Game review, 2017: Presbyterian

Before getting to the review of Saturday’s game, I have to note the passing of Mitchell Jeter, a former defensive lineman for the Bulldogs.

Jeter was the SoCon’s defensive player of the year in 2015, a year in which The Citadel won the Southern Conference title for only the third time in school history. He was arguably the best player on that team.

At this time, there is not much information about the automobile accident that claimed the lives of Jeter and three others (including a child) Saturday night.

Brent Thompson called Jeter’s death a “tragic and immeasurable loss”, and that basically sums it up. Obviously, everyone’s thoughts are with his family and his friends, which include many current players on the football team.

There is no real way to properly segue from that news to a football game, so I’m just going to follow with the standard game review. My apologies for any perceived abruptness on that front.

Links of interest:

– Game story, The Post and Courier

– “Notes” package, The Post and Courier

– AP game story

– School release

Video from WLTX-TV

– Game highlights (video)

– Boxscore

Replay of the Big South Network’s streaming of the game

Before the season, the general consensus among most knowledgeable observers was that Newberry, despite being a D-2 program, would probably be a sterner test for the Bulldogs than Presbyterian. In this case, the consensus was quite correct.

Even the sudden change of venue could not stop The Citadel from asserting its clear superiority on the gridiron over the outmatched Blue Hose. An early thunderbolt of a run by PC’s Torrance Marable, the most impressive player on Presbyterian’s roster, only served to delay the inevitable result.

Ten different cadets had rushing attempts on Saturday, and two others caught passes, as the coaching staff took advantage of the opportunity to develop some more depth. While 46 different Bulldogs played against Newberry, 58 saw action versus Presbyterian.

A glance at the statistics for the game shows just how dominant The Citadel was on Saturday:

The Citadel Presbyterian
Starting field position TC 28 PC 24
Efficiency 63.6% (28/44) 8.33% (1/12)
Explosiveness 1.100 7.410
Finishing drives 6.8/poss 0.0/poss
Turnover margin +2 -2
Yards per play on 1st down 6.92 8.22
Avg. yards to gain on 3rd down 3.0 6.5
Passing down success rate 33.3% (4/12) 33.3% (3/9)
Time of possession 40:21 19:39
Off. plays from scrimmage 81 40
Yards per play 6.7 5.7
Yards per play (rush) 5.6 6.4
Yards per play (pass attempt) 26.0 5.1
Off. 3rd down conversion rate 81.3% (13-16) 50.0% (4-8)
Off. plays of 20+ yards 4 2
Penalties 3 for 39 yards 2 for 25 yards


  • Not counted in the efficiency and explosiveness categories: the entire second half. At 35-7, the third and fourth quarters were considered “garbage time” for statistical purposes (in those categories, at least)
  • Not counted in the field position category: Presbyterian’s last drive of the first half, and The Citadel’s final drive of the game
  • The Citadel advanced inside the 40-yard-line six times, and scored a touchdown on each of those possessions; Presbyterian did so twice, but did not score a point on either possession
  • Presbyterian threw one interception on first down; on passing downs, the Blue Hose offense threw one interception and also was sacked once
  • Successful plays from scrimmage by quarter (first half only): 1st – The Citadel 15, Presbyterian 1; 2nd – The Citadel 13, Presbyterian 0

Presbyterian’s average in the “explosiveness” category is reflective of the fact that the Blue Hose only had one successful first-half play, but it happened to be a 76-yard TD run. That one play also skewers PC’s yards per play on first down (as it came on first down) and yards per rush.

If you take out Marable’s run (which you can’t, but whatever), and also remove the one sack from the rushing statistics, Presbyterian averaged 2.9 yards per rush. Doing the same thing for first downs would leave the Blue Hose averaging 4.24 yards per play on first down.

The Citadel’s 1.1 explosiveness average is actually better than what the Bulldogs did against Newberry last week.

Odds and ends:

– I was concerned about traffic being a problem between Columbia and Clinton, but I-26 was relatively clear both coming and going.

– While it is obviously not ideal that The Citadel had to move a home football game (and for a second consecutive season), the shift to Clinton was a boon to Bulldog fans in the midlands and the upstate, who arrived early and in good numbers.

I was a little surprised that only 2,586 people made it to the game. A solid majority of them were wearing light blue and white, however.

– There are benefits to a noon kickoff for a game that takes only 2:26 to play, including getting at home in time to watch the late-afternoon and evening college football action. I enjoyed that.

– PC’s setup is nice, about all that you would want for a small-school college football stadium/tailgating experience. For the sake of Blue Hose fans, I hope the football program can be revitalized.

– Gastronomic experts in the stands heartily approved of the chili dogs. I also noticed that a significant amount of pizza was consumed.

Among those in attendance at the game, per Jeff Hartsell: Dee Delaney, Tyler Renew, Keith Carter, and Mariel Cooper.

– A few of the Bulldog fans who were tailgating also got some publicity. Shrimp and grits, indeed.

Next week’s opponent: East Tennessee State, now 1-1 on the season after losing to James Madison 52-10 on Saturday. The Bulldogs will travel to Johnson City, Tennessee, for a 1pm kickoff. It will be the second contest (and first SoCon game) played at ETSU’s new football stadium.

For this week’s pictures, I included shots of Presbyterian’s soccer stadium and baseball field. Both of those facilities are near the football stadium.

Most of the action shots are annotated.

I’ll lead off the photo parade with a picture of Scotty the Scotsman, a rather amiable sort.


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