As the above photo indicates, some of the games in Wofford’s 14-game winning streak over The Citadel have been close.
Last year, a 42-yard field goal by Wofford’s Kasey Redfern bounced off the arm of The Citadel’s Domonic Jones and somehow sailed through the uprights, providing the margin in the Terriers’ 24-21 victory.
Other games in the streak have not been as close, with scores like 47-16, 42-16, 38-17, 43-17 and 43-14. I expect today’s game to be more on the close side. A scouting report:
Who: Wofford (0-1) at The Citadel (0-1_
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Johnson Hagood Stadium (21,000)
TV: ESPN3 with Darren Goldwater, Paul Maguire
Favored: Wofford by 7.7, according to USA Today’s Sagarin ratings.
What to know about Wofford: The Terriers no longer boast all-SoCon fullback Eric Breitenstein, who rushed for a mere 2,035 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. Senior Donovan Johnson has take his spot as the featured “B-back” in the triple option, and ran 18 times for 77 yards in last week’s 69-3 loss to Baylor. Wofford used three QBs against Baylor; either junior James Lawson or sophomore Michael Weimer could start against The Citadel. Wofford has won or shared four SoCon titles since 2003.
When last they met: Wofford led by 24-7 at the half last year, but had to hold on for a 24-21 victory, that deflected field goal the winning margin. Breitenstein ran for 110 yards and two TDs. The Citadel totaled 256 rushing yards, 75 by fullback Darien Robinson and 72 yards by QB Ben Dupree. After cutting Wofford’s lead to 24-21 early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs could not cross midfield on three more possessions.
All-time series: Citadel leads, 40-24-1.
Emotional edge: Both teams are coming off disappointing performances, though Wofford’s 69-3 loss to a powerful Baylor squad is probably easier to shrug off than Citadel’s deflating 32-29 loss to crosstown rival Charleston Southern. The Citadel has been pointing toward this game for a year; the looming Wofford game was the whole reason behind coach Kevin Higgins’ “1 and 0″ preseason mantra.
Citadel coaches are worried about: A Wofford offensive line that includes two preseason all-SoCon picks in Jared Singleton (6-2, 309, sr.) and Ty Gregory (6-2, 294, sr.). Play-making linebacker Alvin Scioneux (6-2, 225) is finally a senior.
Questionable: Wofford could be without slotbacks Cam Flowers and Ray Smith; both suffered concussions against Baylor. It looks like Citadel freshman Tyler Renew, who won the backup fullback job in preseason, has still not been declared eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Junior tight end Alex Glover, suspended for last week’s game, will likely not play against Wofford either, leaving freshman Nick Jeffreys at tight end.
Bottom line: Despite last week’s disappointment, this remains The Citadel’s best chance in years to end its losing streak to Wofford.