#23 The Citadel 52, #7 Appalachian State 28
BOONE, N.C. - The Citadel Bulldogs scored on their first five possessions, added a special teams touchdown and held the Appalachian State offense in check for most of the opening half en route to a 52-28 victory over the Mountaineers before a crowd of 24,137 at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The Bulldogs, No. 21 in The Sports Network poll and No. 23 in the FCS Coaches poll going into the game, are 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Southern Conference for the first time since winning their second and most recent SoCon title in 1992.
Appalachian State dropped to 1-2 and 0-1 in the conference. The Mountaineers, ranked eighth by The Sports Network and seventh by the coaches, had won eight in a row over The Citadel and 17 of the last 18 while not losing to the Bulldogs in Boone since a 25-0 setback in 1992.
The Citadel rolled up 618 yards of total offense against the Mountaineers, the most ever in a regulation game, surpassing the 610 gained against VMI in 1992. The total fell 23 shy of the record 641 established in an overtime win over Furman in 2007. Its 52 points are the most in a SoCon regulation game since putting up 58 against VMI in 1994.
The Bulldogs built a 31-0 lead midway through the first half and took a 38-7 lead into the locker room. The Citadel blasted through the Mountaineer defense for scoring drives of 75, 97, 80, 73 and 75 yards the first five times it had the ball.
The Citadel gained 400 yards of total offense over the opening 30 minutes, including 291 on the ground and a surprising 109 through the air. Ben Dupree had 144 of his career-high 180 rushing yards in the first half, and scrambled 57 yards for a touchdown on the Bulldogs' second possession, one yard shy of his career-long run, to give the visitors a 14-0 lead.
Rickey Anderson had given The Citadel its first touchdown when he went in from four yards out just over four minutes into the first quarter. Anderson has scored in four straight games dating back to the South Carolina contest in the 2011 season finale and has found the end zone five times already this season.
He finished with a career-high 102 yards on only nine carries, an average of 11.3 per attempt, and increased his school career record for average yards per carry to a whopping 8.1
Darien Robinson contributed 113 yards and a touchdown to give the Bulldogs three ball carriers with more than 100 yards for the first time since Antonio Smith, Deon Jackson and Stanley Myers did so against VMI in 1998. The Citadel rolled up 463 yards on the ground, its second game this season with better than 400 rushing yards.
The passing attack shined as well, with Dupree and Aaron Miller combining to complete 4 of 6 passes for 155 yards. Three of the completions good for 123 yards went to quarterback-turned-wide receiver Matt Thompson, whose average of 41.0 yards per reception broke Phillip Florence's school record of 39.3 (3 catches for 118 yards) against Wofford in 1989.
Steven Miller led Appalachian State with 167 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and Jamal Jackson completed 23 of 32 passes for 164 yards but most of that output occurred after the game was in The Citadel's control.
Leading by two touchdowns, the Bulldogs forced a second Mountaineer punt and were immediately in position to score again when Miller hit Thompson for a 53-yard gain to the Appalachian State 27. Anderson gained 17 yards, and Miller plunged in from the one on the second play of the second quarter to give The Citadel a 21-0 lead.
The Bulldogs piled up 248 yards on 20 offensive snaps in the first quarter, with Dupree rushing for 88 over the opening 15 minutes.
On The Citadel's next possession, a 24-yard pass from Dupree to Thompson and a 29-yard run by Anderson led to a 24-yard field goal by Thomas Warren and a 24-0 cushion. The special teams got into the act the next time the Mountaineers had the ball, with Domonic Jones blocking a Sam Martin punt and Carson Smith taking it eight yards to the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 31-0 lead with 6:16 left in the second quarter.
The block was the seventh of Jones' career including his sixth of a punt. He added a blocked field goal last week against Georgia Southern.
Miller got the Mountaineers on the board with a two-yard run, but The Citadel answered with 43 seconds left before the half when Dupree scored his second touchdown of the game and fourth of the season with a 46-yard run. Dupree's previous career high was 141 yards against Jacksonville in the 2011 opener.
The Citadel had one more chance to put points on the board when Smith picked off a pass and returned it 11 yards to the Mountaineer 34 with four seconds left in the half. The Bulldogs opted to try for a 51-yard field goal by Warren, but the attempt was short as the Citadel-dominated first half came to an end.
VanDyke Jones added a five-yard touchdown run and Robinson scored from 45 yards out in the third quarter, the latter score making it 52-14. Miller added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter for Appalachian State to produce the final margin.
In addition to its decided advantage in yardage, the Bulldogs converted 11 of 14 third down conversions and held the ball for over 38 minutes.
Carl Robinson led The Citadel defensively with 13 tackles, his second straight game with double figure stops, and Sadath Jean-Pierre had a career-high 10. Robinson also recovered a fumble while freshman Mark Thomas made his second sack in as many weeks.
#9 Wofford 49, Western Carolina 20
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - On Saturday night at Gibbs Stadium, the Wofford football team ran for 590 yards on the way to a 49-20 win over Western Carolina. Three different Terriers had over 100 yards rushing in the contest and Wofford scored seven rushing touchdowns.
The Terriers open the season 3-0 and Western Carolina is 1-2. For Wofford, the offense had 595 total yards and the defense limited the Catamounts to only two offensive touchdowns. The Terriers were led by Eric Breitenstein with 160 rushing yards, Michael Weimer with 141 rushing yards, and Donovan Johnson with 126 rushing yards. The Catamounts were led by Eddie Sullivan who was 28-of-37 passing for 302 yards, while Spearman Robinson had 91 receiving yards.
The Terriers received the opening kickoff and picked up one first down before punting. The Catamounts gained three first downs passing before lining up for a 23-yard field goal. Mike Niam blocked the attempt and James Zotto returned it 37 yards. Wofford then used three rushing first downs to set up a two-yard rushing touchdown by Eric Breitenstein. The Terriers led 7-0 with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
The Wofford defense forced the Catamounts three-and-out on their next drive. The Terriers picked up a first down, but then Brian Kass was sacked and fumbled. Eric Banford recovered the fumble and ran it in ten yards for the touchdown to tie the game with 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
With the ball back, Wofford went 93 yards in eleven plays on a drive that was capped by a one-yard run by Eric Breitenstein. The Terriers led 14-7 at the 13:17 mark of the second quarter. The Catamounts then were three-and-out and punted back to the Terriers. Wofford then added a touchdown when Michael Weimer broke free on a 54-yard run for a 21-7 lead at 8:41 in the second quarter.
Western Carolina gained two big first downs, but then Josh Roseborough ripped the ball away from the running back and returned it to the 49-yard line. Will Irwin then ran 51-yards on a perfectly executed reverse to take a 28-7 lead with 7:11 left in the first half. The Catamounts went three-and-out and punted. Wofford then used a 73-yard run by Michael Weimer along the far sideline to make it a 35-7 advantage with 3:48 on the clock.
The Catamounts drove down the field and lined up for a 43 yard field goal, but a running into the kicker penalty gave them another shot. The try from 38-yards was wide right and Wofford got the ball back with 1:19 left in the half and gained one first down before the clock hit zero.
To open the second half, Western Carolina gained two first downs before turning the ball over after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-three. Wofford then went on an eight play drive that covered 76 yards and was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Eric Breitenstein for a 42-7 lead at 7:57 in the third quarter. The Catamounts used a 62-yard completion to Karnorris Benson from Eddie Sullivan to move inside the red zone. Darius Ramsey then scored a touchdown from three yards out to make it 42-14 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
On third and long, Eric Breitenstein broke free and went 55 yards to set up a four-yard touchdown run by Donovan Johnson. Wofford had a 49-14 lead with 3:17 left in the third quarter. Western Carolina added a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter when Troy Mitchell scored from eight yards out. The point after was blocked, making it a 49-20 game with 14:52 left in the game.
After trading punts, Wofford had the ball and had a first down by penalty before punting. Western Carolina then drove into to the Wofford 30-yard line before Alvin Scioneaux recovered a fumble by Troy Mitchell. The Terriers were then able to run out the final 5:43 on the clock, gaining four first downs.
Wofford had 595 total yards, with 590 on the ground. Western Carolina had 428 total yards, 335 of which were passing. The Terriers had 24 first downs to 21 for the Catamounts. Wofford was 12-of-17 on third downs. Western Carolina was 4-of-13 on third down. Wofford had seven penalties, while Western Carolina was flagged three times. Wofford had the time of possession by a 32:17 to 27:43 margin.
Samford 44, Gardner-Webb 23
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.-Samford junior running back Fabian Truss scored four touchdowns, three rushing and one on a kickoff return, to lead the Bulldog football team to a 44-23 win at Gardner-Webb Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Samford improves to 3-0 on the season, marking the first 3-0 start for the Bulldogs since 1995. Gardner-Webb falls to 0-3 with the loss.
Truss' four touchdowns tie a Samford single-season record, accomplished by seven different players, most recently by Kelsey Pope against Stillman in 2011. Truss tallied 262 all-purpose yards, 84 rushing, 32 receiving and 146 on kickoff returns. Truss scored on runs of three, three and 42 yards, and on a kickoff return of a career-long 97 yards.
Samford's Andy Summerlin completed 23-of-33 passes for 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Pope had six receptions for 45 yards.
Jaquiski Tartt and Darion Sutton led the Samford defense with 11 tackles each. Tae Lewis had an interception for the Samford defense.
Truss' kickoff return for a touchdown was the second of his career, with the other score coming on an 82-yard return against Western Carolina in 2011.
Gardner-Webb quarterback Lucas Beatty completed 30-of-43 passes for 320 yards and an interception. Seth Cranfill caught nine passes for 75 yards, while Carlton Heard had seven catches for 107 yards. Kenny Little rushed 23 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns.
Samford jumped on top first when Truss scored on a three-yard run with 4:19 to go in the first quarter. Cameron Yaw added the extra point to give Samford a 7-0 lead. Gardner-Webb tied the score with just 10 seconds to go in the first quarter when Little scored on an 11-yard run. Trever Austin added the extra point to make the score 7-7.
Samford took the lead again on its first drive of the second quarter. Summerlin hit Riley Hawkins for a 14-yard touchdown, and Yaw added the PAT for a 14-7 Samford lead with 12:31 to go in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs added another touchdown when Truss scored on his second three-yard run of the game. Yaw's extra point pushed Samford's lead to 21-7 with 6:12 to go in the second quarter.
GWU's Austin kicked a 30-yard field goal with 16.8 seconds to go in the second quarter to send the teams to halftime with Samford holding a 21-10 lead.
Gardner-Webb scored the first touchdown of the third quarter when Juanne Blount scored on a six-yard run, and Austin added the PAT to cut the Samford lead to 21-17 with 9:39 left in the third quarter. The drive was set up when Gianni Olivas intercepted a Summerlin pass, giving GWU the ball at the Samford 23-yard line.
Samford's Truss took the ensuing kickoff back for a career-long 97 yard touchdown. Yaw added the PAT to give Samford a 28-17 lead with 9:27 left in the third quarter. Truss struck again, this time on a 42-yard run for his third rushing touchdown of the game. Yaw's PAT made the score 35-17 with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Gardner-Webb's Little scored on a three-yard run with 6:55 to go in the game. Samford's Alvin Hines II, however, intercepted the two-point conversion and returned it 100 yards to give Samford two points and make the score 37-23.
Samford added one final score on a two-yard run by Stanley Robinson to make the final score 44-23. The score was set up when Lewis intercepted a Beatty pass and returned it to the GWU four yard-line.
Elon 48, West Virginia State 14
ELON, N.C. - The Elon University football team carried a four-touchdown lead into the half and never looked back on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15, as the Phoenix downed the visiting West Virginia State Yellow Jackets, 48-14, at Rhodes Stadium.
Senior quarterback Thomas Wilson completed 18-of-25 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns, two of which were snared by senior receiver Aaron Mellette. Wilson surpassed 4,000 career passing yards for his career with his performance. Including the two scores, Mellette finished the game with nine grabs for 129 yards and moved past 3,000 career receiving yards. Mellette now has 16 100-yard receiving games in his career, while Wilson's 200-yard passing game is the 12th of his career.
The maroon and gold finished with 571 yards of total offense, including 301 yards on the ground. Thuc Phan led all players with 110 rushing yards on 15 carries, while Karl Bostick carried the ball 12 times for 77 yards.
Elon (2-1) was nearly perfect in the red zone in the win, converting 6-of-7 chances into scores. Kenton Beal punted just once in the game for the Phoenix.
Elon's 48 points are the most scored by the Phoenix since a 49-35 decision over 20th-ranked Chattanooga on Oct. 30, 2010.
After forcing a punt by the Yellow Jackets, Elon began its first possession of the game at its own 47-yard line and promptly marched 53 yards for a touchdown. The score came when Wilson threw to Rasaun Rorie who stiff-armed Jabril Pearsons and got in from 17 yards out with 12:08 showing on the first quarter clock.
Late in the first quarter, Bostick burst through the line and raced 43 yards for his second touchdown in as many weeks as the maroon and gold extended its lead to 14-0. The drive covered 67 yards in just five play.
The Phoenix onslaught continued in the second quarter. The second play of the period was a 19-yard screen pass from Wilson to Tracey Coppedge that carried the ball to the WVSU 37, but a roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the 22-yard line. Two plays later, Wilson lofted a ball to the back corner of the end zone where Mellette was waiting to complete the 20-yard score to make it 21-0. The grab moved Mellette past 3,000 career receiving yards as he became just the third Elon player, and the eighth ever in the Southern Conference, to ever accomplish that feat.
The next Elon drive was capped off by a 17-yard TD pass from Wilson to Chris Harris and the Phoenix led 28-0 with 8:40 to play in the first half. It was the first career score for Harris and just the second catch of his career.
Mellette caught his second touchdown pass of the game late in the first half and the Phoenix took a 35-0 lead into the break.
West Virginia State (1-2) got on the board with just 41 seconds remaining in the first half when LeFloyd Phillps broke a 70-yard run.
Elon's first possession of the second half resulted in a 31-yard field goal from Adam Shreiner, the 37th career field goal for the senior who now sits alone in second place in school history as the Phoenix built a 38-7 edge.
#11 Clemson 41, Furman 7
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Tajh Boyd passed for 310 yards and two touchdowns to lead FBS consensus 11th-ranked Clemson to a 41-7 win over Furman Saturday in front of 81,500 fans at Memorial Stadium.
Boyd's two scoring strikes covered 30 yards to Brandon Ford and 39 yards to Martavis Bryant in the second half to help the Tigers (3-0) put away the Paladins (0-3).
Andre Ellington ran for 59 yards and two scores, and Sammy Watkins scored on a 58-yard dash for Clemson, which also got a pair of Chandler Catanzaro field goals covering 46 and 22 yards.
Furman was paced by true freshman quarterback Reese Hannon, who completed 19-of-29 yards and for 235 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate start and second appearance as a Paladin. The Greer, S.C., product connected on a 37-yard scoring strike to Jordan Snellings in the second quarter to make it a 17-7 game.
Clemson racked up 498 yards in total offense to Furman's 352 yards. The Paladins controlled the football for over 38 minutes, but Clemson's quick strike offense proved to be the game's biggest difference as the Tigers needed just 2:53 of clock to score their first two touchdowns, which combined to cover 166 yards.
The Paladins' took the opening kickoff and moved 63 yards to the Clemson 5, but Furman's Will King was intercepted in the end zone after the Paladins first lined up in a field goal set before attempting a fourth down pass going for the touchdown.
From that point the Tigers needed just seven plays and 1:44 of clock to cover 80 yards to grab a 7-0 lead on an Andre Ellington 10-yard run.
Sammy Watkins scored Clemson's second touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, taking a ball around right end and out-running the Paladin secondary on a 58-yard dash that capped a five-play, 86-yard possession and help give Clemson a 14-0 lead.
Catanzaro's 46-yard field goal stretched the lead to 17-0 before the Paladins got on the board with their own quick strike. A 39-yard run by Jerodis Williams gave Furman the ball at the Tiger 37, and on the next play Hannon executed a play action strike to Snellings behind Clemson's defense to make it 17-7 following the PAT at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter.
The Tigers led 20-7 at intermission and broke the game open with two third quarter scores, the first of which was set up by a 27-yard Quandon Christian interception return to the Furman 14. An Ellington 1-yard run off right tackle five plays later stretched the advantage to 27-7, and on the next possession Boyd hooked up with Ford, who had slipped behind Furman's secondary, for a 30-yard touchdown play to increase the margin to 34-7.