Wofford defense comes up big against Charleston Southern
(STATS) – Wofford is known for its triple option offense, but the Terriers defense had the final say in a 15-14 victory over Charleston Southern in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday.
Tyler Vaughn scored on a safety just before halftime and Devin Watson intercepted two passes in the fourth quarter, sparking Wofford (9-3) into the second round next Saturday at No. 6 seed The Citadel (10-1). The Terriers tied for second in the Southern Conference behind the champion Bulldogs, who won their regular-season meeting 24-21 on the road Oct. 22.
Wofford set up the rematch by improving to 14-0 all-time against Charleston Southern (7-4).
Watson's second interception of Charleston Southern quarterback Shane Bucenell came at the Wofford 29 and he returned it 47 yards to the Buccaneers' 24 with 1:09 left to play to seal the win. He also had six tackles.
“The last drive was huge, said Wofford's 29th-year coach Mike Ayers. “(Watson's) last play happened right in front of me and Devin was looking at the quarterback and when he saw him turn, he throttled back a little bit, and when the ball was released, he was already gone. It was a heck of a play. The defense answered the bell I don't know how many times.”
Vaughn dropped Bucenell in the Charleston Southern end zone with 2:19 left in the first half, which gave Wofford an 8-7 halftime lead.
Wofford was held to 141 rushing yards – less than half its average – but senior fullback Lorenzo Long gained 96 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. His 32-yard scoring run with 2:32 left in the third quarter put the Terriers ahead 15-14.
“That was a heck of a football game and they're a great team,” Buccaneers coach Jamey Chadwell said. “They're a classy program. I don't want to get beaten by anybody, but I know they do football the right way, so I congratulate them.”
Charleston Southern, the automatic qualifier from the Big South Conference, had two leads in the game – after Bucenell threw a 7-yard pass to Jared Scotland late in the first quarter and on Bucenell's 2-yard run early in the third quarter.
Darius Hammond led the Buccaneers' rushing attack with 94 yards on 11 carries. Wofford has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.