This post continues our series previewing this season's opponents. Today, we're talking about our second-to-last game, which is against the Wofford Terriers.
As for the game itself, we shouldn't have too much trouble. Granted, Wofford gave us good games in 2006 and 2008, and the Terriers also played Clemson close last year. This is one of the best programs at the FCS level, and it's been a consistent upset threat over the years when it plays teams from the FBS. What makes it particularly dangerous is that it runs a triple-option offense that requires special preparation by opposing defenses. Still, though, Carolina is vastly more talented than Wofford, so the basic rules of FBS-FCS matchups still apply: Don't turn the ball over and waste your scoring chances, and you're OK, because you'll have many more scoring chances than the opponent. Wofford's offense, like those of Navy and the Citadel last year, probably will give us some trouble at times in this game, but there's absolutely no reason why we shouldn't be able to score tons and tons of points here, as long as we don't turn the ball over. When we've struggled against these teams, that's always been the problem. Last year against Navy, it was Stephen Garcia and his accuracy issues that made the game more eventful than it should have been. When we had trouble with Wofford in 2008, it was because Chris Smelley had what might have been his worst game at Carolina, which is really saying something about how bad the QB play for Carolina was in that game. Avoid those problems, and we shouldn't have any trouble putting Wofford away.
That said, I would like to make a point about scheduling. Because Wofford runs a physical rushing offense with complicated blocking schemes, it's not too hard to believe that we'll suffer an injury or two in this game to a linebacker or defensive lineman. For that reason, I really wish that we could play this game earlier in the year. I like the idea of playing in-state programs for our OOC games, but I think it would be worth doing so sensibly. Since many of these teams run unconventional offenses, it would be nice to play them at an inconspicuous point in the season, preferably early and not immediately before any big games. As it is, this game comes shortly after a tough stretch of SEC games and directly before Clemson. Wouldn't you rather play UAB here, so we could rest the wounded before taking on our archrival? I know there are a lot of variables here, but it seems like we should be calling the shots to some degree with how these in-state games are scheduled, and this placement doesn't suggest a lot of foresight.