27, Wofford 20 (USC wins with 5 sec. remaining in the game)
Wofford College Through the Years
Wofford College is one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the United States that were founded prior to the Civil War, which still operates and remains on its original campus. The Wofford College campus has been named a National Historic District. It has five of the six original college buildings, all of which are in use today for various purposes. The beauty of its campus has resulted in its designation as an officially registered South Carolina arboretum.
Wofford is presently becoming known in the wider academic world as a true “Phoenix rising from the ashes.” It was devastated by the loss of almost its entire endowment as a result of the Civil War. However, despite its meager financial resources, Wofford proudly struggled through the next twelve decades to provide an academically challenging education to its small student body. One illustration of the sterling academic quality maintained by the college is the fact that forty-two Wofford alumni have gone on to serve as college and university presidents.
For example, through the years Wofford graduates and faculty have included the Founders or Presidents/Chancellors of Duke University, Vanderbilt University, The Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Southern Methodist University, Hendrix College, Randolph-Macon College and Mary Washington College. A former President of the college went on to become the President of Southern Methodist University, Drew University and, finally, Chancellor of The University of North Carolina (as well as head of the entire University of North Carolina educational system).
Today, gaining increasing national recognition as an academic “jewel” in the South, its endowment has been increasing rapidly and a significant new endowment drive has recently been inaugurated. There has been an unprecedented acceleration of the restoration and construction of student residences, academic, recreation and sports facilities. It is also presently distinguished by being the smallest college in the nation (1,500 students) with sports teams competing (quite successfully) in both men’s and women’s NCAA Division I athletics.
Academically, Wofford has been focusing upon a significant expansion of its faculty, with new faculty members currently being drawn to teach at the college from some of the most prestigious universities in the country. For many years, Wofford served students who came, for the most part, from South Carolina and its immediate surrounding areas. Presently, it’s become quite competitive in attracting exceptionally talented students from across the nation, as well as from abroad. In the 2007 U. S. News & World Report rankings of National Liberal Arts Colleges, Wofford’s national ranking is now in the company of such selective, prestigious colleges as: Pitzer College (CA), Lawrence University (WI), Reed College (OR), Wheaton College (MA), Agnes Scott College (GA) and Earlham College (IN). In the more recently released college rankings by The Washington Monthly, Wofford is ranked 29th out of 202 National Liberal Arts Colleges.
Wofford College: Old Main
Wofford Through the Years
Wofford College: Making the Connections
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