Fake field goal was a key in Wofford's playoff win over Furman
SPARTANBURG, S.C.—Holders for field goals don't get too many requests for media interviews.
So as the Wofford football players were filing past Miller Mosley on the way to practice Tuesday evening, some of them were kidding him.
"The legend has begun," somebody said.
Miller was the key of a memorable if not yet legendary play in Wofford's victory Saturday against Furman. The third-string freshman quarterback helped the Terriers pull off a fake field goal. He took the snap from Ross Hammond, rolled to the left and into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown that put Wofford up 28-10 with eight minutes remaining.
"That kind of put it out of reach," said Wofford head coach Mike Ayers, whose team will play an FCS quarterfinal game Saturday at North Dakota State.
Eric Nash, offensive line coach and running game coordinator, drew up the play in the days leading up to the second-round postseason game after he noticed something on film.
"I was walking by his office and he said, 'Hey, Coach,' " Ayers said. "When he says that, it's usually because he's got something. He said, 'What do you think?' and I said, 'I think it'll work. Let's try it in practice.' "
The play was an option run with kicker Luke Carter rolling out to the left side of Mosley. In practice, it was always a pitch to Carter. But with only one Furman defender out there on the edge against two people, Mosley took it in himself for his first college touchdown.
"We were expecting it to be a pitch," Mosley said. "Everybody is usually coming for the block point where I am. But I think we caught them off guard. I saw a gap and just hit it the best I could. I'm sure Luke wanted that touchdown. But he was happy just like everybody else. It was awesome. For me, it was a long time coming."
"It was the perfect time for it and it worked perfectly," Ayers said. "It was a good snap by Ross. Miller came clean and started attacking. I don't know if they weren't looking or whatever, but he was able to take it in. We had Luke on the pitch-back and during the week he was pretty fast. We timed him and he was at least 5.5 (seconds in the 40-yard dash). No, I'm joking. But Luke is a guy who—and you'd better understand this—can do some things."
Wofford certainly had the right guy running the option. Mosley transferred in after a redshirt year at Air Force. He is expected to battle Joe Newman next year for starting quarterback. During the early days of training camp, Mosley was given the job as holder. Part of the benefit to that was the possibility of pulling off some kind of fake.
"Once we started into special teams, it was evident that he was going to be a factor," Ayers said. "First and foremost, a guy in that position has to be somebody the kicker is comfortable with. I don't care if it's a defensive tackle. Miller, being a quarterback, has great hands. He has the ability to put the ball down, spin it and get it in the right position. The bonus is his athleticism, his ability to pitch the ball or run the ball. It was great that he got an opportunity to showcase what he can do with the football in his hands."
One of the first people to greet Mosley after the game was Furman head coach Clay Hendrix, who was offensive line coach at Air Force last year.
"He was one of my favorite coaches," Mosley said. "With him being a Southern guy (Georgia native who played at Furman) and me being from Alabama (Mobile), we got along great. I talked to him before the game and he asked about my family. After the game, he said, 'Congratulations on your first touchdown. I just tip my hat to the ol' ball coach. That was a great play.' "
Wofford College at North Dakota State
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Gate City Bank Field, Fargodome
Radio: 107.9-FM, 92.7-FM, 1660-AM