College Sports

Gameday | Storylines, matchups

Storylines1.FORGET THE PASTBoth teams, for different reasons, must allow the past to remain in the past. Wofford is coming off a stirring 42-31 victory against then-top-ranked Appalachian State. Furman has had two weeks to think about what went wrong at Clemson. None of that matters this week.

2.RUN THE BALLTo distill both teams to their essence, victories go hand in hand with a strong running game. Furman must get Jerome Felton involved early and often. Meanwhile, Wofford’s wing-bone has to put Furman’s defense on its heels from the first snap. This should be a fairly brisk game, considering how the clock should always be running.

3.PASS WHEN YOU CANWofford stunned Appalachian State with its effecient passing game. Furman turns close games into routes by mixing in the play-action pass. By picking the right moments and not forcing the passing game into the overall game plan, both teams could make hay against one another.

Key matchupWofford WR Andy Strickland vs. Furman CB Austin Holmes

ABOUT STRICKLANDA receiver at Wofford? Believe it. The son of Gaffney coach Phil Strickland is ninth in the league with 54 receiving yards per game. That’s better than Appalachian State’s much-heralded Dexter Jackson. His receptions tend to go for big gains as well. His long of 61 yards is the second-longest reception in the SoCon this season.

HOW HE WILL MATCH UPStrickland’s speed is deceptive, which makes him deadly when his routes are crisp. Furman might have to guess right and roll a safety over him or occasionally rotate Holmes with the bigger William Middleton.

KEY NUMBER4From nine receptions, Strickland has four touchdowns.

ABOUT HOLMESHe’s as good as it gets in the Southern Conference. The two-time all-conference performer was named the fourth-best cornerback in the country by The Sports Network. He is an intelligent player skilled at reading the play and wraps up well on tackles.

HOW HE WILL MATCH UPHolmes gives away a lot of size to Strickland, who is three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. What he lacks in size he will make up with skill. The key for Furman will be making Wofford one-dimensional by jumping to a big early lead.

KEY NUMBER6Number of tackles Holmes had against Clemson, which more than doubled his season total.

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