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Ground Game Leads #9 Wofford over Western Carolina, 49-20

Senior WR Jacoby Mitchell hauled in eight passes for 87 yards at Wofford on Saturday night. (Photo by Mark Haskett)

Sept. 15, 2012

Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Spartanburg, S.C. - Western Carolina scored its second defensive touchdown of the season on Saturday night as Eric Banford scooped-and-scored on a forced fumble by freshman John McBeth to tie the game at seven after one quarter of play. However, Wofford's methodical offense ground out 35-straight points to build its advantage as the ninth-ranked Terriers downed the Catamounts, 49-20, at Gibbs Stadium.

Wofford (3-0, 1-0 SoCon) tallied three scoring plays of 50-yards or more to build its lead in the second quarter while Western Carolina (1-2, 0-1 SoCon) failed to convert two solid offensive drives with a blocked and missed field goal.

Western Carolina coughed the ball up twice on fumbles, but was only able to manage one takeaway despite the Terriers putting the ball on the ground four times.

The Catamount quarterback duo of Eddie Sullivan and Troy Mitchell combined to complete 32 of the 42 pass attempts for a season-high 335 yards, spreading the ball to 10 different receivers. Freshman Spearman Robinson led the way with a career-best nine catches for a career-high 91 yards, but missed most of the fourth quarter due to injury. Senior Jacoby Mitchell, who paced the SoCon in receptions per game, hauled in eight passes for 87 yards.

While the Catamount spread formation found success through the air, Wofford's wingbone pounded the ball on the ground. A total of 15 different Terriers recorded offensive carries for Wofford with three back eclipsing the 100-yard mark as a part a 590-yard ground attack.

Senior Eric Breitenstein finished with 160 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns to lead Wofford while quarterback Michael Weimer rushed six times, twice for scores, amassing 141 rushing yards. Completing the trio was Donovan Johnson who finished with 126 yards rushing and a touchdown.

After the Catamounts tied the game at seven on Banford's first career touchdown, Wofford's offense scored five-straight touchdowns - four of which came in the second quarter alone to lead 35-7 at halftime.

Freshman tailback Darius Ramsey posted his first career rushing touchdown late in the third quarter to put the Catamounts back on the scoreboard, capping an 82-yard drive with a one-yard plunge. The scoring drive was spurred by a 62-yard reception by sophomore Karnorris Benson from Sullivan up the visiting team sideline.

Troy Mitchell orchestrated the final scoring drive of the game for both sides, moving the WCU offense 75 yards in 11 plays with an eight-yard scramble on third and goal. The drive, began by Sullivan, stalled near midfield where the Catamounts were forced to punt. However, a roughing the kicker penalty gave WCU new life. An 11-yard completion to Jacoby Mitchell and a 21-yard option rush by Ramsey helped move the squad into scoring position where Troy finished it off.

Western Carolina returns home next Saturday afternoon to host the Samford Bulldogs. Kickoff from E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field is scheduled for 3:30 pm for WCU's Family Weekend.