Archive for September, 2012

Freshman Mark Thomas foils Citadel’s plan, much to Bulldogs’ relief

September 28, 2012
 Jeff Hartsell  The  Charleston Post Courier

  • Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 12:24 a.m.
Defensive end Mark Thomas (18), a freshman at The Citadel, already has three sacks for the Bulldogs this season, tied for second in the Southern Conference. (Photo provided).
Defensive end Mark Thomas (18), a freshman at The Citadel, already has three sacks for the Bulldogs this season, tied for second in the Southern Conference. (Photo provided).

The plan was to sit Mark Thomas for a year. At 6-2 and 210 pounds, the quiet kid from Brunswick, Ga., was a bit lean for defensive end, his position on The Citadel’s football team.  “You’d love to redshirt him and get him bigger and stronger and have him for a full four years,” said coach Kevin Higgins. 

There was only one problem with the Mark Thomas plan — Mark Thomas.

As the Bulldogs prepared for their Sept. 8 game with Georgia Southern and the Eagles’ famed triple-option offense, Thomas was on the scout team and “wreaking havoc” in practice, according to Higgins.  So much so that defensive coordinator Denny Doornbos told Higgins, “I think we need Mark to win the game on Saturday.”

Thomas played in the Bulldogs’ 23-21 upset of Georgia Southern, with a key sack among his two tackles. He followed that up the next two games with sacks against Appalachian State and North Carolina State.  With three sacks in three games, Thomas ranks second in the Southern Conference despite limited snaps as a backup.

“He’s got great speed and at an early age understands how to use his hands,” Higgins said. “But the main thing is that he’s just relentless. He’s got a great motor.”  That much has been evident since Thomas’ senior year at Glynn Academy, when he had 75 tackles and 15 sacks. Georgia Southern offered him a scholarship, but Thomas chose The Citadel, in part because he wanted to major in electrical engineering.   “I liked the coaches and the whole place,” he said. “It just felt like the right fit for me.”

Thomas impressed Citadel coaches during two-a-day practices in fall camp. Between practices one day, he stopped in the weight room and, like it was no big deal, set the school’s freshman record for the power-clean lift at 340 pounds.  Said Thomas: “I kept looking at the record on the board, and I just said, ‘I’m going to go ahead and beat this right now.’ ”

That combination of speed and strength has Citadel coaches dreaming of what Thomas might be like if he can pack on 20 or 30 pounds by his senior year. For now, he will get increasing snaps as a pass-rush specialist.  “He reminds me of Erik Clanton when Erik was coming in,” Higgins said, comparing Thomas to the Bulldogs’ former All-SoCon defensive end. “We thought Erik might be a 265-pound All-America by his senior year. He never gained that weight, but he turned into a very good player.

“Mark has a good frame. I don’t know how much weight he can gain, but I can see him as a 245-pound guy who’s very effective on the edge.”   Now that sounds like a plan.

Note

The Citadel will honor the newest members of its Athletic Hall of Fame at Saturday’s game: former basketball coach and athletic director Les Robinson; football star Travis Jervey; track and field’s Mike Cason; and former All-SoCon pitchers Jim Scott and Brian Wiley.

Tony Lackey inducted into Army Military Intelligence Hall of Fame

September 27, 2012

In the history of Army Military Intelligence, just 233 soldiers and civilians have been inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. Retired Army Col. Tony Lackey, former assistant commandant for discipline, is among them.

tony-lackey-intelligence-hall-of-fame
Bill Morgan (left), vice president, National Military Intelligence Corps Association and Col. Roger Sangvic (right), Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence the Knowlton Award to Retired Army Col. Tony Lackey (center).

Lackey was inducted Sept. 14 and presented with the Knowlton Award recognizing individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army military intelligence in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipients, their superiors, subordinates, and peers. The Knowlton Award, created in 1995, goes to individuals who demonstrate the highest standards of integrity and moral character, display an outstanding degree of professional competence, and serve with distinction. It is considered a once in a lifetime award.

The Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame was established in 1988. Inductees are selected first by a board of active and retired senior officers, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, and professional civilians. Then the Chief of the Corps makes the final selection.

Lackey’s name is inscribed on the wall of honor in Alvarado Hall, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

Lackey is a 1961 Citadel graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He was commissioned into military intelligence after graduation. Fifteen years later, he also earned a master’s in history from The Citadel.

Following completion of the Basic Infantry and Image Interpreter Officer schools, Lackey’s first assignment in 1962 was platoon leader of an aerial surveillance platoon in the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C. During the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis Lackey served as the senior air reconnaissance liaison officer to U.S. Strategic Command. In 1963, he studied Vietnamese at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., with a follow-on assignment to the 441st Intelligence Corps Detachment, 1st Special Forces in Okinawa.

While in Special Forces, Lackey served two temporary duty tours in Vietnam and one in Taiwan with the Special Action Forces. Upon completion of the Okinawa tour, Lackey, now a captain in the Army, moved to the U.S. Army Intelligence School in January 1967, where he attended the Officers Advanced Course and taught tactical intelligence. His next assignment was in Vietnam as an intelligence officer with the 5th Special Forces Group. He served as the Intelligence Operations Officer, the Assistant S-2, and the S-2.

lackey_1
Col. Tony Lackey at a military dress parade in honor of his retirement in 2005.

In April 1969, Lackey assumed command of the 218th Military Intelligence (MI) Detachment, XVIII Airborne Corps as a major. After attending Command and Staff College, he returned to Vietnam where he was the senior operations advisor, Pleiku Province.

In 1972, he returned to The Citadel as an ROTC instructor and Tactical Officer.

In 1976, Lt. Col. Lackey served as the executive to the director of foreign intelligence, assistant chief of staff for intelligence. The next year, he became an assistant to the director of the Army staff. After two years on the Army staff, Lackey returned to his Army roots in December 1978 to command the 1st MI Battalion (Aerial Reconnaissance Support) at Fort Bragg. He attended the Naval War College, at Newport, R.I., in 1981, and was then slated to be the assistant chief of staff, G-2, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg.

Lackey moved to U.S. Army Europe where he served as the Chief of Plans, Training and Force Management Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence until he assumed command of the 66th MI Brigade in 1984. He commanded a special mission unit from 1986 to 1989. He then became the director of intelligence, J-2 of the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg. During the 1990-1991 Gulf War, he served as the chief of staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force conducting the coalition SCUD hunts.

Lackey retired from the U.S. Army on 1 August 1991 with thirty years of active duty service. He returned to The Citadel in 1994 where he joined the Commandant’s Department. He remained there until he retired in 2005. He served as an adjunct professor from 2005-2008, teaching political science courses on the undergraduate and graduate level.

Lackey’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal; four awards of the Legion of Merit; two Bronze Star Medals; the Purple Heart; three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal; four Air Medals; five Army Commendation Medals; the Cross of Gallantry; the Combat Infantry Badge; the Master Parachutist Badge; the Vietnam Service Medal with nine stars; and the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

Lackey resides in Mount Pleasant, S.C., with his wife, Marian.

N.C. State’s only option against The Citadel: Tackle the player, not the ball

September 21, 2012

LAUREN CARROLL – THE WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL
Citadel quarterback Ben Dupree, center, pitches the ball to Rickey Anderson during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Boone, N.C.   Citadel won 52-28.

 from the Raleigh News Observer
BY JOE GIGLIO – JGIGLIO@NEWSOBSERVER.COM
RALEIGH — A final score, scrolling across the bottom of the television, is all The Citadel needed to get N.C. State’s attention.

N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon saw the score from the Bulldogs’ trip to Appalachian State last Saturday: a 52-28 win over the perennial Football Championship Subdivision power.

“They put a real beating on App State last week,” Glennon said. “We’re definitely taking them very serious.”

The Citadel (3-0) is off to its best start since 1992 with wins over the Mountaineers, Georgia Southern and Charleston Southern. A switch to the triple option has paid off for the Bulldogs and coach Kevin Higgins, whose team hasn’t finished better than 4-8 since 2007.

The Citadel had three 100-yard rushers against Appalachian State, gaining 463 rushing yards as a team and 618 total yards of offense, which impressed N.C. State’s defense.

“If you put up 600 yards, you are running by somebody,” N.C. State safety Brandon Bishop said.

The Citadel is 0-27 against ACC teams since the conference’s formation and has lost 23 consecutive to Division I-A opponents dating back to 1992. Neither stat means much to N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien, not after the way the Bulldogs have started.

“They are playing great right now,” O’Brien said. “They will certainly come here thinking they can whoop us.”

O’Brien referenced N.C. State’s experience against Georgia Tech, which runs a similar offense to the triple option Higgins decided to adopt before the 2010 season.

The Pack beat Georgia Tech 45-28 in 2010 with a memorable defensive effort from linebacker Nate Irving, who had 16 tackles, but lost to the Yellow Jackets last season 45-35 at Carter-Finley Stadium, after giving up 296 rushing yards.

N.C. State used a practice day during August, at the defense’s request, to work on stopping the option. The offensive scheme has evolved since powers like Nebraska and Oklahoma ran it out of the wishbone formation in the 1970s, but the concepts to defend it remain the same.

“Assignment football” is how defensive coordinator Mike Archer described it, which is another way of saying man-on-man defense.

The biggest key is to play the man, and avoid the temptation to follow the ball, Archer said.

“If you’ve got the fullback, you’ve got to tackle the fullback,” Archer said. “If you’ve got the quarterback, you’ve got to take him.”

Archer said The Citadel’s success has come on big plays this season. The Bulldogs have five touchdown runs of 27 yards or more. Quarterback Ben Dupree leads the team with 349 rushing yards. Running backs Darien Robinson, who averages 8.3 yards per carry, and Rickey Anderson (9.2) have also found running room.

Two years ago against Georgia Tech, Irving had one of the best games of his career at middle linebacker, stopping the Jackets’ dive play to the fullback. Archer said middle linebacker Sterling Lucas will have the same responsibility and will need to have a big game to beat The Citadel.

Linebackers Rodman Noel, Brandon Pittman and Rickey Dowdy also need to make tackles on the outside when the quarterback pitches the ball. And the defensive linemen have to “eat up” blocks, Archer said.

“They’ve got to let the linebackers run. That’s the whole key, linebackers have to make plays against the (option),” Archer said.

“If your secondary is making tackles, which happened to us against Georgia Tech last year, you’re not going to win.”

O’Brien said his defense will need to be mentally strong. The Citadel’s offense is built on repetition and the challenge of stopping the same play over and over.

“Hopefully, we’re smart enough on defense to understand, after trying to defend this offense the last two years, that this isn’t easy,” O’Brien said.

 

Wolfpack Wary of Bulldogs

September 19, 2012
“They will certainly come here thinking they can whoop us,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien says of the undefeated Citadel Bulldogs. (AP Photo).
by: Jeff Hartsell – The Charleston Post Courier
9/19/12

Tom O’Brien was concerned enough about The Citadel’s triple-option offense that he ordered up a couple of days’ practice on it back in August.

Now that the North Carolina State coach has seen the Bulldogs’ option in action, he sounds even more worried. “They will certainly come here thinking they can whoop us,” said O’Brien, whose 2-1 Wolfpack host The Citadel (3-0) on Saturday.

The Citadel, ranked No. 10 in FCS by The Sports Network, has run up big numbers in wins over Charleston Southern and top 10 FCS squads Georgia Southern and Appalachian State.

The Bulldogs rank third in the Football Championship Subdivision in rushing offense (370 yards per game), ninth in scoring offense (41.3 ppg) and 10th in total offense (466 yards per game).

Junior quarterback Ben Dupree has rushed for 349 yards and four touchdowns in three games, including 180 yards and two scores in last week’s 52-28 win at Appalachian State.

“The Citadel is playing with a great amount of confidence,” said O’Brien, whose own squad has beaten Connecticut and South Alabama after an opening loss to Tennessee. “Their quarterback is extremely dangerous. He can run around you, by you, through you or past you.

“And when you have to defend that, sooner or later the ball is going to go flying over your head. That’s what they do.”

N.C. State defenders are familiar with what the Bulldogs do, as ACC foe Georgia Tech runs a virtually identical option attack. Citadel quarterbacks coach Craig Candeto played quarterback for Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson at Navy, and coached for him with the Yellow Jackets.

But the Wolfpack have played Georgia Tech only twice since O’Brien came to N.C. State in 2007, winning 45-28 in 2010 and losing 45-35 last year.

In the two meetings, Georgia Tech averaged 36.5 points and 271.5 rushing yards against N.C. State.

“I think our coaches know what’s going to happen,” he said. “We just have to make sure our players know what is going to happen.”

That N.C. State-Georgia Tech film can also help The Citadel.

“As you can imagine, we look hard at those games to get a feel for what they might do against us,” Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins said. “They are big and physical up front, and they have an All-American cornerback who has a chance to be a first-round draft choice.”

That would be junior David Amerson (6-3, 194), who has two interceptions this season and set the ACC record with 13 last year.

N.C. State is 29-3 all-time against FCS squads, including 5-0 under O’Brien. But all three of those defeats were against Southern Conference schools, including losses to Furman in 1984 and ’85.

Cadet headed for Ireland on Rotary Scholarship

September 19, 2012

Cadet Nick SlaterCitadel Cadet Nick Slater has been awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Global Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year to study at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. 

Slater, a senior from Lawrenceville, Ga., is a member of Victor Company.  He will graduate in May 2013 with a dual major in political science and biology.  In Ireland, he will be studying for his master’s degree in global health. 

“We are proud of Cadet Slater for earning this prestigious scholarship,” said Brig. Gen. Sam Hines, provost and dean of the college.  “He embodies the qualities of selfless leadership that we strive to instill in all of our cadets.”

As a cadet, Slater has received a number of awards for academic excellence, earning Gold Stars (for a GPA of 3.7 or higher) for five semesters and being named to the Dean’s List for six.

A Star of the West Summer Scholar, Slater has traveled extensively as a cadet, studying and volunteering in France, Burundi, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Uganda and Switzerland.  As a Citadel Scholar, Slater is the recipient of one of the college’s most prestigious four-year scholarship awards based on academic merit.

The Ambassadorial Scholars program has awarded $532 million to 41,000 men and women across the United States since 1947.  Slater will serve as a goodwill ambassador to Ireland during his academic studies and participate in service opportunities and meetings with host Rotary clubs and other groups.  When he returns he will also share his experiences with Rotary District 7770 as part of a cultural exchange.

Son of ex-Maryland great Len Elmore will play basketball for The Citadel

September 19, 2012

 

 

    • The Charleston Post/Courier
    • Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 2:53 p.m.
      UPDATED: Friday, August 24, 2012 12:43 a.m.

Stephen Elmore
Stephen Elmore

Stephen Elmore, the 6-6 son of former Maryland basketball star Len Elmore, will play one season of college basketball for The Citadel, Bulldogs coach Chuck Driesell said today.   The younger Elmore is enrolled as a graduate student at The Citadel after graduating from Princeton, where he played baseball as a left-handed pitcher.

Driesell, a former Maryland player and assistant coach, said Stephen Elmore is eligible to play this season and can help the Bulldogs, 6-24 a year ago.   “I’ve known Stephen and his family for years,” said Driesell. “When I was at Maryland, he would come over and play with our guys. He was a low to mid-major type player getting a lot of interest in basketball coming out of high school. We were thinking about talking him into walking on in basketball.”   But Elmore decided on a baseball career at Princeton, where he battled shoulder injuries and ended up pitching in only five games over three seasons. After graduating with a degree in history, Elmore decided he wanted to play a year of basketball.   “Every summer, he’d play in the pro-am summer basketball league in New York City, which is very competitive and very good,” Driesell said. “It’s been a dream of his to play college basketball.”

Driesell described him as a “power forward who can shoot the 3-pointer, has good vision and is strong, about 225 pounds, and athletic. He just needs reps and to play in a college environment. He’s a great kid, wants to be a leader and wants to help us achieve our goals.”  Len Elmore graduated in 1974 from Maryland, where he was a three-time all-ACC player and an All-American in 1974. In 2002, he was named one of the ACC’s 50 best players of all time. He played in the NBA for eight seasons and works as an attorney and college basketball analyst for ESPN and ABC.

Driesell said there have been some roster changes since last season, with three players deciding to transfer for various reasons. DeVontae Wright, a guard from Goose Creek High School, is headed to South Carolina-Aiken; Jordan Robertson, a forward from Greensboro, N.C., is going to Davidson County Community College; and forward Bo Holston, from Olney, Md., is going to Anderson University.

The Bulldogs also have added another player in Quinton Marshall, a 6-5 guard from Raleigh, giving them four freshmen on the roster for this season.

With goals suddenly in sight, Citadel Bulldogs vow to remain focused

September 18, 2012

by Jeff Hartsell, The Charleston Post-Courier

9/18/12

Three weeks ago, notions of a conference championship and playoff berth for The Citadel seemed like the kind of happy talk all teams engage in before opening kickoff.

After all, the Bulldogs have accomplished neither since 1992, and entered this season projected to finish eighth in the nine-team Southern Conference.

But after wins over top 10 teams Georgia Southern and Appalachian State — widely considered national championship contenders when the football season started — suddenly no goal seems out of reach for the 3-0 Bulldogs.

The Citadel cracked the top 10 itself on Monday, ranking No. 10 in The Sports Network’s media poll and No. 14 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches’ poll.

And after facing ACC foe North Carolina State (2-1) on Saturday, the Bulldogs — playing to their current form — could be favored in every game left on their schedule, with the exception of an Oct. 27 showdown at No. 6 Wofford. The 3-0 Terriers have won 13 straight over The Citadel.

Predictably, Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins said he didn’t even mention championship rings or playoff berths in his meeting with the players Sunday night, 24 hours after The Citadel’s stunning 52-28 win at App State.

“There’s a fine line in talking about team goals,” Higgins said at his weekly news conference Monday. “It’s still a little bit too early for that right now. This game against N.C. State is in a different category, because it doesn’t really affect a lot of other things. It’s kind of a separate entity to itself.”

Still, a victory over an FBS foe such as N.C. State would definitely boost the Bulldogs’ chances at making the 20-team playoff field, and offer further validation of their status as a SoCon contender. The last Citadel team to make the playoffs and win the SoCon, in 1992, defeated FBS squads Arkansas and Army.

“To beat an FBS team, you have to be on your ‘A’ game,” Citadel quarterback Ben Dupree said. “I don’t think winning this game would validate us, but it would get us some more national attention. We’re hoping to win this game and be a top 5 team.”

Of course, The Citadel has blown its chance of sneaking up on N.C. State by piling up 618 yards and a 45-7 lead against App State.

“The whole world turned upside down,” stunned App State coach Jerry Moore said after the game. “We couldn’t stop them.”

After N.C. State, the Bulldogs have home games left with SoCon foes Chattanooga (1-2), Western Carolina (1-2) and Elon (2-1 with wins over North Carolina Central and West Virginia State). Road games include trips to Samford (3-0), Wofford, VMI (1-2, with a 24-17 win over Chowan) and Furman (0-3).

Higgins said one reason the Bulldogs are 3-0 is their ability to ignore outside distractions, whether they are low preseason expectations or high praise after two upset wins.

“After the Georgia Southern game, our guys did a great job of handling that, and even after the App State game,” Higgins said. “These guys haven’t experienced season-long success here, and they know that’s what they’d like to get.

“And they know that to experience that at the end of the season, they have to make sure they are doing it every week.”

Citadel football cracks Top 10; Bulldogs earn two SoCon awards

September 17, 2012
  • The Post Courier
    by: Jeff Hartsell
  • Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012 2:31 p.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, September 17, 2012 4:41 p.m.
The Citadel football team is ranked No. 10 in FCS this week, the Bulldogs’ highest ranking since they were No. 1 in 1992. Paul Zoeller/Special to The Post and Courier
The Citadel football team is ranked No. 10 in FCS this week, the Bulldogs’ highest ranking since they were No. 1 in 1992. Paul Zoeller/Special to The Post and Courier
A 3-0 start and victories over FCS powers Georgia Southern and Appalachian State have earned The Citadel football team some national buzz heading into Saturday’s game at ACC foe North Carolina State.

The Bulldogs cracked the top 10 in The Sports Network’s weekly poll of Football Championship Subdivision squads, coming in at No. 10 after last week’s 52-28 thrashing of Appalachian State. The FCS coaches poll has The Citadel at No. 14.

The Bulldogs also are racking up weekly awards, with quarterback Ben Dupree and linebacker Carson Smith named as Southern Conference players of the week today.

Dupree, a junior, ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the win over App State, the Bulldogs’ first in Boone, N.C., since 1992.

Smith, a sophomore, had seven tackles and an interception against the Mountaineers. He also scooped up a punt blocked by Domonic Jones and ran it back eight yards for a touchdown.

The Citadel has earned four SoCon awards in the first three weeks of the season, with defensive end Chris Billingslea and kicker Thomas Warren also being recognized.

The Bulldogs face North Carolina State at 6 p.m. Saturday, and are going after their first win over an FBS squad since 1992, when they beat Arkansas and Army.

 

They Still Decide it on the Field….

September 17, 2012

by Craig Haley,FCS  Executive Director,  The Sports Network

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – There’s a section in the In the FCS Huddle weekly preview column called “What We Know, What We Think We Know.”

And it’s not about high school calculus, where we knew nuttin’!

Preseason polls are terrific and they get people talking, but, ultimately, nuttin’, er nothing, is decided on paper. So what we thought we knew in August doesn’t matter.

The Citadel seemed like it could be improved this season as its triple option moved into its third season under coach Kevin Higgins, but the Bulldogs barely got a sniff in The Sports Network Preseason FCS Top 25. They were coming off their seventh losing record in eight seasons and faced a brutally tough first half of the schedule.

Well, one week after The Citadel beat defending Southern Conference champion Georgia Southern, it rolled past Appalachian State, 52-28, and it turns out we do know something: the Bulldogs have plenty of bite to them.

They are 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference for the first time since its 1992 championship season.

In the rout of App State – it was 31-0 at one point – the Bulldogs racked up 618 total yards (463 rushing, 155 passing). Three players rushed for more than 100 yards, with quarterback Ben Dupree racking up 180 yards and two touchdowns, Darien Robinson 113 yards and one TD and Rickey Anderson 102 yards and one TD. Matt Johnson caught three passes for 123 yards.

They converted 11-of-14 third-down conversions while holding the ball for 38 minutes, 11 seconds.

The lesson in this, because we didn’t learn enough of them back in calculus, is that players and teams still decide the season on the playing field.

A week ago, The Citadel earned its first national ranking since 2008 at No. 21. On Monday, expect the Bulldogs to get their share of respect from the national voting panel in the new rankings.

There’s no denying The Citadel, even if what we thought we knew isn’t quite what we actually know.

“You just shocked the world!”

September 16, 2012

Provided/Scott Eisberg/WCIV ABCNews4 The Citadel’s Carson Smith celebrates after scoing on a blocked punt that put the Bulldogs up 31-0 in the second quarter against Appalachian State on Saturday.

By: Jeff Hartsell, The Charleston Post Courier

BOONE, N.C. — After a second upset of a top 10 team in as many weeks, Citadel coach Kevin Higgins had to go big with his post-game victory speech.

“Here’s what you just did,” Higgins told the assembled Bulldogs after an incredible 52-28 trouncing of FCS powerhouse Appalachian State on Saturday. “You just shocked the world!”

By halftime, the App State faithful among the 24,137 on hand had booed the home team twice and began streaming toward the parking lots. A hardy band of about 200 Citadel supporters hung around to high-five an impromptu conga line of Bulldog players when the game was over.

“It did feel a little bit unreal,” said quarterback Ben Dupree, who ran for a career-best 180 yards and two touchdowns, on sprints of 57 and 46 yards. “But I want to say it felt like practice a little bit. We practice hard, and then we came to the game, and it just felt like practice.”

App State’s vaunted defense offered little more resistance than a scout team might. The Bulldogs racked up 618 yards — their most ever in a regulation game — and put three runners over the 100-yard mark for the first time since 1998. Fullback Darien Robinson went for 113 yards with a 45-yard TD, and slotback Rickey Anderson had 102 yards and a TD.

Passing? Sure. Dupree and backup QB Aaron Miller combined to go 4 of 6 for 155 yards, with former QB Matt Thompson catching three balls for 123 yards.

With back-to-back wins over top 10 teams — The Citadel upset No. 3 Georgia Southern, 23-21, last week — the No. 23 Bulldogs are 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Southern Conference for the first time since 1992.

That season, all good Citadel fans know, is the last time the Bulldogs won a SoCon title and made the FCS playoffs. Suddenly, all that seems within reach for a team that won four games last year and was picked to finish eighth in the SoCon this season.

“The sky’s the limit,” Dupree said. “Our first goal is to make the playoffs and win the SoCon, and we’re not there yet. We’ve got to take it one game at a time, but we’ll get there.”

App State (1-2, 0-1) looked sluggish and ill-prepared after last week’s emotional, 35-27 win over FCS power Montana. It was App’s worst loss to an FCS foe since a 54-7 loss to Georgia Southern in 2004.

“It was a long afternoon,” App State coach Jerry Moore said. “Didn’t seem like it was ever going to be over. The Citadel is a good football team, and they played really, really hard.”

The Bulldogs dominated every phase, leading by 45-7 before App State managed three late scores. Sophomore linebacker Carson Smith intercepted a pass, and scooped and scored on Domonic Jones’ second blocked kick of the season (and seventh in two years), a blocked punt in the second quarter.

Dupree was clutch as the Bulldogs converted 11 of 14 third-down chances. His 32-yard pass to Jones — on a route similar to the one Jones scored on vs. GSU — on third-and-10 set up the first score, a 4-yard run by Anderson.

On the next series, App State defenders had Dupree hemmed in on third-and-9. But the 5-9, 185-pound junior wriggled out of trouble, cut to his left and ran 57 yards for a TD and a 14-0 lead.

“I went to cut back and didn’t see any receivers open,” Dupree said. “I just read the blocks, and when I get into the open field, nobody can catch me.”

The Bulldogs built a 31-0 lead before App State’s Steven Miller managed a TD with 3:50 left in the half. But Dupree squashed any hope of a comeback with a 46-yard TD jaunt, making it 38-7 at the half.

“That run was critical,” Higgins said. “We really stressed being fundamentally sound and not letting up, no matter the score. I felt like we did that.”

Now, The Citadel faces N.C. State and is gunning for its first win over an FBS squad since — you guessed it — 1992.

“Some of our best stuff,” Higgins said in the locker room, “is still to come.”