College Football TV Listings 2016, Week 10

This is a list of every game played during week 10 of the 2016 college football season involving at least one FBS or FCS school. All games are listed, televised or not. For the televised games (only live broadcasts are listed), I include the announcers and sideline reporters (where applicable). I put all of it on a Google Documents spreadsheet that can be accessed at the following link:

College Football TV Listings 2016, Week 10

Additional notes:

– I include games streamed by ESPN3.com and Fox Sports Go; they are denoted as “ESPN3″ and “FS-Go”, respectively.

– I also list digital network feeds provided by various conferences, but only when they are free of charge. For some of these feeds, the audio will be a simulcast of the home team’s radio broadcast. Other online platforms have their own announcers.

For now, the digital networks I am including in the listings are those for the ACCBig Sky, Big SouthCAAMountain WestNEC, OVCPatriot League, and SoCon.

Occasionally individual schools (almost always at the FCS level) provide video feeds free of charge. When that is the case, I list those as well.

– I also do not include PPV telecasts, regardless of whether or not the matchup in question features FBS or FCS schools.

– The local affiliates for the ACC Network “national” games of the week can be found on a link in the document, and here: Pittsburgh-Miami (FL), Georgia Tech-North Carolina

– The regional sports networks carrying the ACC Network “regional” game of the week can be found on a link in the document, and here: Virginia-Wake Forest

– Local affiliates for American Sports Network games are linked in the document, and here: GWU-Charleston Southern, Penn-Princeton, Charlotte-Southern Mississippi, Central Arkansas-Stephen F. Austin, Marshall-Old Dominion

– ABC/ESPN2 coverage map for the 3:30 pm ET games (Syracuse-Clemson and Oklahoma State-Kansas State): Link

– ESPN3/ACC Digital Network/College Extra blackout maps: Georgia Tech-North Carolina, Pittsburgh-Miami (FL), Virginia-Wake Forest, East Tennessee State-Mercer, Lamar-Nicholls

– BTN “gamefinder”:  Link

– SEC Network “gamefinder”: Link

– AP Poll (FBS):  Link

– FCS Coaches’ Poll:  Link

A lot of the information I used in putting this together came courtesy of Matt Sarzyniak’s incredibly comprehensive and truly indispensable site College Sports on TV, a must-bookmark for any fan of college sports.

Also to be credited, as always, are the indefatigable information collectors (and in some cases sports-TV savants) at the506.com. I am also assisted on occasion by helpful athletic media relations officials at various schools and conferences.

Game Review, 2016: East Tennessee State

The Citadel 45, East Tennessee State 10.

Links of interest:

Game story, The Post and Courier

Game story, Johnson City Press

Video from WCSC-TV, including interviews with Brent Thompson, Cam Jackson, Dominique Allen, and Jorian Jordan

Video from WCIV-TV, along with (via Twitter) some “raw” first-half highlights

– School release

Box score

The Citadel’s post-game notes

Post-game quotes from ETSU head coach Carl Torbush

Photo gallery from East Tennessee State (via Facebook)

Game highlights

Midway through the first quarter, I knew that The Citadel was going to win. It wasn’t a case of overconfidence, either. It was just obvious.

It felt odd to watch a conference game in such a way. I’m used to being nervous and annoyed and generally unsettled while watching The Citadel play; to not have an angst-ridden experience while cheering on the Bulldogs was strange.

I wasn’t entirely comfortable with being comfortable. However, I suspect I could get used to it.

At any rate, the next relaxing afternoon at Johnson Hagood Stadium will not take place anytime in the near future, as Samford comes to town on Saturday and presents a major challenge for the Cadets. I’ll write about the Birmingham Bulldogs in my game preview later this week.

For now, a few brief thoughts on the game against ETSU:

– The post-game notes package provided by the school included this factoid: the 35-point margin of victory over ETSU was the highest by the Bulldogs in a SoCon game since The Citadel won 44-7 at Elon in 2006.

The last time The Citadel had beaten a conference foe at Johnson Hagood Stadium by 35+ points prior to Saturday? That was in 2001, when the Bulldogs beat VMI 49-7. Before that, you have to go back to 1992 to find a 35+ point home victory over a league opponent (that was also VMI; the score was 50-0).

The most recent such home result before last Saturday that did not involve VMI was a 41-0 win against Marshall in 1978.

– The Citadel was able to rest some of its starters and other key performers for a significant portion of the second half. That may prove very beneficial for those players on the defensive side of the ball, who will need to be fresh this week.

In its loss to Mississippi State on Saturday, Samford ran 104 offensive plays from scrimmage, an extremely high number. How high?

Well, in the overtime victory at Wofford, The Citadel’s defense was on the field for 67 snaps — the most plays faced by the Bulldogs’ D in a game all season.

– A total of 56 Bulldogs saw action against East Tennessee State. Only 46 players took the field for both the Chattanooga and Wofford games.

Of those who played on Saturday, 24 recorded a defensive statistic, the most Bulldogs to do so in a game this year.

– As the players ran onto the field before the game through the “Block C” formation, they were followed by General and Boo. The two dogs wound up near the home sideline as their respective handlers tried to avoid the cadet and player traffic.

I noticed Brent Thompson pet both dogs as he stood along the sideline. I’m not sure how many head coaches have interacted with live animal mascots just before kickoff. At least, it’s not something I’ve seen before.

– The Bulldogs committed a couple of penalties on punt returns on Saturday, which is something that needs to get cleaned up. Having said that, one of the penalties was the very definition of ticky-tacky.

Kailik Williams was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty midway through the fourth quarter. Why? Because after an outstanding punt return by DeAndre Schoultz, Williams was ruled to have stepped out of the sideline “box” area while celebrating.

He did not race onto the field, or make a spectacle of himself. Williams merely walked along the sideline with his arm upraised.

For reasons not immediately clear, one of the officials decided to throw a flag. Perhaps he needed to make his quota.

After watching the replay, ESPN3 analyst Sadath Jean-Pierre said, “That’s a tough call.” It was a very polite thing for him to say.

Remember, if a player gets two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, he is ejected from the game. Imagine if someone got thrown out for that in a tight game.

– Despite rushing for 427 yards against East Tennessee State, The Citadel no longer leads FCS in rush yards per game. That is because Cal Poly rushed for 527 yards in a 59-47 win over Sacramento State.

Like the Bulldogs, the Mustangs run a version of the triple option. If you’re curious to see what the west coast TO looks like, here is a link to the game highlights from Cal Poly’s victory: Link

– Here is something worth the attention of anyone interested in playoff berths and seeding possibilities:

On Thursday [November 3], the selection committee will release the first of three weekly Top 10 rankings – much like what happens on the FBS level. It’s a new feature of the committee leading into Selection Sunday on Nov. 20. The first rankings will be aired on ESPN’s “College Football Live,” which begins at 3 p.m. ET.

Sam Houston State is top-ranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 and in other leading FCS polls. But the Bearkats, playing in a relatively down Southland Conference, are lacking a high strength of schedule, so the committee may not have them atop its first rankings.The STATS postseason projection has had the Bearkats as the fourth seed in recent weeks, behind North Dakota State, Eastern Washington and Jacksonville State.

The Citadel should be in the initial Top 10 rankings. That doesn’t mean the Bulldogs will be, of course. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if the selection committee shoehorned six or seven MVFC squads into the rankings, or some other absurdity.

It will be interesting to compare the Massey Ratings (and other ratings/polls) to the selection committee’s rankings. This is what the Massey Ratings Top 10 looks like, as of this week:

  • North Dakota State – 1
  • Eastern Washington – 2
  • Jacksonville State – 3
  • Central Arkansas – 4
  • The Citadel – 5
  • Youngstown State – 6
  • South Dakota State – 7
  • Sam Houston State – 8
  • Charleston Southern – 9
  • Chattanooga – 10

Samford, by the way, is #11 in the Massey Ratings, and has a victory over #4 Central Arkansas.

One thing you may have noticed about the Massey Ratings is that no CAA team is in the Top 10. I am quite sure that at least one CAA team will be in the NCAA selection committee’s top 10 when its rankings are released on Thursday.

This week’s pictures are not as bad as those from last week, which is faint praise. They are (mostly) annotated, however. Most of the game action photos are from the first half.

 

 

 

2016 Football, Game 8: The Citadel vs. East Tennessee State

The Citadel vs. East Tennessee State, to be played at historic Johnson Hagood Stadium, with kickoff at 2:00 pm ET on October 29. The game will not be televised

The game will be streamed on ESPN3.com. Kevin Fitzgerald will provide play-by-play, while Sadath Jean-Pierre supplies the analysis. 

The contest can be heard on radio via the various affiliates of The Citadel Sports Network. WQNT-1450 AM [audio link], originating in Charleston, will be the flagship station. 

Mike Legg (the “Voice of the Bulldogs”) will call the action alongside analyst Lee Glaze.

It is also possible to listen to the action with a smartphone, using a TuneIn Radio application.

Links of interest:

– Game notes for The Citadel and East Tennessee State

SoCon weekly release

– Kailik Williams makes lots of plays

– Myles Pierce is the SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week

– Cody Clark is undefeated as a Bulldog

– SoCon will not have instant replay until at least 2018

Brent Thompson’s 10/25 press conference, including comments from Rudder Brown and Myles Pierce (video)

Brent Thompson’s 10/26 radio show (video)

Hey, it’s that guy Myles Pierce again; this time, a feature

– ETSU is preparing for a “test” against the Bulldogs

– Bucs “gearing up” for The Citadel

– Carl Torbush’s post-game interview after ETSU’s win over West Virginia Wesleyan

– Carl Torbush’s 10/24 press conference

– FCS Coaches’ Poll

At his Tuesday press conference, Brent Thompson was asked about crowd support, and whether or not he thought there was a greater level of excitement among the fans than in years past. His answer:

The one thing I know about The Citadel alums is they are fanatical, and once they start that ball rolling, I think it starts to run out of control a little bit, and that’s awesome for us.

And that’s what we’re trying to create. The fan support is always there and has always been there, but now what I think they are starting to do is they’re starting to drag other people in with them, and starting to get maybe people who are Citadel fans [but] not necessarily alums involved, and that’s what we want.

And that’s how we’re going to fill up Johnson Hagood Stadium — not just by bringing in our own fans and our own alums in there and our own corps of cadets, but it’s more about bringing…the guy down the road that, hey, he’s a good football fan. He wants to see good FCS football and he’s excited about what’s going on in Charleston.

We’ve got plenty of people here in Charleston [who] enjoy football, and they don’t have to travel up the road, and so that’s what we want to do. We want to create a little bit of excitement here in town.

I couldn’t agree more with the coach on this subject. On the one hand, the fact that The Citadel has historically enjoyed an attendance-to-undergrad ratio of 5-to-1 or 6-to-1 (and occasionally 7-to-1) is extremely impressive. There are very few schools around that can make such a claim.

However, over the years I believe the military college has seen a decline in attendance among local football fans without a specific affiliation to The Citadel. I think the primary culprit has been television.

I’ve written about this before, but in the 1960s and 1970s (and even into the 1980s) there was very little televised college football. A big football fan who lived in Charleston might go to Johnson Hagood Stadium to watch the local team play, perhaps bringing along a transistor radio so he could listen to Bob Fulton or Jim Phillips during timeouts. (During live action, of course, he would listen to George Norwig.)

The proliferation of college football on television over the last few decades changed everything, and that affected The Citadel’s attendance. Not winning a great deal for the better part of 20 years didn’t help, either.

Now, however, The Citadel has a quality product to present to the community. While it’s primarily the job of the department of athletics to make that case, alums have to do their part as well — even grumps like me.

We have to tell people what makes going to a football game at The Citadel unique and fun.  That starts with the corps of cadets, of course. The corps is a show of its own that other schools can’t match.

Combine the corps, the tailgating, the usually great weather, and a host of other attractions (flyovers, parachute jumpers, zany contests, the regimental band and pipes, Spike and the cheerleaders, General and Boo) with a really good football team, and suddenly you realize The Citadel has a lot to offer.

The Bulldogs are Charleston’s college football team, and proud of it.

For anyone hoping the SoCon would adopt instant replay for its league football games, the news is not encouraging:

…last week, the SoCon’s athletic directors decided to put off adding instant replay to league football games until at least 2018.

“We just had our fall meetings with the athletic directors, and the subject came up for us to put instant replay in place,” said commissioner John Iamarino. “We were talking about 2017, but the decision by the athletic directors was not to have it in 2017.”

Iamarino said the athletic directors cited three main reasons for putting off instant replay:

– the logistics of establishing a replay booth with the proper equipment in every SoCon stadium.

– the cost of equipment, software and extra officials.

– adding to the length of time it takes to play games.

Iamarino said the only other FCS leagues without replay that he is aware of are the Ivy League and the Pioneer League.

In my opinion, the last of those reasons cited by the ADs is without merit. Given the amount of “media timeouts” now prevalent in league games that are televised or streamed, there is no reason to eschew instant replay because of additional time added to league contests.

Instead of using three media timeouts in less than an eight-minute span of game time (which occurred in the first quarter of The Citadel’s game against Wofford last week), those media timeouts can be taken during replay reviews.

The SoCon probably needs to have instant replay sooner rather than later, if only to have the same standard officiating procedures as the rest of FCS, but no one should be under the impression that replay will be a panacea. At times, replay has simply added another layer of error to the proceedings.

Sure, you would like to think that with replay, Kailik Williams’ strip/recovery in the first quarter versus Wofford would have resulted in The Citadel gaining possession of the football, but we’ve all seen that kind of play occasionally upheld anyway because of a “down by contact” ruling (or because the whistle blew). Rudder Brown’s catch in the overtime period might have been tagged as “inconclusive”, and Jorian Jordan’s touchdown-that-wasn’t may have suffered the same fate, depending on the mood of the official in the booth.

Replay aside, what really needs to happen is that the league needs to significantly improve its on-field officiating. That is what the conference’s players, coaches, and fans deserve, rather than ludicrous decisions like (just to mention one example) this ridiculous call against Mercer earlier in the season in a game versus Tennessee Tech.

East Tennessee State disbanded its football program after the 2003 season for financial reasons. The decision to eliminate football also led to ETSU’s departure from the Southern Conference.

Now, ETSU football is back, and in a related development, the school is back in the SoCon. While the rest of its sports resumed league competition for the 2015-16 school year, the Buccaneers’s football program spent the 2015 season as an independent before jumping back into gridiron league play this year.

That 2015 campaign was the first in football for East Tennessee State in twelve years, and that showed in the on-field results. The Buccaneers finished 2-9, with wins over Warner and Kentucky Wesleyan.

Some of the losses were painful. Fellow start-up program Kennesaw State beat ETSU 56-16, and the Bucs got hammered by several established D1 schools (losing 63-7 to Montana State, 47-7 to Charleston Southern, 52-0 to Mercer, and 58-9 to St. Francis of Pennsylvania).

Two of the losses were to Division III schools (Maryville and Emory & Henry).

East Tennessee State opened its 2016 campaign with the same opponent it had played to begin the 2015 season, Kennesaw State. The result wasn’t the same, however. ETSU shocked the Owls in Kennesaw, winning 20-17 in double overtime. Kennesaw State had entered the game as a 26-point favorite; the Bucs’ victory was one of biggest upsets so far this season in all of Division I.

The key to the victory for ETSU: the Bucs held Kennesaw State’s triple option offense to 2.9 yards per rush (166 total rush yards).

After a week off, East Tennessee State moved to 2-0 with another surprising victory, 34-31 over Western Carolina. The game was played at Bristol Motor Speedway.

ETSU trailed the Catamounts 21-3, but scored a touchdown shortly before halftime. That jump-started a 24-0 run which gave the Buccaneers a lead they would not relinquish. East Tennessee State ran 87 offensive plays from scrimmage in the contest, averaging 5.4 yards per play.

After those two victories, the Bucs found the going much tougher. East Tennessee State lost four straight games, all in SoCon action, by a combined score of 157-21. The first of those was a shutout loss at Wofford (31-0) in which ETSU only had 76 yards of total offense.

East Tennessee State then lost to Chattanooga and VMI by identical 37-7 scores. The Bucs lost the time of possession battle in both games by a significant margin.

The next game saw Furman pummel ETSU in Johnson City, 52-7. The Paladins led 35-0 at halftime, and wound up scoring 52 points on just 56 offensive snaps, averaging 9.1 yards per play.

On Thursday night of last week, East Tennessee State picked up its third victory of the 2016 season, beating West Virginia Wesleyan 38-7. The Bucs rolled up 323 rushing yards on their D-2 opponents.

East Tennessee State’s reborn program is helmed by longtime college coach Carl Torbush.

Torbush is a Carson-Newman graduate who spent many years as a well-respected defensive coach for a number of different schools, mostly in the south. He has been the defensive coordinator at Mississippi, Alabama, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Kansas, and (most notably) North Carolina, where he was a member of Mack Brown’s staff for a decade. When Brown left for Texas after the 1997 regular season, Torbush succeeded him as the head coach.

What not everyone remembers is that the UNC job wasn’t Torbush’s first stint as a head coach. He actually had the top job at Louisiana Tech for one season, 1987, before resigning to become Brown’s defensive coordinator in Chapel Hill.

In 3+ years at UNC, Torbush had a record of 17-18. He was 3-8 in his one year in charge at Louisiana Tech. Torbush is 5-13 so far at ETSU.

Earlier in his football coaching career, Torbush spent four years (1976-1979) as a defensive assistant at Southeastern Louisiana. During that time, he also served as the school’s baseball coach. Torbush (a former minor leaguer) led the baseball team to a share of the Gulf South conference title in 1978.

Torbush has a staff with a lot of familiarity with East Tennessee State, as four of his assistant coaches played at the school, including defensive coordinator Billy Taylor.

ETSU’s offensive coordinator is Mike O’Cain, who played quarterback at both Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School (where he sported the famed maroon and orange) and Clemson. O’Cain was the head football coach at North Carolina State for seven years in the 1990s, and has been an offensive coordinator and/or quarterbacks coach at several other schools, including Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and James Madison.

For three seasons (1978 through 1980), O’Cain served as the running backs coach at The Citadel, under Art Baker.

Next year, East Tennessee State will play in a new football stadium. It is expected to eventually have 10,000 seats, although the first phase of construction will result in a 7,000-seat facility.

If you want to read more about the stadium, or see what it’s supposed to look like, a website has been set up for that purpose: Link

The fundraising committee for the stadium is co-chaired by former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith and country music singer Kenny Chesney.

Both are alums of the school; it turns out that notorious bandwagon fan Chesney is actually a 1991 graduate of East Tennessee State. Who knew?

ETSU saw a dip in season ticket sales this season, with a drop of about 20% from the 2015 season. However, it is quite possible that will change for the better next season, when the team plays in its new on-campus stadium.

Home attendance this season for the Bucs is actually up by 36%, but those numbers include the game at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Some statistics of note for East Tennessee State:

ETSU Opp
Points/game 16.1 30.3
Rushing yardage 953 1294
Rushing attempts 278 298
Yards/rush 3.4 4.3
Rushing TDs 9 17
Passing yardage 953 1416
Comp-Att-Int 104-184-2 111-161-2
Average/pass att 5.2 8.8
TDs Passing 5 11
Total offense 1906 2710
Total plays 462 459
Yards/play 4.1 5.9
Fumbles/lost 4/2 9/6
Penalties-pen yards 42-438 46-442
Pen yards/game 62.6 63.1
Net punt average 33 38.9
Time of poss/game 30:28:00 29:32:00
3rd-down conv 44/104 31/82
3rd-down conv % 42.3% 37.8%
Sacks by-yards 11-57 19-132
Red Zone TD% (14-18) 78% (20-28) 71%
  • The Buccaneers lead the nation in fewest turnovers, with just four in seven games — two lost fumbles, and two interceptions
  • ETSU’s offensive 3rd-down conversion rate of 42.3% is 26th nationally
  • Not shown in the table: East Tennessee State is third from last in the country in pass efficiency defense, ahead of only winless Austin Peay and 1-5 Yale
  • Last week, The Citadel faced the #1 team in the nation in net punting (Wofford); conversely, ETSU is 99th in net punting

Okay, now let’s look at some of The Citadel’s relevant statistics:

The Citadel Opp
Points/game 27.9 17.7
Rushing yardage 2476 949
Rushing attempts 465 225
Yards/rush 5.3 4.2
Rushing TDs 20 10
Passing yardage 384 1199
Comp-Att-Int 22-56-2 92-172-7
Average/pass att 6.9 7.0
Passing TDs 3 5
Total offense 2860 2148
Total plays 521 397
Yards/play 5.5 5.4
Fumbles/lost 10/4 10/7
Penalties/pen yards 36-364 29-287
Pen yards/game 52.0 41.0
Net punt average 37.3 39.3
Time of poss/game 34:31:00 25:28:00
3rd-down conv 57/117 27/81
3rd-down conv % 48.7% 33.3%
Sacks by-yards 19-138 0-0
Red Zone TD% (15-28) 54% (8-14) 57%
  • The Citadel continues to lead the nation in rushing yards per game (353.7) and is 12th in rushing yards per play
  • The Bulldogs are 3rd nationally in time of possession and 9th in offensive 3rd-down conversion rate
  • The Citadel is 9th in scoring defense, 16th in total defense, and tied for 22nd in defensive 3rd-down conversion rate
  • The Bulldogs are tied for 9th in turnover margin
  • The Citadel remains the only FCS team not to have had a sack recorded against it this season

East Tennessee runs a spread offense, with roughly a 60/40 run-to-pass ratio. After seven games, the Buccaneers have the exact same number of rushing yards as passing yards (953).

The starting quarterback for the Buccaneers is Austin Herink (6’3″, 206 lbs.), a redshirt sophomore from Cleveland, Tennessee. He has started all 17 games for the team over the past two seasons.

Herink has completed 58.6% of his passes, averaging 5.4 yards per attempt, with three touchdown tosses against two interceptions. He is not much of a running threat, though he does have three rushing TDs.

Jujuan Stinson (5’9″, 183 lbs.) is ETSU’s top running back, with more carries and rushing yards this season than the next two leading Bucs rushers combined. The redshirt sophomore from Knoxville had three 100-yard rushing games in 2015. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

Backup running back Matt Thompson (5’11”, 218 lbs.) is a sophomore who began his college career at…The Citadel. Thompson (not to be confused with the Matt Thompson who played quarterback and wide receiver for the Bulldogs a few seasons ago) is averaging 5.6 yards per rush.

Junior wideout Vincent Lowe (5’9″, 181 lbs.) is a transfer from Old Dominion who leads the Bucs in catches, with 17. Closely behind Lowe in the receptions department is Dalton Ponchillia (5’11”, 186 lbs.), a redshirt senior from Nashville who leads ETSU in reception yardage.

Lowe and Ponchillia also handle punt return duties for the Buccaneers.

East Tennessee State’s projected starting offensive line averages 6’4″, 286 lbs. On his radio show, Brent Thompson described the Bucs’ o-line as “physical, and pretty athletic for big guys”.

Alex Rios (6’5″, 295 lbs.) started the first six games of the season at right tackle, but moved to left tackle for the game against West Virginia Wesleyan. The junior from Tucson is a transfer from Pima Community College.

Left guard Ben Blackmon (6’3″, 289 lbs.) is a redshirt freshman who went to Newberry (SC) High School.

Linebacker Dylan Weigel (6’0″, 220 lbs.) was a preseason second-team All-SoCon selection. A redshirt sophomore from Pickering, Ohio, Weigel is far and away the leading tackler for the Buccaneers this season, with 64 stops.

East Tennessee State’s defense suffered a blow when linebacker Kahlil Mitchell was kicked off the team after the Bucs’ loss against VMI. In five games, Mitchell registered 31 tackles (still tied for fourth on the team) and two sacks.

ETSU starts two defensive ends who are both natives of South Carolina. Chris Bouyer (6’2″, 276 lbs.) is a sophomore from Rock Hill, and a product of Northwestern High School. Redshirt freshman Nasir Player (6’5″, 257 lbs.) is from Columbia. He went to Ridge View High School.

Tavian Lott (5’11”, 182 lbs.) is a senior cornerback who began his college career at Snow College before transferring to ETSU. Lott is originally from D’Lo, Mississippi.

Fellow cornerback Jeremy Lewis (5’11”, 171 lbs.) is a true freshman who has started the last two games for the Bucs after the incumbent starter, Daren Ardis, suffered an injury.

J.J. Jerman (5’10”, 173 lbs.) is a sophomore who does the placekicking for the Buccaneers. Jerman kicked a game-winning field goal in overtime against Kennesaw State.

For the season, he is 5 for 7 on field goal attempts, with a long of 43 yards. He has yet to miss an extra point in his ETSU career.

Kickoff specialist Landon Kunek (6’2″, 182 lbs.) is a redshirt freshman who went to Spartanburg High School. Five of Kunek’s 24 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks.

East Tennessee State’s punter is Marion Watson (6’2″, 160 lbs.). Nine of his 41 punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line.

Domenique Williams (5’10”, 160 lbs.) is ETSU’s primary kick returner. His longest return so far this season is 41 yards.

Odds and ends:

– The weather forecast for Saturday in Spartanburg, per the National Weather Service: sunny, with a high of 80 degrees. Yes, it’s almost November and it will be 80 degrees.

Per one source that deals in such matters, The Citadel is a 33.5-point favorite over Wofford, with an over/under of 45.5.

Other lines involving SoCon teams: Furman is a 5.5-point favorite at VMI; Wofford is a 12.5-point favorite versus Mercer; Chattanooga is a 16.5-point favorite at Western Carolina; and Samford is a 20-point underdog at Mississippi State.

Gardner-Webb (now 3-5 on the season) is a 14.5-point underdog at Liberty. North Carolina (6-2) is off this week.

– Massey Ratings: The Citadel is ranked 6th in FCS (moving up one spot from last week). East Tennessee State is ranked 92nd (a jump of three spots).

Massey projects a final score of The Citadel 37, ETSU 3.

Other FCS rankings in Massey of note: Chattanooga (10th), Samford (11th), Wofford (25th), Mercer (38th), Furman (57th), VMI (61st), Gardner-Webb (66th),Western Carolina (73rd).

The top five in Massey’s rankings, in order: North Dakota State, Eastern Washington, South Dakota State, Jacksonville State, and Youngstown State.

– East Tennessee State’s game notes roster includes 37 players from Tennessee. Other states represented on its roster: Georgia (7), Virginia (6), Florida (5), South Carolina (4), North Carolina (4), Ohio (3), Alabama (3), and one each from Arizona, New York, Texas, and West Virginia.

– The Citadel’s geographic roster breakdown (per the school’s website) is as follows: South Carolina (47 players), Georgia (23), Florida (9), North Carolina (7), Alabama (4), Pennsylvania (4), Texas (4), and one each from Louisiana, Maryland, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and West Virginia.

– Future FBS opponents for East Tennessee State include Tennessee (with the game taking place in 2018), Vanderbilt (2019 and 2021), Appalachian State (2019 and 2024), and Georgia (2020).

– There were no new names on The Citadel’s two-deep this week, the fourth consecutive week that has been the case. There was one slight alteration on the depth chart; the center position for the ETSU game is listed as “Tyler Davis OR Ryan Bednar”.

The Citadel is favored to win on Saturday. It would be a hugely unpleasant surprise for the Bulldogs (and their supporters) if they failed to do so.

However, The Citadel should be wary. East Tennessee State may just be in the second year of Bucs Football 2.0, but there are some talented players on its roster.

ETSU has already pulled off a huge upset already this season, with its stunning victory at Kennesaw State. That’s the same KSU team which is now 5-2 this season, by the way, including a win over Furman in which the Owls scored 52 points.

In other words, the Buccaneers are a capable outfit, and also believe they can win this Saturday — and why not, having already beaten the odds earlier this year.

The Citadel’s players and coaches know a little bit about shocking upsets. After all, the team was a 20-point underdog at South Carolina last season.

The Bulldogs must continue to play as close to mistake-free football as possible on both sides of the ball. I would also like to see the offense pull off a few more explosive plays this week.

That won’t be easy, not with a veteran campaigner like Carl Torbush on the other side. You can bet he’ll have a plan for defending The Citadel’s triple option, and that it will be a good one. ETSU has already muzzled one TO team this season (KSU).

I’m not counting any chickens (or pirates). I’m just hoping for another victory, and another fun afternoon for the home fans at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

Let’s get to 8-0.

College Football TV Listings 2016, Week 9

This is a list of every game played during week 9 of the 2016 college football season involving at least one FBS or FCS school. All games are listed, televised or not. For the televised games (only live broadcasts are listed), I include the announcers and sideline reporters (where applicable). I put all of it on a Google Documents spreadsheet that can be accessed at the following link:

College Football TV Listings 2016, Week 9

Additional notes:

– I include games streamed by ESPN3.com and Fox Sports Go; they are denoted as “ESPN3″ and “FS-Go”, respectively.

– I also list digital network feeds provided by various conferences, but only when they are free of charge. For some of these feeds, the audio will be a simulcast of the home team’s radio broadcast. Other online platforms have their own announcers.

For now, the digital networks I am including in the listings are those for the ACCBig Sky, Big SouthCAAMountain WestNEC, OVCPatriot League, and SoCon.

Occasionally individual schools (almost always at the FCS level) provide video feeds free of charge. When that is the case, I list those as well.

– I also do not include PPV telecasts, regardless of whether or not the matchup in question features FBS or FCS schools.

– The local affiliates for the ACC Network “national” game of the week can be found on a link in the document, and here: Boston College-North Carolina State

– The regional sports networks carrying the ACC Network “regional” games of the week can be found on a link in the document, and here: Duke-Georgia Tech and Army-Wake Forest

– Local affiliates for American Sports Network games are linked in the document, and here: Wagner-Massachusetts, Elon-Albany, Western Kentucky-FAU, Miami (OH)-Eastern Michigan, Abilene Christian-McNeese State, Marshall-Southern Mississippi

– ABC/ESPN2 coverage map for the noon ET games (Louisville-Virginia and Penn State-Purdue): Link

– ESPN College Extra blackout maps: Army-Wake Forest, Boston College-North Carolina State, Duke-Georgia Tech

– BTN “gamefinder”:  Link

– SEC Network “gamefinder”: Link

– AP Poll (FBS):  Link

– FCS Coaches’ Poll:  Link

A lot of the information I used in putting this together came courtesy of Matt Sarzyniak’s incredibly comprehensive and truly indispensable site College Sports on TV, a must-bookmark for any fan of college sports.

Also to be credited, as always, are the indefatigable information collectors (and in some cases sports-TV savants) at the506.com. I am also assisted on occasion by helpful athletic media relations officials at various schools and conferences.

Game Review, 2016: Wofford

The Citadel 24, Wofford 21 (OT).

Links of interest:

Game story, The Post and Courier

Game story, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

– Notes, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

– Photo gallery, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

– Game story, The Greenville News

Video from WCSC-TV, including interviews with Brent Thompson, Dominique Allen, Kailik Williams, Cody Clark, and Joe Crochet

Video from WCIV-TV, along with (via Twitter) some “raw” highlights and its video of Dominique Allen’s postgame interview

Video from WSPA-TV

Game wrapup, Southern Pigskin

– School release

Box score

The Citadel’s post-game notes

Brent Thompson takes the trophy without breaking stride (video via Twitter)

Game highlights (ground level video)

– Kailik Williams scores the tying touchdown on a “Pitch Six” (video via Twitter)

I saw the football on the ground.

Sometimes when you’re in the stands, you can’t see everything that happens in a game, especially when the two teams are near one of the end zones. However, on the final play, I had a perfect angle to see the football suddenly pop out of the mass of players along the line of scrimmage.

For what seemed like forever, the ball rolled around on the grass. Then, at last, a Bulldog covered the pigskin.

The thing is, it didn’t really take that long. Ben Roberts pounced on the football nine-tenths of a second after it first hit the turf. (Yes, I timed it.)

That last play summed up the entire game if you were a fan of the Bulldogs. It was tortuous to watch, lasted for an interminable amount of time…but in the end, The Citadel emerged with a victory.

#DogsOnTop, indeed.

One reason the game took so long was that every other series seemed to end with a two-minute (or longer) “media timeout”. With 7:30 remaining in the first quarter, there had already been three media timeouts.

It can be very frustrating to attend a game with so many stoppages. Perhaps all that extra down time led to Bulldog fans leaving their seats and getting more to eat and drink; the visitors side concession stands reportedly had to close at halftime due to running out of food. I guess Wofford made a little extra money off of all the media timeouts.

Kailik Williams’ game-changing “Pitch Six” is a play that will be remembered by Bulldog fans for quite a while. In the box score, it is listed as an interception return.

Having watched it a number of times now, I am of the opinion that it was not an interception. I think it probably should be considered a fumble return, because the pitch was a lateral. (It was certainly intended to be a lateral.)

Williams made another outstanding ball-hawking play in the first quarter, stealing the ball from Wofford quarterback Brandon Goodson after a long run. However, the SoCon officiating crew ruled that Goodson was down, an obvious mistake by the officials. It turned out to be a significant error, as Wofford would score the game’s first touchdown a few plays later.

As the game progressed, the officials continued to vex the Bulldogs. On The Citadel’s only sustained drive of the first half, a blatant pass interference penalty went uncalled. The Bulldogs would have had a first down inside the Terriers 35-yard line, but no flag was thrown.

The possession was then completely short-circuited when the Bulldogs were called for a personal foul.

Before the drive began, WCSC-TV’s Kevin Bilodeau had tweeted that “One of the refs just went to the Dogs sideline and asked the coaches for help…said it’s getting chippy out there”.

Apparently the men in stripes were only interested in the “chippy” play of one of the two teams, though. While the penalty on the Bulldogs was being enforced, Terriers linebacker Dylan Young wandered over to a couple of Bulldogs and (not for the first time) proceeded to discuss something with them that was likely not related to the weather. This went on for about 45 seconds. The officials completely ignored it.

Brent Thompson wound up having to use a timeout during the sequence; I am not certain, but that may have been because he was not told whether or not the down would count. (It is also possible the coach used the timeout to remonstrate with the officials about their many failings.)

The best offensive play call of the day for The Citadel may have been the end-around pitch to Jorian Jordan on 3rd-and-goal on the Wofford 8-yard line. Jordan wound up scoring on the play…well, let me rephrase that.

Jordan would have scored on the play if the linesman had not erroneously ruled him out of bounds. That call had Bulldog fans remembering the 2014 officiating debacle all over again.

Fortunately, Dominique Allen scored on 4th-and-goal, which with the ensuing extra point gave the Bulldogs a relatively brief lead (14-13). Allen showed good strength by remaining in the end zone long enough for the officials to see he was over the goal line, despite the Terriers’ best efforts to push him back (and you can’t blame them; that tactic has worked for Wofford before).

Allen also showed some toughness on The Citadel’s other offensive TD, waiting until the last moment to pitch the ball to Reggie Williams. Allen took a big hit, one he probably knew was coming, but the play’s timing was perfect and Williams raced into the end zone for the Bulldogs’ first touchdown.

Those plays helped make up for what was otherwise a trying afternoon for The Citadel’s starting quarterback, who struggled with his passing accuracy (the occasionally strong crosswind was undoubtedly a factor). Allen was also largely bottled up on the ground by Wofford’s excellent defense.

Of course, no one from The Citadel had too much luck running the ball on Saturday. Wofford defensive linemen Miles Brown and Mikel Horton were as advertised (very good), and linebacker Datavious Wilson (15 tackles) was outstanding. Several other Terriers had notable games, including both starting safeties (Jaleel Green and Malik Rivera).

Rudder Brown was the recipient of all three of the Bulldogs’ completed passes, including a nifty 36-yard grab and a big third-down catch on The Citadel’s lone long scoring drive. Brown made a great catch in overtime for what would have been a touchdown, but he was ruled to have been out of bounds. The replay was not conclusive, though he may have actually got a foot down in the end zone. In fairness, it would have been a very tough call for the official to make.

Defensively, the Bulldogs played well for most of the contest. Among those who had good games: Tevin Floyd (12 tackles and a fumble recovery), Kailik Williams (who had 11 tackles in addition to his spectacular TD), Myles Pierce (a career-high 12 stops), and Joe Crochet (9 tackles and the forced fumble that ended the contest).

They had to be good to keep up with Lorenzo Long, a shifty back who was not easy to tackle. Wofford’s offensive line was solid, and a major reason why the Terriers averaged 5.0 yards per rush.

Both teams had kicks blocked; a punt for The Citadel, a field goal attempt for Wofford. That is something each will work on this week.

On the Terriers’ second successful field goal, it appeared not all of the Bulldogs were convinced the football had gone between the uprights. No replay (or view from the stands) had an angle that would have been telling, though.

It was great to see the turnout of Bulldog fans. The visitors side was packed with blue-clad supporters and ACU-wearing cadets (who made their presence felt throughout the day).

The announced attendance for Wofford’s Homecoming game was 11,102, the largest crowd at Gibbs Stadium since a 2011 playoff game against Georgia Southern. I think perhaps as many as half of those in attendance on Saturday were rooting for The Citadel.

The Citadel clinched a winning conference record with the victory, something that might have gone unnoticed, but definitely not irrelevant from a historical perspective.

It will be the ninth time in the last thirty seasons The Citadel finishes with a winning record in SoCon play. It will also be only the second time since 1992 that the program has had winning league records in consecutive seasons (the Bulldogs also accomplished this in 2006 and 2007).

The seven straight wins in an individual season ties the 1988 squad for the all-time record in that category.

Those wins in 1988, for the record: Navy, at Western Carolina, Chattanooga, Boston University, East Tennessee State, Marshall, and VMI.

That win over Navy also marks the last time an FBS (I-A) school visited Johnson Hagood Stadium. The victory over Marshall was an all-timer in terms of stadium atmosphere (and a lesson in how difficult it can be to tear down goalposts).

The game versus VMI was played at the Oyster Bowl in Norfolk, Virginia. In that contest, Bulldogs quarterback Gene Brown rushed for a school-record 286 yards on only 13 carries.

The Citadel won its fifth road game of the campaign on Saturday. That ties the all-time record for most road victories in a season. The Bulldogs will have a chance to set a new standard when they play at VMI on November 12.

The only other time the program won five road games in a season was 1992. The Citadel was 5-0 on the road that year, with victories over Arkansas, Army, Appalachian State, Western Carolina, and Furman.

The 1960 squad won four road games and a neutral-site contest. The road triumphs that season came against Davidson, Richmond, Furman, and Arkansas State. The neutral-site win was, of course, The Citadel’s victory over Tennessee Tech in the Tangerine Bowl.

A lot of things didn’t go The Citadel’s way against Wofford. The offense struggled for most of the game, the defense was occasionally bedeviled by big plays, there was a special teams letdown, and the officiating gave the Bulldogs (and their fans) a major headache.

Despite all of that, the team persevered. The players didn’t fold. They played through all the obstacles for the entire game, and then into overtime. At the end, one final play was made, and the Bulldogs won.

7-0.

I’m happy to ride along with this team. At this point, everyone should be on the bus. (Well, you don’t have to ride an actual bus.)

They play hard. They play well. It’s largely a workmanlike group, though there is just a hint of flash to them as well.

There are still four regular-season games to go, including three in conference play. The season is far from over.

Things are looking good, though. The next game is this Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium, against East Tennessee State. It will be a big game. That’s because when you keep winning, every game becomes a big game.

I like it when The Citadel plays big games.

The pictures: not Pulitzer-worthy. Actually, they range from lousy to terrible to “why did I bother uploading this”. I’m going to have to make a change in operations, or simply drop this laughable segment of the review altogether.

(Also, this week there is no annotation of game action photos. For anyone who cares, my apologies.)

2016 Football, Game 7: The Citadel vs. Wofford

The Citadel at Wofford, to be played to be played at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with kickoff at 1:30 pm ET on Saturday, October 22. The game will not be televised.

The game will be streamed on ESPN3.com, with audio from the Wofford radio team (Mark Hauser calling the play-by-play, Thom Henson providing the analysis, and sideline reporting by Van Hipp).

The contest can be heard on radio via the various affiliates of The Citadel Sports Network. WQNT-1450 AM [audio link], originating in Charleston, is the flagship station. 

Mike Legg (the “Voice of the Bulldogs”) will call the action alongside analyst Lee Glaze.

It is also possible to listen to the action with a smartphone, using a TuneIn Radio application.

Links of interest:

– Game notes from The Citadel and Wofford

SoCon weekly release

– The Citadel faces challenges, dishes them out

– No secrets between the teams (well, I bet there are a few)

– This week is a matchup of ground game experts

– Jeff Hartsell writes about Wofford coach Mike Ayers

– About juice, but not the kind from oranges

Brent Thompson’s 10/18 press conference, including comments from Dominique Allen and Jonathan King (video)

Brent Thompson 10/19 radio show (video)

– Wofford press luncheon interviews of Mike Ayers, Brandon Goodson, and Dylan Young (video)

– Highlights of Wofford’s win over Western Carolina (video)

– The Citadel poses a challenge for Wofford (and vice versa)

– First responders can get free tickets to next week’s home game 

– Leadership Day 2016

FCS Coaches’ Poll

There is no question who is this year’s luckiest Wofford football player. That would be Michael Roach, whose gridiron career ended against Tennessee Tech:

Roach, a junior linebacker on the Wofford football team, went into cardiac arrest Thursday night as the Terriers were playing their season-opener against Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn. He stopped breathing for about 45 seconds.

He was revived on the sidelines and taken by ambulance to the Cookeville Regional Medical Center, where he stayed for two days and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which enlarged heart muscle cells cause the walls of the ventricles to thicken and prohibit the proper flow of blood.

HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest among athletes in the United States and only about 5 percent those who go into cardiac arrest are able to survive.

 

“The game of football really did save my life and give me a second chance,” Roach said. “This could’ve happened anywhere. It could’ve happened when I was out by myself doing anything, riding a bike or running or something like that. I am extremely fortunate.” He has been fitted for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a device that will control the beats of his heart and serve as a pacemaker, if necessary.

I can relate to a lot of that, especially the part about being in the right place/right time…

About two and a half years ago, I went into cardiac arrest on the fourth floor of a building. On the third floor of the building? A group of EMTs. They were nice enough to shock me back into the world.

When I went into cardiac arrest for a second time, later that same day, I was already in a hospital cardiac care center.

I occasionally think about how lucky I was not to go into cardiac arrest earlier in the morning, or during the just-concluded weekend, or while I was driving back from Charleston on the Friday before the weekend — but I don’t think about it for long, because that’s not healthy.

Best of luck to Roach. I suspect he’ll be fine in the long run.

Wofford is 4-2, 2-1 in the Southern Conference.

The Terriers opened with a 21-7 non-conference victory at Tennessee Tech. Wofford trailed 7-0 after one quarter of play, but then-QB Brad Butler scored a rushing touchdown in each of the next three quarters. WC outrushed the Golden Eagles 346-41, and converted eight of twelve 3rd-down tries.

Wofford’s next game was also on the road, but against much stiffer opposition. Mississippi defeated the Terriers 38-13.

It wasn’t a bad effort at all for Wofford, all things considered. The Terriers frustrated the Rebellious Bears at times with ball control, winning the time-of-possession battle by almost eleven minutes.

The next game was the home opener, and Wofford blitzed Johnson C. Smith 59-0. The Terriers outrushed their Division II opponents 330-18. For some reason, Wofford threw 17 passes.

One week later, the Terriers pitched another home shutout, taking care of East Tennessee State 31-0. Wofford had 350 yards rushing, while ETSU had -7 (four sacks by the Terriers were part of that total). The Terriers had a 19-minute edge in time of possession, running 75 plays to the Buccaneers’ 42.

It wasn’t a perfect day for Wofford, though, as quarterback Brad Butler injured his knee against ETSU. Brandon Goodson, the #3 QB when fall practice started, became the new starter when the Terriers played Samford.

Goodson and the Terriers fell 28-26 to the Birmingham Bulldogs. The game, as expected, was a clash of offensive styles; Wofford dominated time of possession and ran 21 more plays, but the two teams had similar total offense numbers. Trailing late, Wofford got a TD run from Lorenzo Long, but failed on a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game.

Two weeks ago, Wofford traveled to Cullowhee and defeated Western Carolina, 31-19. The Terriers were only up 5 points early in the fourth quarter, but iced the game with an 8-minute, 80-yard drive that ended in a three-yard TD from Long.

Wofford was off last week, so the Terriers have had two weeks to prepare for The Citadel.

A few Wofford statistics of note:

Wofford Opp
Points Per Game 30.2 15.3
Total yards rushing 1872 302
Yards/rush 5.3 2
Rush TDs 19 2
Total yards passing 426 1225
Comp-Att-Int 36-60-0 128-185-5
Average/pass att 7.1 6.6
TDs Passing 1 10
Total offense 2298 1527
Total Plays 411 333
Average Per Play 5.6 4.6
Fumbles/lost 9/2 4/3
Penalties-pen yards 38-330 31-260
Pen yards/game 55 43.3
Net punt average 44.5 37.7
Time of poss/game 35:37:00 24:23:00
3rd-down conv 42/88 33/77
3rd-down conv % 48% 43%
Sacks by-yards 17-122 3-23
Red Zone TD% (17-23) 74% (10-14) 71%
  • Wofford has allowed 302 rushing yards in six games; that is an average of just over 50 yards per contest, which leads the nation
  • The Terriers are also fourth in scoring defense and second in total defense
  • Wofford is second in all of FCS in time of possession (trailing only — you guessed it — The Citadel)
  • One reason for the Terriers’ healthy TOP is that they are 13th in the country in offensive 3rd-down conversion rate
  • WC is second nationally in net punting
  • The Terriers are tied for 12th in turnover margin
  • Wofford is fourth in rushing offense, 35th in scoring offense

While we’re at it, let’s take a look at some of The Citadel’s statistics:

The Citadel Opp
Points Per Game 28.5 17.2
Total yards rushing 2286 650
Yards/rush 5.5 3.9
Rush TDs 18 8
Total yards passing 334 1155
Comp-Att-Int 19-42-1 88-165-6
Average/pass att 8.0 7.0
TDs Passing 3 5
Total offense 2620 1805
Total Plays 456 330
Average Per Play 5.7 5.5
Fumbles/lost 10/4 7/4
Penalties-pen yds 33-329 27-272
Pen yards/game 54.8 45.3
Net punt average 36.7 38.2
Time of poss/game 35:44:00 24:15:00
3rd-down conv 52/100 23/69
3rd-down conv % 52% 33%
Sacks by-yards 19-138 0-0
Red Zone TD% (14-26) 54% (6-10) 60%
  • The Citadel leads the nation in time of possession and rushing offense
  • In tandem with that TOP stat, The Citadel is sixth nationally in offensive third-down conversion rate
  • The Bulldogs are sixth in scoring defense, thirteenth in rushing defense, and tenth in total defense
  • The Citadel is tied for 25th in defensive third-down conversion rate
  • The Bulldogs are tied for 20th in turnover margin
  • The Citadel has yet to suffer a sack on offense this season and leads FCS in fewest tackles for loss allowed per game

In a way, Wofford’s statistics are skewed by its wide range of opposition, from Johnson C. Smith to Mississippi. On the other hand, the Terriers tend to approach all of their games in a similar manner, so I’m not sure there would be much of a difference in things like (for example) percentage of rushing or passing attempts.

As it is, 81.4% of Wofford’s total offense has come via the rush. The Terriers have run the ball on 85.4% of their total plays.

I mentioned earlier that Wofford has had some injury issues at the quarterback position. Current starter Brandon Goodson (6’0″, 205 lbs.) is a junior from Dacula, Georgia.

It should be noted that Goodson started three games last season for the Terriers, including the game versus The Citadel. This year, Goodson is completing 46.9% of his passes, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt, with no TD tosses or interceptions. He is not a big threat as a runner, averaging 1.7 yards per carry on only 22 rushes.

Of course, one reason Goodson doesn’t do a lot of running is because he can simply give the ball to Lorenzo Long (5’9″, 205 lbs.). The senior from Pensacola was a second-team All-SoCon pick last year who narrowly missed out on a 1,000-yard season.

So far in 2016, Long is averaging almost 113 yards per game (5.9 yards per carry), with nine rushing TDs. He currently leads the SoCon in rushing.

Fellow halfback Will Gay (5’9″, 185 lbs.) is allegedly a fifth-year senior, but I’m almost positive he played for the Terriers in the previous century. Gay is averaging 7.1 yards per carry this season. He is also Wofford’s primary punt returner.

Tight end Chandler Gouger (6’2″, 230 lbs.) leads Wofford in receptions, with eight. The junior from Chattanooga is averaging eleven yards per catch.

Wofford’s projected starters on the offensive line average 6’3″, 296 lbs. Four of the five have started every game this season for the Terriers.

The only exception? Left guard Dequan Miller didn’t start Wofford’s contest against East Tennessee State. Miller had a fairly decent reason; the Columbia resident was late for the game because he was taking the LSAT.

The line is anchored by right tackle Anton Wahrby (6’5″, 300 lbs.). The senior, a native of Sweden, was a foreign exchange student at Lexington (SC) High School. He was a preseason all-conference choice.

The strength of Wofford’s defense is its line. Last year, Miles Brown (6’1″, 310 lbs.) impressed many observers with his play at nosetackle.

This season, though, the Sidwell Friends product is working at defensive end, because Wofford needed to find a spot for true freshman Mikel Horton (6’0″, 315 lbs.). The two are a tough combination.

Another defensive lineman, junior Tyler Vaughn (6’1″, 270 lbs.), has four sacks for the Terriers.

Free safety JoJo Tillery (6’2″, 205 lbs.), a sophomore, leads Wofford in tackles with 34. Datavious Wilson (6’1″, 230 lbs.), a freshman from Hartsville, is second on the squad in stops, with 30.

Wofford rotates a lot of defensive players, which is illustrated by the fact that 30 Terriers have made at least three tackles so far this season.

Junior placekicker David Marvin (6’2″, 210 lbs.) is making a serious bid to be the all-league kicker this season. He is 7 for 10 on field goal tries so far in 2016.

Against Western Carolina, he made a 57-yarder. Marvin converted a 50-yard try versus Mississippi. The Charlotte native also handles kickoffs for the Terriers.

I mentioned earlier that Wofford leads the nation in net punting. While senior Brian Sanders (6’3″, 200 lbs.) is listed on the two-deep as the starter, and has punted seven times this season, Marvin has actually punted more times (12) for the Terriers. Both have excellent punting numbers. Sanders also acts as Wofford’s holder.

Sophomore long snapper Ross Hammond (6’1, 220 lbs.) is the son of South Carolina’s Secretary of State, Mark Hammond (who played college football at Newberry).

Ostin McPherson (5’8″, 168 lbs.), a freshman from Mobile, returns kickoffs for the Terriers.

On his weekly radio show, Brent Thompson fielded a question from the audience, read aloud by Mike Legg:

“Wondering if this is something normal or something new within [the offense]…you’re running the option, you have a fake…run up the line with the potential to pitch, but the quarterback drops back to throw at that point. Has it always been that way, or is that kind of a branch [off the option], or is that why everybody is calling things now the RPO (run/pass option)?”

Thompson’s answer:

Well, anytime that we throw the ball is probably a new wrinkle in our offense, for sure.

That drew plenty of laughter from the crowd, as it should have.

Odds and ends:

– The weather forecast for Saturday in Spartanburg, per the National Weather Service: sunny with a high of 64 degrees.

Per one source that deals in such matters, The Citadel (as of Thursday night) is a 1.5-point favorite over Wofford, with a very low over/under of 40.

Earlier in the week, the game opened as a pick’em. Incidentally, last year’s game closed as a pick’em.

Other lines involving SoCon teams: Chattanooga is a 24-point favorite over VMI; Samford is an 17-point favorite over Western Carolina; and Mercer is a 22-point favorite at Austin Peay. Furman is off this week.

On Thursday night, East Tennessee State (which entered the game as a 17.5-point favorite) defeated West Virginia Wesleyan 38-7.

Gardner-Webb is a 6-point underdog against Kennesaw State this week in Boiling Springs. North Carolina is a 9.5-point favorite at Virginia.

– Massey Ratings: The Citadel is ranked 7th in FCS (a jump of two spots). Wofford is ranked 20th (not surprisingly after a bye, that is unchanged from last week).

Massey projects the Bulldogs to have an 53% chance of winning, with a predicted final score of The Citadel 16, Wofford 14.

Other FCS rankings in Massey of note: Chattanooga (9th), Samford (10th), Mercer (32nd), Furman (54th), Gardner-Webb (55th), VMI (67th), Western Carolina (70th), East Tennessee State (95th).

Chattanooga fell five spots after its loss to The Citadel.

– Wofford’s roster includes 29 players from South Carolina. Other states represented on its roster: Georgia (18), Florida (12), Tennessee (9), Ohio (8), Kentucky (6), North Carolina (6), Alabama (2), Wisconsin (2), and one each from Virginia, Arizona, Maryland, and Oklahoma.

The Terriers also have one player who hails from Washington, DC (freshman offensive lineman Ronnie Brooks). As previously noted, offensive lineman Anton Wahrby is from Sweden — specifically, Karlskrona.

– The Citadel’s geographic roster breakdown (per the school’s website) is as follows: South Carolina (47 players), Georgia (23), Florida (9), North Carolina (7), Alabama (4), Pennsylvania (4), Texas (4), and one each from Louisiana, Maryland, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and West Virginia.

– There were no changes to The Citadel’s two-deep this week, the third consecutive week that has been the case.

– This is the fifth straight season that the game between Wofford and The Citadel will be streamed on ESPN3. It is the tenth time in eleven years the contest will be streamed or televised.

– The SoCon’s weekly release notes that league games can be stomach-turners:

Seven of the league’s 18 conference games this season have been decided by one possession. Since the start of the 2013 season, 45 of 108 (.438) league games have been decided by one possession.

Like everyone associated with the military college, I’m very pleased that The Citadel is busing all the freshmen to the game on Saturday. The school sent cadets to two road games last season (Furman and Chattanooga); hopefully, this will become a regular occurrence.

I think the freshmen will be joined by a significant number of aging (but still vociferous) blue-clad supporters. Games in the Upstate often lead to a solid turnout of Bulldog backers, but The Citadel’s success this year is likely to bring out even more fans.

Okay, let me write a few sentences about the elephant in the room. It wears a striped shirt.

Are The Citadel’s fans still angry about the officiating debacle in this matchup two years ago? Yes, they are. Very much so. They have every right to be.

Bulldog supporters also have every right to be concerned about how the game will be officiated on Saturday. There is a decided lack of confidence on that front.

I just hope it doesn’t come down to another blown call.

Winning on Saturday is going to be a difficult challenge for The Citadel. The Bulldogs are coming off a physically demanding game against Chattanooga, and now must travel to face a team that has had two weeks to prepare for the game.

Possessions will be at a premium, which will emphasize the importance of avoiding turnovers. Field position could also be a major issue, and Wofford’s kicking game has been very good so far this season.

Last week, I wrote that third down conversions could be a key factor in the game versus the Mocs. That turned out to be the case, a rare example of me making a good prediction.

This time, I’m going to focus on something else (though third down conversions should still be important).

As I wrote in my review of the Chattanooga game, The Citadel had no offensive plays from scrimmage of more than 15 yards against the Mocs. Keep in mind, the Bulldogs ran 81 plays in that game.

There cannot be an absence of “explosion” plays on offense this Saturday. The Bulldogs need to break out several long gainers against the Terriers. For one thing, I don’t believe The Citadel is going to convert 10 straight third-down attempts two weeks in a row.

If they can create some big plays on the offensive side of the ball, I think the Bulldogs have a good chance of going 7-0. It’s going to be a tough task, to be sure.

That’s okay, though.

College Football TV Listings 2016, Week 8

This is a list of every game played during week 8 of the 2016 college football season involving at least one FBS or FCS school. All games are listed, televised or not. For the televised games (only live broadcasts are listed), I include the announcers and sideline reporters (where applicable). I put all of it on a Google Documents spreadsheet that can be accessed at the following link:

College Football TV Listings 2016, Week 8

Additional notes:

– I include games streamed by ESPN3.com and Fox Sports Go; they are denoted as “ESPN3″ and “FS-Go”, respectively.

– I also list digital network feeds provided by various conferences, but only when they are free of charge. For some of these feeds, the audio will be a simulcast of the home team’s radio broadcast. Other online platforms have their own announcers.

For now, the digital networks I am including in the listings are those for the ACCBig Sky, Big SouthCAAMountain WestNEC, OVCPatriot League, and SoCon.

Occasionally individual schools (almost always at the FCS level) provide video feeds free of charge. When that is the case, I list those as well.

– I also do not include PPV telecasts, regardless of whether or not the matchup in question features FBS or FCS schools.

– The local affiliates for the ACC Network “national” game of the week can be found on a link in the document, and here: Syracuse-Boston College

– The regional sports networks carrying the ACC Network “regional” game of the week can be found on a link in the document, and here: North Carolina-Virginia

– Local affiliates for American Sports Network games are linked in the document, and here: Kennesaw State-GWU, Lehigh-Holy Cross, Eastern Michigan-Western Michigan, Sam Houston State-Nicholls, Western Carolina-Samford, Old Dominion-Western Kentucky [links when available]

– ABC/ESPN2 coverage map for the noon ET games: Link

– ESPN College Extra blackout maps: [links when available]

– BTN “gamefinder”:  Link

– SEC Network “gamefinder”: Link

– AP Poll (FBS):  Link

– FCS Coaches’ Poll:  Link

A lot of the information I used in putting this together came courtesy of Matt Sarzyniak’s incredibly comprehensive and truly indispensable site College Sports on TV, a must-bookmark for any fan of college sports.

Also to be credited, as always, are the indefatigable information collectors (and in some cases sports-TV savants) at the506.com. I am also assisted on occasion by helpful athletic media relations officials at various schools and conferences.