The Bucs (4-4, 3-3 SoCon) vs. Wofford (5-3, 4-2 SoCon)
Memorial Center -- Johnson City, Tenn.
National Leader ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells ranks 11th nationally in total offense per game (268.4 yards/game) ... He ranks second in the Southern Conference behind Chattanoogas Chris Sanders (338.5) ... Alabama States Darnell Kennedy leads the nation, averaging 358.8 yards of total offense in seven games.
Bucs in Southern Conference Rankings ... ETSU ranks fourth in the Southern Conference in pass offense (233.5 yards/game) ... The Bucs rank second in pass defense (178.0 yards/game) ... ETSU ranks second in the conference in pass defense efficiency (104.5).
Coaching Connections ... ETSU head coach Paul Hamilton and Wofford head coach Mike Ayers know each other very well ... Ayers coached at ETSU from 1983-87, serving as the head coach from 1985-87 ... During those years, Hamilton served as the receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator under Ayers ... In 1988 and 1989 Hamilton again served under Ayers, this time at Wofford ... Other coaching connections: ETSU inside linebacker coach, Billy Taylor, served in the same capacity at Wofford from 1991-96 ... Bucs fullback coach Paul Humphries earned four letters for the Terriers from 1994-97 ... Wofford assistant head coach Wade Lang coached at ETSU from 1983-87.
High School Connections ... After Tennessee, South Carolina is the home to the most Buc players (18) ... A handful of ETSU and Wofford players attended the same high school (ETSU/WC): Rick Nesbit/Al Clark, Matt Flynn and Curtis Nash (Dorman HS); Terrance Sims/Geoff Gibbon and Steve Prochak (Spartanburg HS), Rahim El Amin/Sean Patterson (Wilkinson HS) ... Just two Wofford players hail from Tennessee.
A Familiar Stretch ... The final five games of the 2000 season are identical to the final five contests of the 1998 season ... In 1998 -- ETSU defeated Furman 22-19 in Memorial Center; then lost at #1 Georgia Southern, 47-26; then defeated Wofford 45-24, lost at Chattanooga 10-7 and finished the season by defeating Charleston Southern 41-29 in Johnson City.
Closing in on Total Offense Record ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells needs just 331 yards of total offense to set the all-time ETSU career record ... Wells has amassed 7,901 yards so far and trails record holder Greg Ryan who compiled 8,232 in his career.
A Ranked Win ... The 23-21 win against #6Furman was ETSUs first win against a ranked team since Oct. 25, 1997 when the Bucs defeated #16 Furman, 58-28 in Greenville, S.C. ... The last time ETSU defeated a ranked team in Memorial Center was on October 26, 1996 when the Bucs defeated #8 Furman 21-19.
The Total Package ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells earned 401 total yards (336 passing, 65 rushing) in the 23-21 win against Furman ... It was the second-best performance by a Buccaneer in program history ... Wells holds the all-time single-game total offense record with 447 yards against Appalachian State in 1997.
A Career Game ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells enjoyed the second most prolific game of his career when he threw for 336 yards on 23-of-44 passing against Furman ... That performance was second only to his 377 passing yards against Appalachian State in 1997 ... Wells also led the rushing attack with 65 yards on nine carries against Furman.
Streaky ... The Bucs failed to make an interception at Georgia Southern -- the first game of the season when ETSU didnt have a pick ... Cecil Moore is the only receiver to catch at least one pass in every game this season ... Corey Martin has made five catches in five of the first eight games ... Todd Wells has thrown at least one touchdown in six of the first eight games.
Home-Dome Advantage ... ETSU has won 11 of its last 13 home games ... ETSU is 24-7 during the last five years in the Mini-Dome ... The Bucs are 2-1 in 2000, 5-1 last fall, 4-1 in 1998, 3-3 in 1997, 6-1 in 1996 and 4-0 in 1995 ... ETSU is 67-63-1 all time in the Dome.
Against Wofford ...ETSU leads the all-time series, 13-7 ... Last years Terrier win snapped a two-game win streak by ETSU ... ETSU leads the series 7-4 in Johnson City ... The series is tied 3-3 in the Mini-Dome ... The last time these teams squared off in Memorial Center, ETSU prevailed 45-24.
Last Season ... Woffords Travis Wilson ran for 138 yards in leading the Terriers in a convincing 38-14 win in Spartanburg, S.C. ... The ETSU scores came on a 39-yard run by Terrance Sims and a 12-yard strike from Todd Wells to Charvin Clark ... Sims led the rushing offense with 50 yards on eight carries, while Wells went 18-of-31 for 197 yards ... Rahim El Amin made a team-high 13 stops.
Variety of Scores ... ETSU has scored in numerous ways this season ... Aside from nine rushing touchdowns and seven passing scores, the Bucs have scored on a fumble recovery and a blocked punt ... In the season-opener at Liberty, linebacker Rahim El Amin recovered a punt in the endzone ... Against Western Carolina, cornerback Howard Nix returned a blocked punt 31 yards for a touchdown.
Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers ... ETSU tied a season-high with five turnovers forced against Furman ... The Bucs also forced five at Liberty ... Linebacker Russ Lindgren made his team-leading fourth interception against the Paladins ... Linebacker Rahim El Amin forced three of the turnovers; tipping one pass to Ryan Vaughn, hitting the quarterback on Lindgrens pick and forcing a Louis Ivory fumble at the goal line ... The Bucs have made at least one interception in each of the first seven games.
A Program First ... For the first time in ETSU football history, a quarterback ran for 100+ yards and passed for 200+ yards when Todd Wells ran for 108 and threw for 238 in a 38-3 win against VMI (Sept. 16).
Linebacker U? ... East Tennessee State hopes to have an All-America linebacker for the fourth consecutive season ... each of the last four years the Bucs have enjoyed a stellar linebacking corps ... gone from last years squad are two-time All-America Kevin Peterson (1998-99) and All-Southern Conference player Derek Fudge ... taking over in the middle this year is All-America candidate Rahim El Amin and All-Southern Conference candidate Cory Bolden ... linebacker Mario Hankerson earned All-America honors in 1997.
More than a Passing Frenzy ... Quarterback Todd Wells has thrown for over 200 yards in five of the first eight games this season ... Wells passed for 283 at Liberty, 238 against VMI, 221 at Western Carolina, 275 at The Citadel and 336 vs. Furman ... It was the third time in his career that Wells passed for 300+ yards ... Wells eclipsed 200 yards passing once last year -- 217 in a 38-10 win against Western Carolina.
In the Southern Conference ... The Bucs are 59-104 (21 seasons) in league games since joining the SoCon in 1979 ... Their best finish was second in 1996 when ETSU finished 7-1 in the league ... ETSU is 28-22 since 1994 and have been above .500 every year except 1998 (3-5) in that span ... The Bucs are 15-15 under Coach Paul Hamilton ... ETSU is 3-3 in the SoCon so far this fall.
Winning Season ... ETSU is playing for its third winning season in the past four years ... The Bucs finished last season 6-5 and went 7-4 in 1997 -- head coach Paul Hamiltons first campaign ... If the Bucs finish above .500 in 2000 it would be the fourth time in the past five years they accomplished the feat.
Leader of the Ship ... Fourth-year head coach Paul Hamilton has a 21-20 (.512) career record ... With the 20-7 win at The Citadel, Hamilton became the fastest to 20 career victories in program history ... With his next victory, Hamilton will have amassed the most victories in four seasons of any ETSU coach ... Hamilton is ETSUs 16th head coach.