My plan was to post the First Look today at the Wofford Terriers, but with the Video Previews and Meet the Press today, I decided to hold off. I'll probably keep most of that info for tomorrow's podcast, leading into the full-fledged previews Wednesday.
Today, Baylor held its first Meet the Press event, something that should be a weekly occurrence this season just as it has been in the past. Art Briles spoke, along with Bryce Petty, Lache Seastrunk, Eddie Lackey, Ahmad Dixon, and a couple of others. The official wrap-up from BaylorBears.com has selected quotes from all of those in attendance. You can also view the entire event on Baylor Bears All-Access, which seems to have been upgraded a bit from the last time I was there.
The part I found most interesting, since the majority of everything said was boilerplate:
On what he sees in Wofford, especially their running game:
"I have a whole lot of respect for them as a football team, the more I've watched them and the more I've seen what's going on in their program the last four or five years. Just a few facts--the worst they've been beaten in the last five years is 48-13 and that's in 2009 when I believe they were 2-9. Last year the most points they gave up from a defensive standpoint was 28 points. You'd be hard-pressed to find many teams in America anywhere that decent that did that in a season. Longest run from scrimmage was 44 yards. Coach Ayers is in his 26th season. Name me three coaches in college or high school or pros that have been at a place for 25 years plus. I'm at zero. I mean, I can't think of anybody. I know there's somebody, but who are they? That's what I'm saying--it just doesn't happen. It's very unusual. It's unusual for the fact that he's good. He's done a great job. People love him. They respect him. His program is run extremely right through a lot of different standards and so they've done a great job for a long time. If you don't believe me, ask Clemson, ask South Carolina. They're first or second in the Southern Conference. All across the board, offense, defense, they're just a solid football team and it's a little different style play but that's what it is. When the ball's snapped, it's football. And what we have to do is play our style of play. We're not going to not do what we do because of how they play football. We're going to do what we do because of how we play football. We're going to play our brand of ball for 60 minutes and see what happens."
I didn't know before I started preparing this week just how good Wofford's defense was last season. They were top-10 in scoring and total defense (both of which are affected by tempo, obviously) and top-25 in rushing and pass efficiency defense. All of those are in FCS, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, this is not a team to be trifled with, and as Briles says, they are dangerous. The fact that they run a triple option offense makes it all the more acute that you have to prepare for them earnestly and with full attention. Sounds like they're doing that.