No. 13/11 ASU returns home this Saturday for a key conference match up with the No. 8/9 Wofford Terriers.Both teams currently sit at second in the Southern Conference standings.Last week the Mountaineers barely escaped Samford with a 28-25 victory due to a Sean Price touchdown catch with 22 seconds left in the game. The Terriers are coming off their first loss of the season — a tough 17-9 loss at the hands of No. 3 Georgia Southern.The Mountaineers took a loss last year at Wofford, but have won four straight home games against the Terriers by an average of over 20 points.How ASU can win
The main concern for the Mountaineers this week is containing the Terriers’ triple option run game.The last time ASU played a team with a triple option run, the outcome was the 52-28 loss to The Citadel.The team will need to have a much better game reading and reacting to the diverse running attack and tackling the ball carrier.The offense will have a chance to help out the defense by putting points on the board early and often. A big lead could force the Terriers out of their game plan and cause them to rely on the pass game more than they’re accustomed.Wofford only attempts seven passes per game so if they fall behind it will be tough to come back and keep up with the Mountaineers’ potent offense.
How Wofford can win
Wofford needs to play their game and do what they do best; run the ball and play solid defense. The Mountaineers proved to be vulnerable against the triple option, and the Terriers execute the option as well as any school.Wofford leads the nation with 2,465 rush yards, a staggering 410 yards per game, according to rivals.com.Leading the way for the Terriers’ rushing attack is Boone native Eric Breitenstein. Breitenstein leads the Southern Conference and is second in the nation with 995 rush yards, according to goasu.com. The Mountaineers should expect a heavy dose of him.Defensively, Wofford has allowed the fewest rush yards in the conference, and are second in points allowed at just over 14 per game, according to rivals.com.If the defense can continue putting up these numbers and the offense dominates time of possession with their ground game, the Terriers will walk out of Boone with their first win since 2002.
The Bottom Line
These have been the two premier teams in the Southern Conference in the past decade. Whichever team wins the game will have a realistic shot at the conference title.
Story: JORDAN DAVIS, Sports Reporter