Three Keys to Victory against Wofford
3. Play "Assignment Football" on Defense
Shutting down the option is all about staying home on your assignment and avoiding the temptation to go for the big play on the QB. This is particularly important for the guys on the edges. Unless they can get into the backfield so fast that they break up the play before it develops, it's oftentimes good to play the quarterback a little conservatively. If you stay home and cover your zone, you should be able to stop the play for a short gain at worst. If you attack and a crease develops, the quarterback pitches and you give up a big gain. Take the short gain. Eventually, you'll create a busted play that will force a long yardage situation for the offense, and the triple-option isn't built to deal with 2-14 or 3-9.
2. Don't Turn the Ball Over
The majority of great upsets happen because the favorite turns the ball over too many times, creating easy scoring opportunities for the underdog. We can't do that, needless to say.
1. Take Advantage of Scoring Opportunities
Remember when we almost lost to Navy last year? While you may cringe at the thought of having given up tons of rushing yards to the Midshipmen, what really made that game close was our failure to put more points on the board. We knew coming in that Navy would run the ball well. But we also should have been able to score tons of points against Navy's outclassed defense. The problem was that our passing game was completely stalled. Our offense is also the only thing that can stop us against Wofford this year. The Terriers are going to move the ball at times, and I expect they'll score some points against us. But there's no reason that we shouldn't score just about every time we get the ball. We simply have Wofford physically outmatched, particularly in the trenches. However, if we get greedy and go for it all every time, or if our guys come to this game thinking they'll win by showing up, they'll be in trouble.
I expect Wofford's offense to give us fits in the first half. Considering that we haven't seen anything like this yet this year, it's going to take a while for our guys to get acclimated to defending the option. However, we should also be able to move the ball with ease. As said above, these games have been hairy in past years just as much because we failed to move the ball adequately as because we had trouble defending the option. The good news is that we currently have a reliable QB who isn't going to muck things up for us against Wofford. I would expect both teams to put some points on the board in a close game in the first half. Then, as the defense figures out the option in the second half, we'll pull away. 42-21 Carolina.