Just in case you’re wondering, it’s really hard to find statistics for DII schools and then analyze them in a fair manner in regards to an upcoming matchup where they’re sure to be obliterated.
But I searched and scoured the world wide web, and eventually ended up where I should’ve started my search: Athletics.Wofford.Edu. Crazy that this is where all their sports statistics would be stored, I know.
Anyway, on to the matter at hand.
Which matchups will (theoretically, because this one is already in the bag) decide Saturdays game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Wofford Terriers?
The battle for first downs
Wofford has not been great at winning this battle all year. On the season, they’ve made 196 first downs and allowed their opponents to reach 190 of them.
If, for some reason, the Gamecocks can’t win this stat in a hefty fashion, there may be some trouble at Williams Brice for the home team.
Of those 196 first downs, Wofford 164 of them have come on rushing attempts. This is because the Terriers run a triple option, and most of those first downs were not the result of third and longs.
If the Gamecocks are even close in this matchup with Wofford on first downs, it will mean that the SC defense is staying on the field for long stretches of time, and that’s exactly what the Terriers want to happen. No defense is good against the triple option, but a worn down D doesn’t stand a chance.
Blow for Blow, or, uh, Offense vs Offense… Sorry
The Terriers’ defense is not what led them to 10 wins this year. No, what got them there was averaging nearly 100 more yards of offense per game than their opponents.
For the season, Wofford is averaging 407 yards per game, and their opponents are gaining nearly 318 per contest.
(Here’s that word again) If Connor Shaw and Co. can’t get things going, it will lead to a worn down defense and, again, that’s the last thing Carolina needs against a scrappy DII squad like Wofford.
Carolina’s Secondary vs Jeff Ashley
Yeah, I know, Wofford runs a triple option. BUT, this guy can make things happen when given the chance. Ashley has just 13 catches on the year, but three of them have gone for 45, 55 and 35 respectively. He’s scored two touchdowns this year and only went one game without a catch.
If Wofford ever gets in a jam… no… wait… Whenever Wofford gets in a jam, you can bet this is who they’ll look toward to get them out of it.