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Clemson vs. Wofford: Preview, keys to the game, and predictions

Clemson Game Preview Template (3)
Hank Greene
Clemson Game Preview Template (3)

Coming off of Clemson’s most complete performance in weeks against Boston College, the Tigers will stay home and get a break from the ACC schedule, as the Wofford Terriers come to town for an in-state, non-conference match-up.

Let’s get right to the breakdown...

(4)Clemson vs. Wofford

Saturday, November 2 | 4:00PM EST
Memorial Stadium
Spread: Clemson -47


  • 5-2 (4-1 in Southern Conference), 25th in FCS SP+
  • One of the FCS’ most consistently programs, they’ve won two straight conference championships and are in the hunt for a three-peat
  • Offense is a triple option set, and will try to control the clock as much as possible
  • Defense is built to stop the run, but tends to get burned with big plays

While Clemson is heavily favored (to say the least) - and rightfully so, that’s nothing to take away from this Terriers team. Wofford is perennially one of the best in FCS play, having made nine appearances in the FCS playoffs to go with six conference titles - including the two most recent ones in 2017 and 2018.

As far as 2019 goes, they could be right on their way to a three-peat. After starting 0-2, the Terriers have rattled off five straight wins and currently sit tied for first in the conference with one month left to play.

On offense, Wofford runs a straight triple option set, giving them one of the most effective rushing attacks in all of FCS play (2nd in rushing yards in 2019). However, on the flip side, they have hardly any passing game to speak of - throwing just 88 total passing attempts thus far this season, and ranking - predictably - near the bottom of the country in passing yards this season.

Of course, the triple option attack’s effectiveness has made it so that they haven’t had to worry about the passing deficiencies… but uh… that won’t be the case against Clemson. After all, who can forget when the Tigers absolutely shut down Paul Johnson’s triple option attack at Georgia Tech a year ago? Without the benefit of athletes to beat Clemson’s linebackers and secondary to the edges, Wofford will have a tough time making Clemson commit the types of commitment mistakes that a triple option needs to be successful.

On defense, Wofford runs a set largely in service of their offense, whose aim it is to control the game clock with their triple option. The defense, therefore, tends to focus on making sure opponents don’t grind out games against them by cheating up to stop the run (13th in rushing yards per game allowed), and it's been largely successful in 2019, as the Terriers rank 2nd in time of possession in the FCS.

However, that usually leaves them susceptible to giving up big plays deep. Not only that, even with their aggressive, run-stopping focus they’ve yet to consistently get tackles for a loss this season (60th in FCS play), so it’s unlikely Travis Etienne and this rushing attack should expect a large number of havoc plays tomorrow.

What Will Happen

Barring something historic happening, this one will be a glorified bye week for the Clemson Tigers’ first string offense. Wofford’s run-focused gameplan just isn’t built to compete with the athletic playmakers they’ll see from the Tigers on defense, while Trevor Lawrence and this sensational receiving core will go deep early to put it away, and get the reserves some playing time before we even break for halftime.

Tigers roll, fans! Enjoy the game.

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About Author

Hank Greene
Hank Greene

Hank Greene is the Content Strategist for Rent Like A Champion, where he writes about travel, college football, and RLAC's offerings across the country. He believes every college football stadium should sell footlong hot dogs, and that every tailgate should include pulled pork sandwiches.

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