Cornerback Akeem Auguste admits, with unbridled enthusiasm, to a love of the TV show "Law & Order."
Exactly what kind of "senior" does that make him, anyway?
Auguste, along with a host of others, will celebrate their Senior Day Saturday as South Carolina faces Wofford at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks and Terriers (8-2, 6-2 SoCon) will meet for the first time since September 20, 2008, when Auguste - then a callow freshman - recorded one solo tackle in a 23-13 win.
All the patience and discipline that Auguste has developed over the last five years will come in handy against a Wofford team that rarely beats itself. At his Tuesday press conference, Steve Spurrier called the Terriers "the most fundamentally sound team we've played all year." Talent alone won't overwhelm Wofford. Executing and playing assignment football will. Spurrier hopes his seasoned, savvy veterans will pave the way.
Other notes as we dive into our chart prep for the Terriers (1:00 p.m. EST, Gamecock IMG Sports Network):
"Breit" Spot: In an age where spread offenses and finesse passing games have overtaken college football, Wofford offers a lethal, low-fi alternative.
The Terriers rank 2nd in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in rushing, using a wingbone attack to average 357 rushing yards per game. Unlike the triple-option that the Gamecocks saw from Navy or The Citadel, Wofford's offense utilizes more shotgun formations, with the main plays being a fullback dive; a quarterback keeper; an option pitch; or a play-action pass.
Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein (left) has rushed for more than 5,000 yards in his career.
The centerpiece of Wofford's ground game is 5'11," 225-pound senior fullback Eric Breitenstein (152.8 ypg, 3rd FCS). Breitenstein grew up in Valle Crucis, N.C., a tiny town tucked in the western North Carolina mountains, and his running style is, predictably, downhill. He rushed for a SoCon-record 321 rushing yards against Elon in October, and last week he broke Wofford's career rushing record with 5,223.
After looking through the charts, I also found one of the more impressive numbers from a Gamecock opponent this season. Of Breitenstein's 216 carries, only 5 have gone for negative yards.
Eric Breitenstein - 2012
Rushing Attempts 216 Rushing Yards 1535
Negative Rushes 5 Loss Yards 7
Like Marcus Lattimore, Breitenstein's running game is a pastiche of power, balance, quick feet, and rarely going down on first contact. He'll be an intriguing matchup for a Gamecock defense that ranks 15th in the nation in tackles for loss (74.0). Can the Gamecocks' duo of Byron Jerideau and Kelcy Quarles push back on Breitenstein's bruising style?
And Another Thing: Wofford averages 6.4 yards per carry. South Carolina ranks 7th in the nation in rush defense at home, allowing a penurious 2.6 yards per carry.
Wofford Offense vs. South Carolina Defense
Wofford Yds./Carry 6.4
South Carolina Yds./Carry Defense (Home Games) 2.6 (#7 NCAA)
"De-Shaw Vu": Wofford has some experience facing a Shaw at quarterback. In 2010 and 2011, Wofford went 1-2 against a Georgia Southern team quarterbacked by Jaybo Shaw, the older brother of Gamecock junior Connor Shaw.
Look familiar? Connor Shaw's older brother, Jaybo, faced Wofford three times over the last two seasons as Georgia Southern's starting quarterback. Notice the identical #14.
The elder Shaw played at Georgia Tech for two seasons before following assistant Jeff Monken to GSU, where he had taken over as head coach. Running a triple-option offense for the Eagles, Shaw only completed 42% of his passes against the Terriers (16 of 38), but rushed for four touchdowns.
"Third"-Stringer: Wofford starting quarterback Brian Kass is a third-generation college signal-caller. His grandfather played quarterback for Hofstra, and his Dad played at Wake Forest before transferring to New Hampshire. Kass' brother, Rob, played four seasons at East Carolina, finishing his career in 2009. A hip pointer has limited Kass the last two games, which could cause former Pickens HS standout James Lawson to see extended reps. Redshirt freshman Michael Reimer, a 6'5" graduate of Chapin HS, could also factor into the rotation.
Join us Friday for our final "Pre-Snap Reads" before the Gamecocks and Terriers get together. -AD--