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Practice report: Wofford offers new wrinkle
This story originally published on
Posted Nov 15, 2012
Wofford's triple option attack is a bit different from most option attacks. The Terrier's offer a new dimension into defending the option when they back up and run it out of the shotgun formation.
Wofford is a triple option team, but they are not your ordinary triple option team. Not only will quarterback Brian Kass line up under center as every other option team, but he will also line up in the shotgun. They will still run varying versions of the option in the shotgun formation, but it gives each defense something else it has to prepare for. When it’s a defense like South Carolina that only has to prepare for it once a season, it’s even more difficult.
“It’s like watching two different offenses,” defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. “They have an option game from the shotgun and an option game from under center. They use both and we’re going to see both. It’s a little different than playing a team like Georgia Tech when the quarterback is under center every time.”
The option offense is an offense that waits for you to make a mistake and they turn it into a huge play. On any one play the fullback could get it on a dive, the quarterback can keep it and turn off the guard or the end, or the quarterback can pitch it to the running back on the outside. Every play you have to account for all three options and if just one player is out of position it will turn into a huge gain.
“It’s tough because you only see it one time a year,” Ward said. “It’d be better if you faced them earlier in the season but that’s not what we were dealt so we have to make sure we play assignment football and we had a good week of practice doing that.”
The man that is going to get the ball more often than anyone else is fullback Eric Breitenstein. The senior has already eclipsed the 1,500 yard mark and has carried the ball 216 times while no other Wofford player has carried it more than 99 times (Kass). Twice he has rushed for over 200 yards and ran for 321yards against Elon. His 15 touchdowns account for nearly half of the rushing touchdowns on the season for the Terriers. Not only does the Gamecock defensive line have to account for Breitenstein or any other Terrier ball carrier, they have to first figure out how the offensive lineman opposite of them is going to block. Wofford uses the cut-block that every option team relies on, but they will also try and gain leverage and block you up high. So on every play the defensive lineman must figure out how he is going to be blocked, get off the block, get to his spot, and make the tackle. All must happen in a span of seconds.
“It’s assignment football,” Ward said. “We have to get off blocks whether they’re chopping or blocking high. You have to play assignment football to stop any type of option offense.”
There’s no doubt that Wofford is going to get their fair share of yards. It is the way the option is set up and the way it is run. South Carolina will be able to give up yards between the 20’s, but when the Terriers get down to the red zone is where Carolina has to step up and make a stop. Wofford has 46 appearances in the red zone and has scored on 39 of those trips, including 31 touchdowns. South Carolina’s defense has allowed opponents into the red zone 34 times, giving up just 25 scores and only 15 touchdowns. Saturday’s game very well could come down to whether or not Carolina holds Wofford to field goals or if Wofford gets the ball into the end zone.
“We want to keep them out of the end zone,” Ward said. “We understand that they are going to make some plays because of their style of offense. Hopefully we can slow them down better than we have slowed down some option teams in the past.”
- Sharrod Golightly will be available this weekend. He will be the back-up for DeVonte Holloman at Spur
- The secondary will be back to normal this week. D.J. Swearinger moves back to safety and Holloman moves back to Spur.
- Jadeveon Clowney did not practice for the fourth week in a row, but is expected to play Saturday.
VIDEO: Looking ahead to Wofford/Clemson
Nov 15, 2012
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