SoCon in the spotlight in quarters
Wofford-Georgia Southern matchup boils down to defense
The SoCon is guaranteed to have a semifinalist, with ASU conference mates Wofford and Georgia Southern squaring off in Spartansburg, S.C.
"Week in and week out, we understand what this league's all about, the toughness of this league," Wofford head coach Mike Ayers said. "[Having three of the eight remaining teams] says a lot about the players and the coaches in the league. It says that every Saturday, there's a great game in the SoCon."
One such great game was the GSU-Wofford matchup on Oct. 9. The first installment was a blockbuster, which Wofford came out on top that day, 33-31. The sequel has explosive potential. To get this rematch, both squads won second-round games on the road using old-school tactics -- defense and the ground game.
"Our defense played a great football game," GSU head coach Jeff Monken said of the Eagles' win at second overall seed William & Mary. Indeed, the Tribe was held to just 13 points, but the eye-popping figure was the 423 yards the Eagles rushed for against the top-10 W&M defense.
Both teams ran to victory Saturday, as they have all season. Mike Leach vs. June Jones, this ain't. Saturday's key will be whose rushing offense overcomes the other's sturdy defense.
Wofford star back Eric Breitenstein is a throwback power rusher with breakaway speed. He hovered around the top five in yardage all season, and last week helped carry the Terriers with two touchdowns and 178 yards. "He ran for a bunch of yards on a lot of people, including us," Monken said of Breitenstein. "[Wofford has] the No. 1 rushing offense, and they're top 10 in total defense. That right there is a pretty good measure of how they are."
Conversely, the Eagles have rushed for bunches of yards in their nine wins utilizing the triple option to its fullest. In this match-up of mirroring styles, something has to give.