Series history - Wofford

Series history - Wofford

In this series, GamecockAnthem takes a look at the series history of each of the opponents in the 2012 season. Today we take a look at the final home game against Wofford

Series history – South Carolina leads 18-4; in Columbia South Carolina leads 16-2
Last 10 meetings – South Carolina 10-0
Under Spurrier – South Carolina 2-0
Largest margin of victory – South Carolina 49-0 in 1953
Closest margin of victory – Wofford 6-4 in 1896
Last game – South Carolina 23-13

To an outsider looking at the South Carolina schedule, Wofford appears to be nothing more than a break after the tough five game stretch of Georgia, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas before the annual showdown with archrival Clemson. To those familiar with the South Carolina program, the Terriers provide a much bigger challenge.

After losing the first three meetings with Wofford in 1895, 1896 and 1901, Carolina has won 18 of the last 19 games and has won the last 15 match-ups. Many of the games have been blowouts as one would expect, including four consecutive shutouts.

The last two meetings has been everything but blowouts.

In 2006 the Terriers came to Columbia and were 10 yards away from forcing overtime. Up 27-13 with just over five minutes remaining, the Gamecocks attempting a fake punt deep in their own territory. Ryan Succop's pass to David Laggis was incomplete and Wofford scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Josh Collier to Andy Strickland on the next play.

After a Carolina three-and-out, the Terriers took over and drove right down the field. However, Collier was sacked and fumbled on a fourth-and-six from the Carolina 10 by Dakota Walker with seven seconds left as the Gamecocks held on for a 27-20 win.

Last time out – In the last meeting the Gamecocks held the triple-option attack of the Terriers to just 185 yards rushing and 285 total offensive yards. Three Carolina turnovers kept it from being another easy Gamecock win in the series. Chris Smelley threw for 204 yards and a touchdown but was picked off twice, including the second play of the game, and also fumbled once on a sack.

After a 16-play drive on Wofford's first possession that resulted in a missed field goal, Carolina drove down the field and Succop connected on a field goal. Wofford would score on its next drive to take a 7-3 lead, but the Gamecocks answered on their next possession to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room. After a Wofford field goal tied it in the third, Succop hit a pair of field goals to take a 16-10 lead. Wofford would trim it to 16-13 in the fourth, but a 13-play drive that ended with a 15-yard scoring strike from Smelley to Dion LeCorn with 1:58 to play finally sealed the deal.

Most memorable moment – In Spurrier's second year in Columbia, the Gamecocks were coming off an embarrassing performance in an 18-0 loss to Georgia in week two. Sitting at 1-1 Carolina was still struggling to find itself, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Gamecocks had just one touchdown in two games and that was off of a trick play in the season opener against Mississippi State. While the Gamecock offense played considerably better, amassing 361 yards against the Terriers, it was the defense that was having trouble stopping the option attack of the Terriers, spending nearly 36 minutes on the field.

Facing a 2nd-and-25 with three minutes left in the game, Wofford running back Adrian Young got to the outside and sprinted for 39 yards into South Carolina territory to keep the Terriers alive. Wofford moved the ball all the way to the Carolina 10-yard line, but faced a 4th-and-6 with just 29 seconds left. In an obvious passing situation, Carolina was able to get pressure on quarterback Josh Collier and Dakota Walker knocked it loose. Cody Wells scooped it up at the 14 and ran 44 yards before being brought down from behind by Kevious Johnson with just seven seconds to play. Under new NCAA rules, the Gamecocks did not even have to snap the ball as the clock ran out and Carolina survived for a 27-20 win.

Key to the game – Any time you face a team that specializes in the option, you will always hear discipline. If a player is out of position a two yard run will turn into a fifty yard touchdown. South Carolina is much better offensively than the 2006 and 2008 squads that struggled to put the Terriers away. As long as the defense avoids those long drives and gets off the field then Carolina will win. Third down defense will be the key.

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