For the second straight game, the Buccaneers were able to score over 40 points, but again, ETSU football found itself on the losing side of the ledger.
The Buccaneer offense totaled 562 yards of total offense, including senior running back Jacob Saylors (Jasper, Tenn.) posting a career-high 369 all-purpose yards, but it wasn’t enough to carry ETSU to a victory as Wofford rallied for a 48-41 win inside Gibbs Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Saylors, who was 22 yards shy of breaking the single-game rushing record which he set last season, finished with 245 yards on the ground and tied a career-high with three rushing touchdowns. The Preseason Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year tallied 22 carries and averaged 11.1 yards per attempt. Saylors also had 124 kickoff return yards.
As a team, ETSU ran for 325 yards – averaging 10.2 yards per carry – and threw for 237 yards and one touchdown. Tyler Riddell (Tampa, Fla.) was 16-for-30 with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Wilson (Norcross, Ga.), but threw one costly interception that led to the game-winning score. Facing 1st-and-10 from the ETSU 25-yard line and 52 seconds on the clock, the first play of the series was Riddell’s interception to Amir Annoor, which he returned 19 yards to the Buccaneer 12. Three plays later Wofford scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to go ahead for good, 48-41.
Wofford set season highs in points scored and total offense (580) as Terrier quarterback Jimmy Weirick threw for a school record 409 yards. He was 25-for-39 with three touchdowns, while Wofford also had 35 carries for 171 yards.
With the loss, ETSU – who hasn’t won at Wofford since Nov. 8, 1997 – dipped to 3-6 overall and 1-6 in SoCon play. Wofford has won back-to-back games under interim head coach Shawn Watson and improved to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in league play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Wofford 7, ETSU 0: After both teams were forced to punt on their first possession, the Terriers struck first when they scored on a 45-yard touchdown run by Kyle Parsons on the second series, putting Wofford up 7-0 with 8:20 left in the quarter.
Wofford 7, ETSU 3: Just like Wofford, the Bucs put points on the board in their second drive of the game; however, the Blue and Gold had to settle for three. Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) broke the all-time program record when he connected on a 47-yard field goal, marking his 54th career make, making it a 7-3 contest with 4:41 remaining in the opening quarter.
Wofford 10, ETSU 3: Wofford put together its second straight scoring drive when Bridger Jones made a 37-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter.
ETSU 10, Wofford 10: The Blue and Gold found pay dirt for the first time on the day when Riddell hit Wilson for the 22-yard score, capping a 9-play, 78-yard drive where Riddell went 4-for-4 for 58 yards, including three completions to Wilson.
ETSU 17, Wofford 10: ETSU took its first lead of the day when the Bucs went 99 yards on only five plays and scored on a 26-yard burst by Saylors. Pinned on their own 1-yard line, Saylors accounted for 62 rushing yards on the drive, including a key 33-yard run, moving the ball to ETSU’s 37-yard line.
ETSU 17, Wofford 17: The lead didn’t last long as Wofford easily marched down field and tied it up at 17 when Weirick found Dillon Droze for a three-yard score, finishing a 6-play, 80-yard drive in just over a minute. Following the extra-point, the game was tied for the second time of the day and only 30 seconds left in the half.
Wofford 20, ETSU 17: The Terriers regained the lead when Wofford started the third-quarter scoring with a 38-yard field goal by Jones, putting Wofford up 20-17 at the 10:11 mark of the frame.
ETSU 20, Wofford 20: Tyler Keltner registered his second made field goal of the afternoon, splitting the uprights from 29 yards out, tying the game up at 20 with 7:05 left in the quarter.
Wofford 27, ETSU 20: Wofford put together its third straight scoring drive when Kyle Watkins brought in an 11-yard touchdown catch, making it a seven-point game with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
ETSU 27, Wofford 27: The scoring continued as the Bucs quickly responded on two plays to pull even at 27. Following a 59-yard reception from Riddell to Wilson, Saylors scored from seven yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. The drive only took 36 seconds.
Wofford 34, ETSU 27: The see-saw game continued as the Terriers went back ahead by a touchdown following a two-yard run by Nathan Walker, capping a 10-play, 65-yard drive, taking 5:40 off the clock.
ETSU 34, Wofford 34: Following a short kickoff, ETSU capitalized on the field position as they went 56 yards in five plays and Saylors scored his third rushing touchdown of the game, tying the game at 34 with 10:39 remaining.
ETSU 41, Wofford 34: After the Buccaneer defense stopped Wofford from four straight scoring drives, the Bucs struck on a big play as Einaj Carter (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) took a quick handoff from Riddell and scored on a 46-yard run. ETSU went 65 yards in three plays, lasting just over a minute and led with 7:39 left in the game.
ETSU 41, Wofford 41: The game had its sixth tie of the game as the Terriers scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass to Landon Parker on a 4th-and-15 play with 2:54 remaining in the quarter.
Wofford 48, ETSU 41: After the Bucs went 3-and-out on the ensuing possession, ETSU’s defense made a stop and go the ball back with 52 seconds and three timeouts. However, on the first play of the series, Riddell threw the interception to Annoor, which he returned to the 12-yard line. Wofford scored three plays later for the game-winning touchdown.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The teams combined for 1,142 yards of total offense on 136 plays
Jacob Saylors had his second career game with over 200 rushing yards and his fourth career game with three rushing touchdowns … For his career, Saylors now has 32 career rushing touchdowns, 3,636 rushing yards and 5,829 career all-purpose yards
Tyler Keltner became ETSU’s all-time leader in made field goals and extra-points … With his two made field goals on Saturday, Keltner moved his total to 55, passing JJ Jerman’s record of 53 … Following his five PATs, Keltner also set the new program record with 128, passing Jerry Chapman for the all-time mark … Keltner finished with 11 points (5 PATs, 2 FGs) and now has 293 career points, which is 14 shy of breaking the all-time program record
Will Huzzie (Duluth, Ga.) moved into third all-time in receiving yards after finishing with 51 on Saturday … Huzzie now has 1,961 career receiving yards, passing Lamar Cooper
After scoring 45 points last week versus Samford and 41 points on Saturday, it marked the first time the Bucs scored 40+ points in back-to-back games since 1994 when ETSU won 42-0 over Catawba and 44-0 over Morehead State
ETSU totaled 190 kickoff return yards on eight returns on Saturday … Saylors had four for 124, including a long of 58
The Bucs were 3-of-10 on third down and Wofford went 5-for-13
Chandler Martin (Lithonia, Ga.) led the Bucs with 13 tackles – his fifth game this season with double-digit hits … Martin also registered ETSU’s lone sack and had two tackles for loss
NEXT GAME UP
After playing for nine straight weeks, the Bucs finally head into their bye week before closing out SoCon play on Saturday, Nov. 12 when ETSU hosts Western Carolina.