The non-BCS teams are given less ink in the previews, but C&F should stress (while knocking on wood) that this is in no way a sign of disrespect to a team that, as you can see, played South Carolina much more closely than they "should have" the last time the Terriers came to Columbia.
Who knew LeBron was a South Carolina fan?
Most of C&F's lack of attention to these games flows from his relative ignorance. Not so much with the other "FBS" teams, perhaps -- I do follow the better midmajor teams -- but certianly with the "FCS" teams. Sorry, just not a big fan of the Southern Conference.
In any case, Wofford had a pretty good season, going 9-4 and knocking off then-No. 1 Appalachian State along the way and ending up No. 10 at the end of the year. One of those four losses was a 38-17 defeat at the hands of N.C. State. This year, they look to defeat South Carolina for the first time in 91 years. Don't count them out.
Last year, QB Josh Collier completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,030 yards and 6 TDs and rushed for 514 yards and 9 TDs. Unfortunately for the Terriers, he's gone this year. The smart money to start at signal-caller, at least to C&F's untrained eyes, would go with Ben Widmyer, 28-of-63 last year for 361 yards, 4 TDs and 3 INTs. He rushed for 242 yards and a pair of scores.
Kevious Johnson, last year's top rusher with 1,263 yards and 8 TDs on 182 carries, is also gone. The top returning rusher gained 418 yards and 2 TDs on 55 carries last year. Andy Strickland, who led the team in receiving with 30 catches for 599 yards and 5 TDs, does return, as do two more of the top five pass-catchers.
Overall, Wofford rushed for 309.7 ypg and passed for 117.9 ypg. But you've got to figure they'll be a step behind the Gamecocks. At least one. Right? ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Wofford sacked the opposing quarterback 20 times and also finished the year with 20 interceptions. They allowed 145.2 rushing ypg and 222.5 passing ypg. They return many of their top players. Unless this is going to be a long season, South Carolina should have the kind of physical strength and passing ability to move the ball. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Kicker Patrick Mugan was 9-of-12, missing all three he tried from 40-49 yards. He's back, along with punter Chris Tommie, who averaged 39.6 yards last year. The top kick returners and punt returns are also still in the Upstate, though the 4.2-yard average on punt returns isn't impressive. That said, opponents' 5.5 yards weren't much better. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
All due respect to Mike Ayers, but he's no Steve Spurrier. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Nothing should be taken for granted against Wofford, given the fact that a last-minute interception of a pitch saved South Carolina from likely disaster the last time the Terriers were in town. But C&F sincerely hopes that seeing Appalachian State's win over Michigan will keep the Gamecocks on their toes. If this is a loss, Garnet and Black Attack will be blank, black page for the remainder of the season. Or we could just go with kittens. LIKELY WIN