Back The Citadel Adds to Illustrious History

Back To SoCon

The Citadel Adds to Illustrious History

By BJ Bennett
Follow us at  Become a fan at the Facebook Page

For a program with inimitable tradition, its most recent triumph only adds to a storied legacy.

The Citadel has a proud football tradition, one fit with legendary names, postseason appearances and, in recent years, a growing reputation. At one point home to the likes of Bobby Ross, Frank Beamer and Ralph Friedgen on the sidelines and Paul McGuire, Stump Mitchell and Andre Roberts on the field, the Bulldogs, with athletic success intertwined with the school's renowned military identity, have a history that is both distinct and determined.

For a program with inimitable tradition, its most recent triumph only adds to a storied legacy.

Part of the The Citadel's history on the gridiron has long been going toe-to-toe with giants, a brand built a generation prior. In a span of three seasons in the early 1990s, the Bulldogs, quite notably, beat Army twice, Arkansas and South Carolina. In 2015, The Citadel again stunned the Gamecocks, winning 23-22 in Columbia in a throwback performance. After now upending Georgia Tech 27-24 in overtime in Saturday, the Bulldogs, on the big stage, have a trend.

It was a signature showing from The Citadel, with Brent Thompson's Bulldogs rushing for 320 yards, holding the football for nearly 42 minutes and compiling 25 first downs. Leading Georgia Tech 14-3 at halftime, The Citadel never trailed in Atlanta. Jacob Godek, who converted a 47-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, drilled a 37-yard kick in overtime to give the Bulldogs the victory. Through a dramatic finish that included Geoff Collins calling a timeout before the Yellow Jackets scored what seemed to be a go-ahead touchdown at the end of regulation, the end result was The Citadel's first-ever win over an ACC foe.

Quarterback Brandon Rainey threw for a touchdown to Raleigh Webb and ran for another, Clay Harris rushed 26 times for 93 yards and Joseph Randolph had two sacks in a complete, comprehensive team effort from the Bulldogs. On offense, defense and special teams, The Citadel was crisp and proficient. The Citadel's flexbone attack, largely featuring the triple-option, was effective against a Georgia Tech defense that saw the scheme daily in Paul Johnson's tenure with the Yellow Jackets.

The matchup of The Citadel and Georgia Tech was a tip-of-the-cap to the iconic Ross, head coach of the Bulldogs from 1973-1977 and head coach of the Yellow Jackets from 1987-1991. Ross led Georgia Tech to the national championship in 1990, the same year The Citadel first won at South Carolina. Ross would go on to be the head coach of, among others, the San Diego Chargers, making an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX, and Army.

Following a slow start to the season, The Citadel now has another program milestone -- and critical momentum ahead of a defining stretch.

Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will host neighbor Charleston Southern, then open conference play at Samford before hosting rival VMI and Western Carolina. Games against the Buccaneers and Keydets will prove especially-key, given their respective significance. The VMI series, known as the "Military Classic of the South", is a rivalry that dates back to 1920, with The Citadel currently on a record 12-game winning streak. On the heels of history, what awaits is important as well. A high-profile home opener is up next.

As the Bulldogs sprinted off the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium, it may prove to be the start of a run to Southern Conference contention.

The Citadel has, again, made history. The story, for a unique college football brand, continues.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports