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Mistakes cost Wofford its undefeated season on Homecoming as Samford pulls off the upset

No. 14 Samford knocks off No. 5 Wofford 24-21.

The dream of an undefeated season is no longer a reality for the Wofford Terriers. Wofford had been 5-0 in one score games this season and you had to think that eventually the Terriers’ luck would eventually run out. To make matters worse, the loss came at the most unfortunate time of the year for the hometown faithful, Homecoming.

The odds on this game shifted dramatically in the run-up to kickoff. Wofford opened the game as a 2.5-point favorite, but a considerable amount of action came in on Samford throughout the week. By the time the game had started, Samford was a three-point road favorite despite already having two losses on the season.

The Talented Mr. Hodges

Facing one of the better run defenses in the country, the Samford gameplan was simple. Trust in preseason first-team all-conference selection Devlin Hodges to lead the team through the air. Hodges was the reason that that the Bulldogs were able to knock off the Terriers last season, completing 87.5 percent of his passes and averaging nearly 10 yards an attempt.

Wofford had yet to face a quarterback as talented as Hodges this year. He has a knack for being able to maneuver the pocket and bide his time until he finds an open receiver and that bit the Terriers on more than one occasion.

Hodges finished with his second-best game this season, throwing for 427 yards and three touchdowns on Wofford’s defense. His numbers were all the more impressive because Samford abandoned the run in this game and the Terriers were constantly dropping players into coverage.

Mistakes and Missed Opportunities

Despite the great game from Hodges, Wofford had plenty of chances to win this game. The Terriers actually outgained the Bulldogs thanks to a triple option attack that was able to move the ball pretty effectively.

However, fumbles were a constant drive killer for the Terriers. Wofford’s all-conference center missed last week’s game against The Citadel with an injury and clearly wasn’t 100 percent. He struggled to hit the target with his snaps and that led to seven fumbles for Wofford. That put Wofford behind the eight ball and left them unable to turn drives into points.

Still, the Terriers had a great chance to at least force overtime. After Samford kicked a go-ahead field goal with 88 seconds remaining, Wofford had one last chance to do something on offense.

Yet again it was a couple of mistakes that hurt the Terriers’ chances. The ensuing kickoff was headed out of bounds when it was inexplicably fielded at the 10-yard line, costing Wofford 30 yards in field position.

That meant the Terriers had to move the ball in a hurry and to Joe Newman’s credit, they were able to drive the ball into Samford’s red zone thanks to a combination of great passes and elusive runs. Unfortunately, a fade route went horribly wrong and he was picked off in the end zone with six seconds left, giving Samford the victory.