The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
Location: Charleston, SC
Students: 3,300 (2,100 undergrad)
2011 Record: 4-6 Overall, 2-4 SoCon
Record vs. USC: USC leads the series 36-7-3
Head Coach: Kevin Higgins (7h season as head coach, 27-40 record)
Famous Alumni: "Curley" Watson (1931) is the oldest living graduate and oldest practicing doctor in US at age 101, Tripp Weathersbee (Fishing Boat Captain), Pat Conroy (Author), and Frances "Lu" Parker (1992) Miss USA, 1994.
Let's break down this in-state rivalry:
The last time the Bulldogs came to Columbia, they left with a 38-35 victory back in 1990. A lot of things have changed since then including the Bulldogs offense. The Citadel runs the triple-option, which can give many teams problems. Lucky for USC, they have already had some practice against the option this season. South Carolina beat Navy back in September 24-21.
Triple-option again: El Cid will run the ball, then run the ball some more. The Citadel averages 291 rushing yards per game but only 34 passing yards per game. The Bulldogs are led by quarterback Ben Dupree, who has rushed for 687 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season. The Bulldogs leading rusher is RB Darien Robinson, who has rushed for 788 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Bulldogs on defense: The Bulldogs defense for the season, gives up 21 points per game, 159 rushing yards and 179 passing yards per game. The Citadel is lead by linebacker Rod Harland, who leads the team in sacks and tackles. On the season, Harland has 94 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. In the secondary, El Cid is lead by safety Joseph Boateng, who has 62 tackles and 1 interception on the season. The Gamecocks should be able to move the ball against The Citadel this weekend with not a lot of issues. Expect to see a lot of Connor Shaw and Brandon Wilds in the zone-read option scheme.
Prediction Time: Some fans are looking past The Citadel, but if the Gamecocks aren't careful The Citadel could pull out a shocker on Saturday. I don't think that will happen but when playing a team that runs the triple-option, anything could happen. Hopefully the Gamecocks can score early and often, and give some of the starters a break to prepare for Clemson next week.
Just like the last two weeks, USC's offense will start slow but the defense will keep The Citadel from scoring. USC's defense is good, and I don't think the triple-option will have that big of effect on how they play. Shaw will finally get a chance to throw the ball without having to worry about pressure. Look for the offensive line to play better against the smaller defensive line. Alshon will once again get into the end zone, but he will not have the big game we all want to see out of him. Wilds will rush for more then 100 yards, and Miles will get a chance to carrier the ball most of the 2nd half.
The Citadel 9 USC 36
Happy Thanksgiving to All