Saturday afternoon, the No. 9 Gamecocks will welcome the Terriers, champions of the Southern Conference, to Columbia. As Steve Spurrier reminded everyone all week, the Terriers have an 8-2 record (just like Carolina) and contests between Wofford and USC are rarely easy.
The Cocks are obviously the popular pick to win, especially since the game is at Williams-Brice. If they do come away victorious, South Carolina will finish the season undefeated at home for the first time in school history. This does have the potential to be a trap game, as the Gamecocks could get caught looking ahead to next weekend’s match up against Clemson. Let’s all hope that doesn’t happen.
QB Connor Shaw, who reaggravated his foot sprain last weekend against Arkansas, will be good to go for Saturday’s game, as will defensive stud Jadeveon Clowney, who has been dealing with a foot injury of his own. Both will be key players against a Wofford team that has proved difficult for the Gamecocks in the past.
Wofford runs a triple option offense, which USC has not seen any of so far this season. The vaunted Carolina defense will have to focus on covering their assignments and must stay sharp and disciplined to avoid letting the Terriers run wild on offense. They’ll especially have to watch out for fullback Eric Breitenstein, who became the leading rusher in Wofford history last week. He has run for over 100 yards in nine out of ten games this season.
Offensively for the Gamecocks, they’ll have to figure out what works best against the Terriers’ D – the running game, the passing game, or a mix of both – and then do it well. If they make many mistakes on either side of the ball, it could be a long day for the guys in garnet and back. I’d love to see Shaw put up really strong numbers through the air, but if the ground game is the answer, look for Kenny Miles to get the bulk of the carries.
Although this could end up being a trap game if things go wrong, I don’t see that happening. Wofford may keep it close, but I think South Carolina will manage to pull out a win on Senior Day.
Assuming the Gamecocks come away with a victory, Spurrier will tie Rex Enright for most wins in school history with 64. He will have a chance to break the record against Clemson in two weeks. This year’s seniors will also be honored on Saturday afternoon. They will leave USC as the winningest group of players in school history, having won 35 games so far.
These 29 guys will be playing their final game at Williams-Brice Saturday: Akeem Auguste, Jacob Baker, Reginald Bowens, Kaleb Broome, Andrew Clifford (a redshirt junior), Justice Cunningham, Travis Ford, Aldrick Fordham, Qua Gilchrist, Chaun Gresham, DeVonte Holloman, Walker Inabinet, Damario Jeffery, Byron Jerideau, T.J. Johnson, Blair Lowery, Kyle Madden, Kenny Miles, Davis Moore, D.L. Moore, Jared Shaw, DeAngelo Smith, Quin Smith, Seth Strickland, D.J. Swearinger, Devin Taylor, David Wilkins, Shaq Wilson and Adam Yates.
Spurrier implored students to stay for the whole game, quipping that until the team starts losing week in and week out, people need to stay in the stands. He also asked that those who do leave early get booed. The HBC did not sound pleased with the recent support -or lack thereof – from the students, and I have to believe you don’t want to make him mad, guys.
Allow me to hop on my soapbox for just a moment: unless you have some sort of extenuating circumstance, it’s disrespectful to leave early. The team practices hard all week in order to put on a solid performance on Saturdays, and people leaving midway through the game is basically a slap in the face to all the players and coaches. Your tailgating set up isn’t going anywhere and I don’t care who the opponent is, stay in the stands and cheer on your team until the end, win or lose. In addition to being disrespectful to the team, it looks bad on tv when an entire section of the stadium has peaced out before the clock hits 00:00. Do better. /end soapbox speech
The game kicks off at 1 ET and will be broadcast on pay-per-view and Watch ESPN (where it’s subject to blackout).