COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Quarterback Chris Smelley had 204 yards passing as South Carolina struggled before putting away Wofford 23-13 on Saturday night.
Playing a Football Championship Subdivision team was not the answer for South Carolina's offensive woes. The Gamecocks (2-2) managed just two touchdowns, and the crowd booed coach Steve Spurrier's offense twice in the second half when it settled for field goals.
South Carolina did gain 376 yards and never punted, but Smelley threw two interceptions and fumbled. Spurrier stuck with the sophomore the whole game, even after more boos rained down when he overthrew everyone in the end zone in the third quarter.
Coaching the Gamecocks has been a different world for the coach who brought the world the "Fun 'N Gun" at Florida, where Spurrier would beat teams in what used to be called Division I-AA by scores like 62-14 over Georgia Southern in 1996.
This one wasn't out of reach until the Gamecocks put together a grinding drive of nearly 6 minutes in the fourth quarter that ended with Smelley's 17-yard touchdown pass to Dion LeCorn, which put South Carolina ahead 23-13 with 1:58 to go.
The Terriers (2-1) never strayed from their patient option running game. They ran for 185 yards, well under their average of 400 yards. Fullback Dane Romero led the team with 75 yards on 17 carries, while quarterback Ben Widmyer ran 10 times for 59 yards and completed 8 of 13 passes for 100 yards.
Wofford gave South Carolina fits in 2006, when the Gamecocks had to stop the Terriers on fourth down at South Carolina's 10 to escape with a 27-20 win. The Terriers never led in that one.
On Saturday, they took a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter on Widmyer's 50-yard scoring run. Two Gamecocks defenders took the pitch man on the option, leaving Widmyer to scamper untouched into the end zone.
South Carolina responded with a quick drive that ended with three Brian Maddox runs, the last one 7 yards for a TD, to put the Gamecocks back ahead 10-7.
The Gamecocks moved the ball for most of the game, but struggled to get into the end zone. An 18-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 22-yard field goal from Ryan Succop that put South Carolina ahead 3-0.
Spurrier used several players who hadn't seen a lot of playing time this season. Freshman Eric Baker hadn't carried the ball before Saturday, but ended with 49 yards on 11 carries.
Maddox led the Gamecocks with 12 carries for 52 yards, while starting tailback Mike Davis caught six passes for 51 yards. South Carolina didn't have a passing play gain more than 20 yards.
The Gamecocks have lost to FCS teams before. The Citadel beat them 38-35 in 1990 and Furman won 28-23 in 1982.
Wofford is 1-11 against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision, with the only win coming over Louisiana-Monroe in 2000. The Terriers did take home $230,000 for making the trip to Williams-Brice Stadium.
Beamer aware of challenges Gamecocks face vs. Aggies
Shane Beamer says South Carolina will have to be sharp in all three phases of the game to pull off an upset at No. 17 Texas A&M.
Clemson's Dabo Swinney says he doesn't have interest in LSU football coaching opening
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, while lamenting the pressure to win immediately and consistently, said "this is the only Death Valley I'm concerned with" when asked about his name being speculated for the LSU vacancy after this season.
No. 14 Coastal Carolina eager to shine in national spotlight
— While Coastal Carolina is unbeaten and ranked 14th in the nation, head coach Jamey Chadwell knows there are still plenty of skeptics who don’t believe the Chanticleers belong among college football’s elite.
Who are the top candidates to replace Nick Rolovich as Washington State football coach?
Nick Rolovich is out as Washington State's football coach after refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Whom can the Cougars target to replace him?
Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich fired: How it happened, what comes next and more
Here's everything you need to know about Washington State's decision to fire football coach Nick Rolovich after he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and where the Cougars go from here.
Midseason college football coaching stock watch: Success stories at Michigan State, Kentucky and beyond
The Spartans' Mel Tucker, along with Kentucky's Mark Stoops and Wake's Dave Clawson, are among those whose stock has risen in our midseason check-in.