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FCS Game of the Week Preview: No. 5 Wofford at No. 22 The Citadel

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Wofford faces its toughest test yet

NCAA Football: The Citadel at South Carolina Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: Saturday, October 14, 2017, 6 p.m. ET

Location: Johnson Hagood Stadium, Charleston, South Carolina

Where To Watch: ESPN3/WatchESPN

Betting Odds: Wofford -5, O/U 43.5

Odds via sportsbooks monitored by GamblersPalace.com


Last year, these teams met twice, but Wofford won the more important game. The Citadel beat Wofford in Spartanburg in a thriller that helped lead the Bulldogs to a 10-1 regular season record and a Southern Conference title.

However, these two teams met again in the postseason with the Terriers getting the victory when it mattered most. The game entered the fourth quarter knotted at three, but Wofford got a big touchdown run from Joe Newman and then sealed the deal with a pick-six to end The Citadel’s season. Now it’s the Bulldogs who are looking for revenge.

Both of these teams run the option, so there will be a lot of familiarity.

Reasons to Like Wofford

The Terriers are the only undefeated team left in the SoCon and just keep finding ways to win. They are very efficient on the ground, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, and their top three running backs are averaging at least 6.2 YPC.

Unlike many option teams, Wofford has a quarterback that can throw the ball a little bit. Brandon Goodson doesn’t take to the air much, but typically finds success when he does. Goodson is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt this season and has yet to throw an interception.

Reasons Not to Like Wofford

Wofford is undefeated, but it has only looked dominant in one of its five wins. The Terriers squeaked by Furman, Mercer, and Gardner-Webb by a combined five points and were taken to overtime by Western Carolina. This team could very easily be 3-2 just like The Citadel.

Reasons to Like The Citadel

The Bulldogs are still having a decent amount of success running the ball, though not as much as Wofford. The Citadel is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and has been successful moving the ball on the ground in most of their game. It has an experienced quarterback in Dominique Allen who can run the option well.

This defense is very happy to be playing a team that isn’t going to throw the ball. The Citadel has a good run defense, but was torched through the air by Samford two weeks ago.

Reasons Not to Like The Citadel

The Bulldogs are a relatively young team that is still feeling the effects of graduating a lot of starters on offense. They have two freshman guards and only one returning starter along the offensive line and that’s not a recipe for success when you run the option.

Additionally, if the Bulldogs fall behind by two scores, they are toast. Allen isn’t much of a passer, and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in each of the last three years. Over his career, he has completed less than 50 percent of his passes.

Prediction

As much as I want to take The Citadel as a home underdog in this situation, Wofford looks like the right side. These two teams have virtually the exact same style, but Wofford is better any almost every phase of the game.

Final Score: Wofford 31, The Citadel 23