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November 23, 2016

FCS Playoffs First Round

The Matchup - Charleston Southern (7-3) at Wofford (8-3)

Kickoff -2 p.m. ET Saturday at Gibbs Stadium (13,000) in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Coverage - ESPN3

Series - Wofford leads 13-0

Players to Watch - Charleston Southern: RB Mike Holloway (860 yards, 9 TDs, 8.8 ypc), RB/RS Darius Hammond (1,200 all-purpose yards), DE Anthony Ellis (13.5 TFL, 7 sacks); Wofford: FB Lorenzo Long (1,194 yards, 14 TDs), ILB Datavious Wilson (74 tackles, 2 sacks), SS Jaleel Green (49 tackles, 5 INTs)

The Skinny - These two South Carolina schools haven't met since 2010, when Wofford improved to 13-0 in the series. Both offenses are predicated on the option run game and both defenses are strong against the run. Charleston Southern has overcome a season of quarterback injuries and the distraction of player and coach suspensions to win the Big South Conference's automatic playoff bid. QB Shane Bucenell, originally fourth on the depth chart, has played with more poise in recent games. Holloway is the breakaway threat, but Hammond regained his running form against Kennesaw State (153 yards, two TDs) last Saturday. Leading tackler Solomon Brown, a linebacker, surely will get a lot of action in the middle of the defense. Wofford's offense averages 295.8 rushing yards per game and features Long, who has rushed for at least 100 yards eight times this season. Quarterback Brandon Goodson doesn't pose much of a passing threat as the Terriers have completed only 58 passes. Despite playing in a run-oriented Southern Conference, the Terriers have surrendered only 68.6 rushing yards per game - ranking No. 2 in the FCS. Coach Mike Ayers, in his 29th season guiding Wofford, has an impressive 28 seniors on his roster.

Up Next - The winner plays at No. 6 seed The Citadel (10-1) in the second round Dec. 3.

Prediction - Charleston Southern has played at North Dakota State, Florida State, Coastal Carolina and Liberty this season, so the Buccaneers aren't fazed by another tough road assignment. Charleston Southern 24-21.

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