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South Carolina vs. Wofford: Keys and a pick

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Who’s excited about watching the triple option!?

Nov 11, 2017; Columbia, SC, USA;  South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Rashad Fenton (16) breaks up a pass for Florida Gators wide receiver Freddie Swain (16) during the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Having wrapped up their SEC schedule for the season and with Clemson looming, the South Carolina Gamecocks get what they hope will be a bit of a breather when the FCS Wofford Terriers come to town. The battle for South Carolina state supremacy begins here.

The keys

Make the most of opportunities. Wofford’s triple-option offense will allow the Terriers to sit on the ball and chew through considerable chunks of game clock. With possessions at a premium, the Gamecocks can’t afford quick three-and-outs that put the football right back into a black hole. It’s probably a bit of an exaggeration to say that South Carolina needs to score every time its offense is on the field, but...well, it really might not be that much of an exaggeration.

Force some turnovers. With all the handoffs and backfield motion that happens in a triple-option offense, the ball tends to hit the turf quite a bit for those teams. The Terriers have fumbled 18 times this season, losing 7 of them, and the Gamecocks have been very opportunistic with a +6 turnover margin. If South Carolina can add turnovers to solid, fundamental defense, this game will be a little less stressful.

Don’t get hurt. This isn’t so much a game-specific key as it is a general plea to the football gods.

The pick

In all likelihood, this is going to be an ugly, frustrating game to watch, and a performance that won’t inspire much confidence ahead of the showdown with Clemson. But it should — emphasis on should, since we all know what happened in 2015 — be a Gamecock victory. Wofford’s offense will let it hang around, and blowing opponents out isn’t in South Carolina’s DNA this year, but the bigger and more talented Gamecocks should eventually wear the Terriers down, 21-7.