Countdown to Kickoff

Countdown to Kickoff

Football

Countdown to Kickoff

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By Will Vandervort

Here is an inside look at The Citadel-Clemson series as the sixth-ranked Clemson Tigers host the Citadel Bulldogs at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson on Saturday. The game is set to kickoff at 12:04 p.m.

About The Citadel Bulldogs: The Citadel has won three consecutive games heading into its toughest challenge of the season against sixth-ranked Clemson. The Bulldogs are 0-16 all-time against nationally-ranked FBS teams and have never beaten an ACC opponent. The Bulldogs are coming off a 31-10 win over rival VMI at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston.

The Citadel offense: Quarterback Ben Dupree and running back Darien Robinson entered The Citadel together in 2010 and have been one of the most dangerous rushing tandems in Citadel history. The two Keystone State natives surpassed the 5,000-yard and 50 touchdown marks on Nov. 2 against Samford and have now gained a combined 5,500 career rushing yards and 58 rushing touchdowns. The duo has also connected twice this season through the air on passes of 59 and 65 yards, both of which went for touchdowns.

The Citadel defense: Three-year captain for The Citadel Derek Douglas recorded two impressive sacks last weekend against VMI to move the senior into fifth place in school history with 16. The senior had 7.5 during his freshman season, 14.5 as a sophomore and racked up eight last year despite missing four games due to injury. Fifth-year senior defensive back Brandon McCladdie intercepted his second pass of the season two weeks ago against Elon and eighth of his career, placing him second among active players in the SoCon and moving him into a tie for 11th in school history.

The Citadel Special Teams: Terrance Martin is averaging 25.7 yards on kick returns with a long of 68 yards. Kicker Thomas Warren is 6 of 10 on field goals and has not tried a kick longer than 39 yards. Punter Eric Goins is averaging 40.8 yards per punt and has 12 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Records: Clemson 9-1; The Citadel 5-6

Series record: Clemson leads 30-5-1

Last meeting: Clemson won 45-17 at Clemson, 2008

Last Citadel win: 6-0, 1931 (at Florence, SC)

Stat worth noting: Clemson has won 15 straight games in the series. The Citadel is 0-27 against ACC teams all-time.

Memorable game: The Citadel posted a 6-0 win over the Tigers in 1931, the last time the Bulldogs beat Clemson. But the game itself isn’t why this game is memorable. That game was played in Florence, SC, and after the game Clemson head coach Jess Neely met with some school administrators and told them he needed $10,000 to enhance the program’s infrastructure. That meeting led to the formation of IPTAY, the de­partment’s athletic scholarship organization. Clemson has won the last 15 games in the series since that 1931 Citadel victory. The Citadel has scored in double figures just three times in those 15 games and Clemson has out­scored The Citadel by 390-58.

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