So that happened…
Links of interest (a comprehensive, but by no means complete, list):
– ESPN highlights package of the game (video)
– Clip from Mike Houston’s halftime speech (video)
– Mike Houston, post-game [great and well-deserved “what did you just say?” look from his son just after the 2:00 mark] (video)
– Game highlights package from the school (video)
Links of interest, playoff edition:
And he is short! Short of the first down! And The Citadel Bulldogs are going to win the football game!
Wildly random thoughts on the victory over South Carolina:
– For you triple option groupies (and you know who you are), the game-winning touchdown run by Tyler Renew came after an audible by Dominique Allen. According to Allen, the original play call was for an inside veer, but when the Gamecocks “bumped down to a bear front”, he switched to an outside veer.
– Don’t let some upset Gamecock fan try to tell you they got “cheated by the refs” on the non-play at the end of the game. Well, a few fans may whine anyway, but they should get no sympathy.
On replay, the whistle can clearly be heard before Pharoh Cooper even catches the pass from Perry Orth, and multiple individuals on both teams had stopped playing by that point. The call was also correct, as the South Carolina slot receiver on the right side of the formation was obviously not set before the snap.
You could also make an argument that at least two other Gamecocks didn’t get set before the center snapped the ball to Orth.
The delay in announcing the call, which I admit just about drove me crazy, was simply a case of the officials trying to determine how much time should be put on the game clock after the mandatory 10-second runoff. (Incidentally, they got it exactly right.)
– Apparently the SEC Network has realllllllllly long commercial breaks. The game took 3:19, despite the fact The Citadel only threw three passes.
– Did you know there is a large building at the State Fairgrounds named after a former Bulldog football great? Link
– Per South Carolina’s post-game notes, the Gamecocks had won 22 straight non-conference home games before losing to The Citadel on Saturday.
Of course, those notes also mistakenly state that South Carolina has “wins in seven-straight contests” against the Bulldogs. In actuality, The Citadel has won two of the last three matchups.
– The Citadel rushed for more yards against South Carolina (350) than it had averaged per game prior to facing the Gamecocks (343.7).
– In 1990, The Citadel had 396 total yards in a victory over the Gamecocks. In 2015, The Citadel had 387 total yards in a victory over the Gamecocks.
And in 1950, The Citadel had…118 total yards in a victory over the Gamecocks. Of course, the Bulldogs blocked two punts for TDs in that one. Special teams, baby.
The Citadel only committed one turnover in those three games — combined.
That came in the third quarter of the 1990 game, when the Bulldogs lost a fumble. South Carolina fumbled it right back to The Citadel two plays later.
– The Citadel now has four victories in its history over SEC opponents. The previous three came in 1962 (against Vanderbilt), 1979 (Vanderbilt again), and 1992 (Arkansas).
– “Tyler Renew used to sell peanuts at Williams-Brice Stadium” is this year’s “Jerome Bettis is from Detroit”, as far as storylines involving The Citadel are concerned.
– Your guess is as good as mine as to what South Carolina hoped to accomplish on that two-point conversion lateral to offensive lineman Brandon Shell. Shy Phillips did a good job making the tackle, which was akin to chopping down a giant redwood.
– The Citadel’s defense held the Gamecocks to 2.9 yards per carry, a major factor in the Bulldogs’ victory. Tevin Floyd and James Riley tied for the team lead in tackles on the day, with seven each.
All seven of Riley’s tackles were recorded as solo stops. The last of those came on a 4th-and-10, with Riley tackling Brandon Wilds two yards short of the first down the Gamecocks had to have.
– Will Vanvick had a fine day punting, saving his best effort for last, a 36-yarder downed on the Gamecocks 3-yard line late in the game. Aron Spann also should be credited with making a nice play to down the ball.
– Eric Goins also had a memorable afternoon, with a career-long field goal of 48 yards and a tackle on one of his kickoffs. That may have been a touchdown-saving stop, too.
I held my breath on The Citadel’s kickoffs, as several times it appeared South Carolina was very close to breaking a long gainer. The Bulldogs need to work on that this week as they get ready for the playoffs.
Ah yes, the playoffs.
I watched the selection show. It wasn’t one of ESPN’s smoothest efforts; it included a reference to “College of Charleston Southern” and another announcer confusing Western Illinois with Western Carolina.
However, the actual bracket was even rougher. I think the selection committee did a poor job.
I’m glad The Citadel is in the tournament, obviously, but I am disappointed in the regionalization of what is supposed to be a national tournament. I don’t necessarily expect teams to be sent across the country on a regular basis, but the committee overdosed on rematches this season.
It is a disservice to The Citadel, Coastal Carolina, and Charleston Southern to play a three-team mini-tourney right off the bat, with those teams already playing each other during the regular season. The committee set up multiple potential second-round rematches besides that one, including possible meetings between Richmond and William & Mary, Chattanooga and Jacksonville State, Western Illinois and Illinois State, and Montana and North Dakota State.
Would it have been so terrible to flip The Citadel and Duquesne, with the Bulldogs playing the Tribe and the Chanticleers hosting the Dukes? Or to switch CCU and Chattanooga in the bracket?
Why does Colgate and New Hampshire have to play each other in the first round, after playing earlier in the season? That isn’t supposed to happen, and it really shouldn’t happen.
I was also puzzled by the inclusion of 6-5 Western Illinois in the field (one of those five losses came to Coastal Carolina, by the way). Not only is WIU in the playoffs, it will play non-scholarship Dayton in the first round — a draw that would have been desired by almost every other team playing in the tournament’s first round.
A cynic might suggest Western Illinois is in the tournament instead of North Dakota or Towson because it is close enough to Dayton that the team can be bused to the game, rather than having to fly (and costing the NCAA more money).
It also appears the committee wanted to avoid having a final featuring teams from one conference (as was the case last year). That can be the only reason all five MVFC teams are on the same side of the bracket.
At any rate, The Citadel has a game on Saturday in Conway. Making sure the team is mentally and emotionally prepared for that contest after beating the Gamecocks is going to be a challenge for the coaching staff.
It’s a problem, albeit a nice problem to have.
It better not be a problem for the fan base. I know people have made plans in advance for Thanksgiving weekend, but playoff bids don’t come along for The Citadel every year, and this team certainly deserves all the support it can get. There needs to be plenty of light blue in Brooks Stadium when the Bulldogs take the field.
I think there will be.
Get your tickets early, though. Brooks Stadium currently has a seating capacity of under 10,000.
I’ll have a preview post for the Coastal Carolina game later in the week. I am not going to have a lot of time to do it, but I’ll figure something out.
This week’s review is almost completely picture-free. After almost a decade of taking mostly bad pictures, my camera more or less died in the first quarter on Saturday. That may be a blessing. I’ll gladly trade the demise of an old, mediocre camera for a victory over the Gamecocks.
I will include one shot I took with my cellphone, though. I was quick to snap it, and I had to be, as South Carolina rather amusingly “wiped” its scoreboard only a few seconds after the game was over.
The game happened, though. Yes, it certainly did.
Filed under: Football, The Citadel | Tagged: Aron Spann, Brent Thompson, Coastal Carolina, Dominique Allen, Eric Goins, James Riley, Mark Thomas, Mike Houston, Mitchell Jeter, Sam Frye, Shy Phillips, South Carolina, Tevin Floyd, The Citadel, Tyler Renew, Will Vanvick |