Ben Dupree, Carson Smith Honored as SoCon Players of the Week
Charleston, S.C. - Junior quarterback Ben Dupree and sophomore linebacker Carson Smith have been honored by the Southern Conference for their performances in The Citadel's 52-28 win at Appalachian State on Saturday.
Dupree was selected the conference's offensive player of the week while Smith received the same award on the defensive side. Both players were also recognized by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) and Southern Pigskin.
Junior wide receiver Matt Thompson was selected as a conference honoree by the CFPA, and sophomore linebacker Carl Robinson was chosen the national defensive player of the week by College Football Madness. Kevin Higgins gained the coach of the week award for the SoCon from Southern Pigskin for the second straight week.
Dupree rushed for a career-high 180 yards on 20 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 57 and 46 yards to spearhead the Bulldog offensive attack. He also completed 2 of 4 passes for 56 yards to account for 236 yards of total offense on the day.
His first touchdown run was a scramble off a designed pass play that gave The Citadel a 14-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first quarter. The 57-yard gallop was just one yard shy of his career long. He added a 46-yard scoring run with 43 seconds remaining before halftime that boosted the Bulldog lead to 38-7 at intermission.
With Dupree leading the way, the Bulldogs rushed for 463 yards and had three ball carriers eclipse the 100-yard mark for only the second time in school history.
Dupree's previous career high was 141 yards in the 2011 season opener against Jacksonville. He increased his career totals to 298 carries for 1,181 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Smith made seven tackles and intercepted a pass to highlight a Bulldog defensive effort that limited the eighth-ranked Mountaineers to only 153 yards and seven points over the opening 30 minutes. Smith also scooped up a blocked punt by Domonic Jones and returned it eight yards for a touchdown that gave The Citadel a 31-0 lead in the second quarter.
Thompson caught three passes for 123 yards, making receptions covering 53, 24 and 46 yards which led to two touchdowns and a field goal. His average of 41.0 yards per catch broke the school record (minimum three receptions) of 39.3 set by Phillip Florence against Wofford in 1989. Thompson was a quarterback his first two seasons at The Citadel until being moved to wide receiver in the spring.
Robinson reached double figures in tackles for the second straight week, making 13 stops against Appalachian State after recording 14 in a 23-21 win over Georgia Southern. He also recovered a Mountaineer fumble and returned it 12 yards. Robinson leads the Bulldogs this season with 32 tackles.
The Citadel is 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the SoCon, both for the first time since winning its second and most recent conference title in 1992. The Bulldogs venture out of FCS play this weekend with a trip to Raleigh to face N.C. State. The Citadel will be seeking its first win over an FBS school since defeating Arkansas (10-3) and Army (15-14) in 1992.