Chattanooga Defense Stymies Bulldogs to Hand The Citadel its First SoCon Defeat
Charleston, S.C. – Terrell Robinson rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown and added a score through the air while the Chattanooga defense limited The Citadel to under 100 yards in the decisive middle two quarters in a 28-10 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
The loss was the first of the season in Southern Conference play for The Citadel (3-2, 2-1), which entered the game ranked No. 11 in The Sports Network poll and No. 15 in the FCS Coaches poll. The Mocs (2-3, 1-1) posted a win over the highest-ranked team they have defeated on the road since a 30-9 win at No. 10 Appalachian State on Oct. 8, 1983.
Darien Robinson led the Bulldogs with 132 yards on 12 carries for his fourth 100-yard game of the season and seventh of his career. Aaron Miller accounted for the lone Citadel touchdown with a 32-yard run and also completed 6 of 10 passes for 93 yards.
Jacob Huesman and Kendrix Huitt added 80 and 57 yards, respectively, on the ground for the Mocs, with Huitt scoring on a 29-yard run early in the fourth quarter to all but put the Bulldogs away. Huesman and Robinson combined to complete 15 of 20 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns for Chattanooga.
The Citadel piled up 122 yards of total offense in the first quarter but could manage only a 32-yard field goal by Thomas Warren on its opening drive for a 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs were in scoring range again on their third possession, with a 29-yard pass from Miller to Robinson getting the ball to the UTC 27. But the Mocs stopped the Bulldogs at the outset of the second quarter to keep it a three-point game.
From that point on, the Mocs started taking control of the game. Robinson hit Ron Moore on a 51-yard gain, the longest play from scrimmage of the season for Chattanooga and longest allowed by The Citadel, and the two combined again two plays later on a 13-yard touchdown that gave the Mocs a 7-3 lead.
A quick three-and-out sequence gave the ball back to Chattanooga, and the Mocs embarked on an 82-yard drive that included a fourth down conversion at the Citadel 45. Huesman finished the scoring march with a one-yard touchdown pass to Faysal Shafaat just six seconds before halftime for a 14-3 Mocs lead.
After moving the ball well against a strong Chattanooga defense in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were limited to just 18 yards in the second, and the third didn't start out any better. The Citadel was held to three plays on its first possession of the stanza, and the Mocs put together another long march, going 85 yards and taking a 21-3 lead on a three-yard run by Robinson with 2:56 left in the quarter.
The Bulldogs showed some life on their next series, using a 22-yard pass from Miller to Greg Adams to set up the sophomore quarterback's own 32-yard scoring run that made it 21-10 with two seconds left in the third quarter.
But again The Citadel defense struggled to contain the balanced Chattanooga attack. Huesman picked up 36 yards on a quarterback keeper, and Tommy Hudson ran for 13 to the Bulldog 29. On the next play, Huitt busted right up the middle on a 29-yard touchdown run that made it an 18-point game again with 12:59 left in the game.
Rickey Anderson fumbled the ball away and Miller threw an interception on the next two Citadel possessions. The Bulldogs then reached the UTC 6 on the strength of a 55-yard run by Robinson, but Wes Dothard and Kadeem Wise combined to stuff Miller on a fourth-and-one play to seal the win for Chattanooga.
The Citadel defense sacked Huesman and Robinson twice each, with Carson Smith, Derek Douglas, Chris Billingslea and Mitchell Jeter coming up with one apiece. Smith also tied Sadath Jean-Pierre for the team lead with 11 tackles, two more than Carl Robinson.
Douglas made his first sack since returning to the field for a brief appearance last week against NC State and had a total of three tackles for loss. Douglas, who ranked fifth in the SoCon with 14.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage a year ago, missed the first three games of the season after suffering a torn ACL during spring practice.
D.J. Key paced the Mocs with 12 tackles followed by Shane Heatherly and Wise with eight. Wise had the interception for Chattanooga and broke up another pass while Heatherly recovered a Bulldog fumble.
The Citadel will look to snap its two-game skid with a road game at Samford. The Bulldogs are tied for second in the SoCon with Samford and Georgia Southern, one half game behind 2-0 Wofford. Chattanooga is off next week before traveling to Furman on Oct. 13.