The Citadel 42, Furman 20
GREENVILLE, S.C. – VanDyke Jones scored three touchdowns, Ben Dupree ran for one and threw for another and Darien Robinson became the first Bulldog in five years to gain 1,000 rushing yards in a season, lifting The Citadel to a 42-20 win over archrival Furman on Saturday at Paladin Stadium.
The Citadel completed the regular season with a record of 7-4 and 5-3 in the Southern Conference, its first winning record in league play since going 4-3 in both 2006 and 2007. The Bulldogs earned just their second seven-win season since going 11-2 and winning the SoCon title in 1992 and finished the regular season with a three-game winning streak for the first time since 1997.
The NCAA playoff field of 20 will be announced Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Bulldogs are seeking their fourth tournament bid, having also qualified in 1988, 1990 and 1992.
Should it be the final game of the season, it ended on a high note for several Bulldog seniors, who helped The Citadel snap a two-game losing streak to Furman and defeated the Paladins for only the fourth time in the past 18 years. The game was the 92nd between the two teams, the oldest rivalry in SoCon history.
Jones, one of those Bulldog seniors, rushed for a season-high 74 yards and his three touchdowns established a career best. He scored twice in the first half as The Citadel took a 21-17 lead into the locker room and put the finishing touches on the win with another score with 2:49 remaining in the game.
Robinson entered the game with 943 yards and had to wait until just over the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter to hit the 1,000 plateau. His 11-yard run put him over the magic number and made him the first Citadel running back to eclipse 1,000 since Tory Cooper did so in 2007.
Robinson gained 64 yards against the Paladins and has 1,007 on the year. He is the 13th different Citadel runner to achieve the feat and next year has an opportunity to join Jack Douglas as the only two players in school history to post two 1,000-yard seasons. Robinson also moved up into 11th place on the school career rushing list with 1,969 yards.
Dupree, who also enjoyed an outstanding 2012 season with 839 rushing yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns, led the Bulldogs with 84 against the Paladins and contributed his third scoring pass of the season when he hooked up with Dom Jones on a 28-yard score with 11:03 remaining in the game to give The Citadel a 35-20 lead.
Jones, a senior, caught all three of Dupree's touchdown passes this season and had five in his career.
The Bulldog defense was led by freshman James Riley, who had 12 tackles and led the team in that category in three of the four games he has played in since joining the lineup after season-ending injuries to linebackers Carl Robinson and Rah Muhammad. Bay Amrhein added nine tackles and Brandon McCladdie had eight.
Chris Billingslea, another Bulldog senior, had 2.5 sacks on the game and has a total of 13 in his career, placing him in a tie for sixth in school history since that statistic began being tracked in 1983. Billingslea led the team with 6.5 sacks on the year.
Jerodis Williams led all rushers with 103 yards for Furman, followed by Hank McCloud with 92.
The Citadel took advantage of two turnovers and a long kickoff return by Keith Gamble to score its three first half touchdowns, including scoring runs by Jones and Dupree on consecutive first quarter plays.
Reggie Thomas picked off a Dupree pass on the opening play of the afternoon, leading to a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams to give Furman a quick 7-0 lead. But Gamble took the ensuing kickoff 74 yards, the second-longest return of his career, to put the ball at the Paladin 25.
Jones took a pitch from Dupree and went the distance for his first touchdown of the game. On the first play of the next Furman series, Nick Willis picked off a Reese Hannon pass for his first career interception and returned it to the Paladin 45.
Again The Citadel scored on the first play following the Furman miscue when Dupree went off right guard and raced untouched to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead with still 9:51 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was Dupree's 18th career rushing score to move him into sole possession of 11th place in school history.
The offensive fireworks continued the next time the Paladins had the ball, with McCloud rushing for 56 of Furman's 66 yards on a drive that ended with his eight-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 14 at the 6:53 mark of the opening quarter.
After The Citadel was forced to punt, Chris Billingslea upped the pressure on Hannon, sacking him twice to stall a Furman drive and force a punt that the Paladins downed on the Bulldog 2. The Citadel was unable to achieve a first down, and a 52-yard Cass Couey punt gave Furman the ball back at its 38.
The Paladins reached The Citadel 35 but a third-down pass from Hannon to Gary Robinson was underthrown and broken up by Akeem Garnett. Ray Early came on to kick a 52-yard field goal that split the uprights with room to spare to put Furman back ahead 17-14 with 5:14 remaining before halftime.
The Bulldogs got a 25-yard run from Robinson on their next possession but were ultimately forced to punt. Again the defense created a scoring opportunity when Amrhein knocked the ball out of Robinson's hands and Austin Boyle recovered at the Furman 24 with 1:43 left on the clock.
Rickey Anderson ran for 10 yards to the 14, and Jones covered the rest of the distance to the end zone for his second score of the day to give the Bulldogs a 21-17 lead. Julian Baxter ended a last chance for first half points for the Paladins when he picked off backup quarterback Dakota Derrick at the Citadel 15 for the third forced turnover of the half for the Bulldog defense.
Early kicked a 37-yard field goal on Furman's first possession of the second half to make it 21-20, but the Paladins were unable to dent the scoreboard the rest of the way. An 18-yard run by Cass Couey on a fake punt led to a 17-yard touchdown run by Dalton Trevino, his first of the season, to make it 28-20 with 2:14 left in the third quarter.
In addition to his fake, Couey punted three times for 133 yards and the senior's career average of 40.9 is the second highest in Citadel history.
Dupree connected with Terrance Martin on a 23-yard gain to convert a third-and-18 before eluding the Paladin pass rush and finding a wide open Dom Jones for the score that made it 35-20. The Bulldogs then took six minutes off the clock on the drive that produced the Robinson milestone run and VanDyke Jones' third touchdown.
Chattanooga 24, Elon 17
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Davis Tull and Jacob Huesman set school records as the Chattanooga Mocs claimed a 24-17 win over visiting Elon (3-8, 1-7 Southern Conference) Saturday. The win gave Chattanooga (6-5, 5-3) its third winning season in the last four for the first time since 1984-87.
Tull recorded 2.5 sacks to set the single-season school record for sacks (12.5) and tackles for loss (19.0). He will run away with both of those stat titles in the Southern Conference.
Huesman was impressive. He threw for 234 yards and two scores, completing 13 of 25 attempts. He also ran for 109 yards on 21 carries with a score there, as well. He ended up with the freshman record for passing yards (1,712) while tying the freshman marks for rushing (7 - James Roberts, 1989) and passing (13 - Kenyon Earl, 1991) touchdowns.
Elon's star wide receiver Aaron Mellette did not disappoint the visiting fans. The senior caught nine passes for 188 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Wilson threw for 295 yards, completing 23 of 32 offerings despite getting sacked three times and enduring tremendous pressure from the Mocs' front four.
UTC wide receiver/quarterback Terrell Robinson was not to be out-done. He had four catches for a career-high 124 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on passes of 13 and 67 yards from Huesman.
Elon got the scoring started with a 29-yard field goal from Adam Shreiner, the 50th of his career. The Mocs scored on their first two possessions of the game on a Nick Pollard 30-yard field goal and Huesman two-yard run. The Phoenix made 10-10 at the half with a late second-quarter Wilson 35-yard strike to Kierre Brown.
The Mocs took control in the third quarter. Huesman and Robinson's first score from 13 yards came one play after Chris Mayes corralled a Wilson fumble. UTC started its next possession on the 2. Three plays and 31 yards later, Huesman found Robinson over the middle. He ran untouched for a 67-yard score and 24-10 lead.
The Phoenix did not fold. With just over five minutes remaining, Wilson went deep again, this time 57 yards to Mellette. But Huesman and the Mocs offense were not going to give the Phoenix another chance.
Taking over on the 25 on their ensuing possession with 5:03 on the clock, the Mocs methodically took care of business. Huesman ran eight times for 46 yards to run it down to zero on another Chattanooga win.
It was an impressive punting day for Pollard. Five of his six kicks were downed inside the 15 with two inside the 10. Including all six punts, the average starting position for the Phoenix after Pollard punts was the 15-yard line.
Defensively, Wes Dothard led the way with nine stops. Kadeem Wise added seven tackles and a pass breakup on fourth down with Elon in the red zone in the fourth quarter.
Jonathan Spain led all tacklers with 10 for Elon. Chandler Wrightenberry added eight tackles, while Blake Thompson chipped in six with a sack and pass breakup.
Saturday's game ended the season for the Mocs. During Russ Huesman's four seasons, UTC has won 23 games. It won just 22 over the previous eight before he arrived. Huesman has 17 SoCon wins, which is one fewer than the Mocs accumulated over the prior nine campaigns (18).
No. 4 Alabama 49, Western Carolina 0
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Fourth-ranked Alabama scored rushing touchdowns on four of its first five possessions, adding a 29-yard passing TD to cap a 99-yard drive, en route to a 49-0 nonconference victory over Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama (10-1) scored on six of its first seven possessions, including all five in the first half, adding a 57-yard fumble return for a touchdown to carry a 42-0 advantage into halftime. The Crimson Tide got three rushing touchdowns from Eddie Lacy, who just missed eclipsing the century mark with 99 yards on 10 carries.
Backup quarterback Blake Sims capped the game’s scoring in the third quarter with a 5-yard run to provide the final tally.
Western Carolina (1-10) managed 163 yards of total offense, which included 123 yards in the second half against the Crimson Tide defense. Starting quarterback Troy Mitchell threw for 30 yards on 4-of-8 passing and was sacked once but also had a costly turnover on a throwback pass to his QB counterpart, Eddie Sullivan, which the Tide turned into a 57-yard fumble recovery touchdown.
Sullivan finished 4-of-12 passing for 63 yards, adding a team-high 28 yards rushing.
Senior tailback Michael Johnson caught a team-high five passes out of the backfield while junior Jamil James led the team with WCU’s long gain of the day on his first career reception – a 30-yard reception in the third quarter.
Defensively for the Catamounts, true freshman Sertonuse Harris finished with eight tackles, while redshirt sophomore Ace Clark tallied five. Junior linebacker Courtland Carson and senior defensive lineman Eric Banford both tallied tackles for loss on the afternoon.
Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron only played in the first half, completing all six of his pass attempts for 133 yards and the 29-yard touchdown toss to Christion Jones. McCarron’s scoring strike set an Alabama record for passing touchdowns in a single season. Sims completed two of his six attempts for 27 yards.
Trailing 35-0 just before the half, Western Carolina was unable to capitalize on Alabama’s lone turnover of the day. WCU had a drive continue after Jones muffed a punt at the Alabama 28-yard line. However, two plays after the turn of fortune, Mitchell’s lateral back to Sullivan hit the turf and was scooped for a 57-yard scoring drive.
The Catamounts managed to drive deep into Crimson Tide territory on its second possession of the second half but failed to convert a fourth-and-one at the Alabama 14-yard line.
The loss concluded the season for the Catamounts. WCU dropped 10 straight games after winning its 2012 season-opener.
No. 12 South Carolina 24, Wofford 7
COLUMBIA, S.C. – With the game tied at 7 heading into the fourth quarter, South Carolina scored 17 unanswered points to defeat the Wofford football team 24-7 at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Despite outgaining the Gamecocks in total offense, the Terriers lost three fumbles on the day, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
The Terriers are 8-3 on the season and 6-2 in the SoCon. South Carolina is 9-2 overall, 6-2 in the SEC, and ranked 12th in the nation.
For Wofford, Eric Breitenstein ran for 125 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown. Alvin Scioneaux led the defense with 12 tackles, a sack and interception. The Gamecocks were led by Kenny Miles with 127 rushing yards, while Connor Shaw was 16-for-20 passing for 122 yards along with 18 rushing yards.
The Terriers had the ball first and went three-and-out and punted. South Carolina gained two first downs before Scioneaux intercepted Connor Shaw at the 12-yard line. Wofford was unable to gain a first down and punted back to the Gamecocks. South Carolina picked up three first downs, including converting a fourth-and-one, on the way to scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by Kenny Miles. The Gamecocks had a 7-0 lead at 14:56 in the second quarter.
Wofford was three-and-out and punted on its next drive. South Carolina drove down the field, but Mike Davis fumbled at the 6-yard line. The fumble was forced by Stephon Shelton and recovered by Blake Wylie, who returned it to the 17-yard line. Wofford converted a fourth-and-one with a run by Breitenstein, and Will Gay ran for a first down, but a Terrier fumble on the pitch was recovered by D.J. Swearinger.
The Gamecocks went three-and-out and punted with 4:12 left in the first half. Donovan Johnson gained a first down, but fumbled and the ball was recovered by Jake Miles to retain possession. The Terriers then moved down the field with five more first downs. Breitenstein capped the 12-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 32 seconds left in the first half. South Carolina ran one play before the half ended.
To open the second half, the Gamecocks gained two first downs before punting to the Terriers. Wofford converted a fourth-and-one and drove across midfield with five first downs. The drive ended for the Terriers when Swearinger forced Octavious Harden to fumble and it was recovered by Brison Williams at the 27-yard line with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
South Carolina was able to convert the turnover into points with a 23-yard field goal by Adam Yates to take a 10-7 lead with 11:57 on the clock. Wofford turned the ball over on downs after failing on fourth-and-one and the Gamecocks took over at the 34-yard line. South Carolina took advantage of the short field and scored on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Shaw to Ace Sanders to take a 17-7 lead with 8:10 left in the game. Wofford had the ball back, but a fumble was returned 31 yards by Akeem Auguste for a touchdown and a 24-7 advantage with 7:33 on the clock.
With the ball back, Wofford hit a big play as James Lawson found Jeff Ashley for a 71-yard completion. The Terriers had the ball inside the 5-yard line but could not convert and turned it over on downs. After the defense forced South Carolina to go three-and-out, the Terriers got the ball back with 3:05 left in the game. Wofford was able to move the ball inside the 20 after two first-down runs by Donovan Johnson, but the Terriers were unable to put points on the scoreboard and turned it over on downs with 25 seconds left. The Gamecocks ran one play to end the game with a 24-7 victory.
Wofford had 330 total yards, with 259 on the ground. South Carolina had 293 total yards, 171 of which were rushing. South Carolina had 18 first downs to 16 for Wofford. Wofford was 3-of-11 on third downs and 2-of-5 on fourth down. South Carolina was 7-of-13 on third down. Each team had three penalties. Wofford had a 30:49 to 29:11 time of possession advantage.
The Terriers will learn of their postseason fate on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. during the NCAA FCS Selection Show. The program will air on ESPNU and the team will gather in Leonard Auditorium (Old Main) to watch the selections.
No. 5 Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 14
ATHENS, Ga. – Aaron Murray passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 5 Georgia to a 45-14 football victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium.
Jerick McKinnon had 19 carries for 109 yards and two scores to lead Georgia Southern (8-3), and Dominique Swope logged 17 carries for 92 yards. Darreion Robinson finished with 12 carries for 54 yards.
Murray completed 18 of 28 passes on the day for the Bulldogs (10-1), and Chris Conley caught four passes for 76 yards and a pair of scores. Tavarres King caught three balls for 61 yards and a score, and Todd Gurley rushed 15 times for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia Southern drove the ball inside the Georgia 40-yard line on all four of its first-half possessions but came away with just seven points.
The turning point of the game came late in the second quarter. Trailing 10-7, Georgia Southern moved the ball down to the Georgia 7-yard line, where the Eagles faced fourth-and-one. Swope picked up the first down with a run up the middle, but the Eagles were flagged for a chop block and had to settle for an Alex Hanks 39-yard field goal try.
The kick sailed wide right with 1:03 on the clock, and Georgia capitalized, going 78 yards in 59 seconds for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead at the break. Murray hit Jay Rome with a 21-yard pass and then found Malcolm Mitchell for a 24-yard touchdown strike in the left corner of the end zone just before the break.
That score sparked a stretch of 28 unanswered points for the Bulldogs as they opened a 38-7 cushion. Murray threw to Conley for a 13-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter and found King for a 43-yard touchdown pass just over three minutes later. A 33-yard touchdown connection on a wide receiver screen from Murray to Conley capped the run with 2:39 left in the third.
McKinnon scored on a 23-yard touchdown with 6:41 left in the contest to make the margin 38-14. On fourth-and-three, McKinnon followed a block left and then cut right, scampering around the end and into the end zone. The senior signal caller carried five times for 60 yards in the 81-yard scoring drive.
Both teams moved the ball up and down the field in the first half, and neither team punted. On its opening possession, GSU drove 38 yards down to the Bulldog 34 but Swope was stopped short on fourth-and-one.
Robinson set the Eagles up with great field position for their second possession of the contest. Georgia drove into GSU territory but could not convert on third-and-15 and had to settle for a Marshall Morgan 51-yard field goal attempt. The try was short and Robinson caught the ball, tip-toed the back line of the end zone and returned it 59 yards to the Georgia 41. It was the longest return of the senior's career.
The Eagles converted one first down, but on the next play, McKinnon dropped back to pass, pump-faked and the ball came out of his hands for a fumble, which Bulldog Garrison Smith recovered.
With the Eagles trailing 7-0, McKinnon evened the score with a 1-yard touchdown run 3:07 into the second quarter following a Bulldog turnover. A Rhett McGowan fumble recovered by Dion Dubose set the Eagles up at their own 45, and GSU went 55 yards in 10 plays.
The Eagles converted two third downs along the way as McKinnon gained 4 yards on third-and-one, and Johnathan Bryant ran for 7 yards on third-and-two. Swope followed that with a 12-yard gain to the 1-yard line to set the table for McKinnon.
Georgia drove down to the GSU 12-yard line on its next possession, but on third-and-eight, Patrick Flowe sacked Murray for a 7-yard loss. The Bulldogs settled for a 37-yard field goal by Murray and a 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Bulldogs scored on their first possession of the game as Gurley plunged in from a yard out. The drive was keyed by a 49-yard pass from Murray to Arthur Lynch on the third play of the game and a 4-yard run by Alexander Ogletree on fourth-and-one from the Eagle 5-yard line.
The Eagles fell to 0-20 against FBS (formerly I-A) teams and 0-11 against ranked FBS teams. Swope saw his streak of nine straight games with a rushing touchdown come to an end.
The Eagles earned the Southern Conference's automatic FCS playoff bid as The Citadel defeated Furman on Saturday. The playoff pairings will be announced in a selection show Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and will air live on ESPNU.
Kentucky 34, Samford 3
LEXINGTON, Ky.-The Samford football team ended the 2012 season with a 34-3 setback at Kentucky Saturday evening at C.M. Newton Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
With the loss, Samford drops to 7-4, while Kentucky improves to 2-9. This season marks the first time Samford has won seven games in a season since 2003.
"I'm disappointed for our seniors, we were really hoping to take it out on a good note," Samford head coach Pat Sullivan said. "We didn't play well tonight. We jumped off sides, we missed tackles. We missed a lot of different things we haven't been missing this season. You have to give Kentucky credit for a lot of those things."
For Samford in the game, quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 18-of-24 passes for 104 yards. Kelsey Pope caught five passes for 22 yards, while Riley Hawkins had three catches for 26 yards. Fabian Truss rushed 12 times for 37 yards.
Defensively for Samford, Darion Sutton had 11 tackles and two tackles for a loss. Alvin Hines II finished with 10 tackles, including one tackle for a loss. Durell Hill had an interception to go along with his nine tackles.
Kentucky was led in the game by Raymond Sanders with 15 rushes for 123 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Whitlow completed 10-of-13 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. Avery Williamson led the Wildcat defense with 13 tackles and two sacks.
Kentucky scored the game's first points on the opening drive of the contest. Whitlow hit Gene McCaskill for an 11-yard touchdown with 8:26 to go in the first quarter. Craig McIntosh added the extra point to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
The Wildcats struck again on their next drive when Whitlow scored on a 20-yard run. McIntosh added the extra point to make the score 14-0 with 1:19 to go in the first quarter.
Samford put its only points on the scoreboard when Cameron Yaw kicked a 41-yard field goal with 13:33 left in the second quarter. Yaw's kick cut the Kentucky lead to 14-3. Kentucky's McIntosh kicked a 35-yard field goal with 7:10 left in the second quarter to push the Wildcats' lead to 17-3.
Kentucky added one more offensive score before halftime. Sanders scored on a 14-yard run with 1:07 left in the first half. McIntosh's extra point gave the Wildcats a 24-3 lead. On Samford's ensuing possession, Kentucky's Tristian Johnson returned a Samford fumble 25 yards for a touchdown. McIntosh added the extra point to make the score 31-3 with 30 seconds left in the second quarter.
Kentucky's McIntosh added another field goal in the third quarter, this one from 43-yards out. The kick made the score 34-3 with 7:35 left in the third quarter.
As a team, Kentucky amassed 455 yards of total offense to 102 for Samford. Kentucky had 22 first downs to nine for Samford.