Part of the problem with South Carolina’s preparations for the option attack from Wofford this week is that high school offenses hardly use the offense anymore, so players aren’t used to facing it.
One of the key elements of the option attack that Wofford, and other option teams use, is the cut block. Will Muschamp was recently asked about the ethics of the block and how most defensive coaches speak out against it. The South Carolina coach added his opinion during his regular weekly press conference.
“Well, we talk about player safety a lot don’t we,” Muschamp said. “I see cut blocks creating some issues for player safety, so that’s where I stand on it.”
Muschamp was then asked about where the line is between being dirty or illegal, and opposing coaches simply not liking the technique. Muschamp then laid out a scenario of a linebacker attacking a play and not seeing a lineman coming to block in a play that may look acceptable in the rulebook or officials’ eyes.
“I think it’s a very thin line and a hard line because at the end of the day, it’s a competitive game and you’re competing hard,” he said. “… You don’t see a guy coming and it’s a cut block and it’s a totally legal block based on the rule and you’ve got a problem, a guy with a knee injury. If we’re truly about player safety, we’d eliminate them, in my opinion.”
Wofford is 9-1 with its only loss to Samford.
Last week in a 45-14 win over VMI, Andre Stoddard ran for two of Wofford’s six rushing touchdowns as the Terriers gained 200 rushing yards.
Wofford clinched a share of the Southern Conference title with the win.
South Carolina worked on Wofford’s offense for two days in the preseason, and two days during the bye week. Muschamp said the key is to simplify the defensive plan.
“A huge part of what they do is identifying what you’re doing, and that’s what can get you in some trouble,” Muschamp said. “At the end of the day, you really don’t want a vast playlist, call list versus a team like this, because it takes one mess and the ball’s out of the gate. But once they identify and zero in on exactly what you’re doing, they’re going to have answers, and you know that going into the game. So you’ve got to have enough changeups in the game going to help you as far as those things are concerned without slowing down your players and creating a mistake on defense.”