USC's Ward: Stop Wofford Option With Assignment Football

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By Sports Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- The No. 12/11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) worked out Thursday afternoon at the Bluff Road practice fields on another chilly day in the Palmetto State.

The Gamecocks return to action on Saturday when they host the Wofford Terriers (8-2, 6-2 SoCon) in a 1 p.m. start at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis throughout the state of South Carolina with Andy Demetra and Brad Muller describing the action.

The key to stopping the Wofford option attack is assignment football, according to Gamecock defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “You’ve got to defeat blocks. You’ve got to get off blocks, whether they are chopping you or blocking you high.

“We want to keep them out of the end zone,” continued Ward. “We understand that they’re going to make some plays because of the style of offense. We’re hoping we can slow them down better than some of the option teams we’ve played in the past. It’s tough, especially when you play them late in the season. We have to make sure we play assignment football and we’ve had a good week of practice doing that.

“You have to put your eyes in the right place when playing an option team because there are a lot of moving parts,” noted Ward. “It comes down to being disciplined. If you don’t let all those moving parts affect your eyes, you’ll be successful. If we do, if the moving parts get us, then we’ll be in for a long day.”

Ward said that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, did not practice all week, but Ward expects him to play on Saturday. Sharrod Golightly is also back and will be available on Saturday.

“Wofford’s going to come in here and do everything they can to kick our tails Saturday afternoon,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “We’ve had pretty good practices and we’re going to be ready to play. Hopefully our fans will really show this senior class how much they appreciate them – the winningest group in school history. We need fans to come ready to scream and yell.”

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