Back Hot Read: The Citadel Suffers Tough Loss in Tampa

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Hot Read: The Citadel Suffers Tough Loss in Tampa

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Manning Snyder's seven thoughts from The Citadel's 27-6 loss against USF.

1. Coach Jeff Scott notched his first career win as a head coach as South Florida defeated The Citadel 27 to 6. The Citadel struggled offensively, rushing for only 200 yards and only 84 yards through the air. On the other hand, South Florida should be credited for improving their rushing defense from 2019 that ranked 114th in the country. The Bulls offense had 404 total yards--302 rushing and 102 passing--and it seemed Coach Scott recognized--and exposed-- a weakness in The Citadel’s rushing defense.  

2. With the Bulldogs down 7-6 in the second quarter, Citadel punter Matt Campbell botched a snap well within his endzone. To his credit, he got the punt off...but punted it five yards into the air and into the arms of South Florida’s Omarion Dollison standing in the endzone. These free-points from the Bulldogs seemed to be the turning point of the game as the momentum swung in the Bulls favor. The Citadel did not score the rest of the contest after the error. 

3. While The Citadel offense still has many questions as to where the production might come this season with four running backs already opted out, the defense was superb on Saturday night. Despite giving up 27 points (6 due to the muffed punt), the defense remained stout throughout the game, ending with 11 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks.

4. Staying on the defensive side of things, Willie Eubanks III had a tremendous game, seemingly involved in every play and flying all over the field. The 2019 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year ended with 12 tackles and a sack. If Eubanks is the Michael Jordan of the Bulldogs defense, then Marquise Blount is Scottie Pippen. The junior linebacker had 7 tackles and a sack. Look for the two defensive leaders to have their hands full over the next three games.

5. The Bulldogs certainly had their chances in this game and their biggest Achilles heel in the game was their penalties--uncharacteristic of the usually disciplined squads coached by Brent Thompson. The Bulldogs had 7 penalties for 63 yards, yet they all seemed to come at inopportune (if any penalty is ever convenient) times and before big plays. For example, the muffed punt and eventual touchdown for the Bulls occurred after a false-start penalty that pushed the Bulldogs back five yards. 

6. The Bulls did a nice job covering The Citadel wide receiver Raleigh Webb. The senior was a big-play machine last season, coming through in clutch moments for the Bulldogs. Tonight, he finished with 0 catches although he was targeted frequently. Webb did have a long 50-yard run on a third down play, but nothing through the air. Expect Webb to have bigger games in the final three contests for the Bulldogs, as one of the leaders of the offense is still a dangerous threat to opponents.

7. The Citadel’s freshman kicker Colby Kitner had a successful game as he started his young career. The knob accounted for all 6 of the Citadel’s points (good from 45 and 41 yards), but did miss one kick (35 yards) right before half-time.