Citadel’s Shy Phillips not shy in his first start

Shy's Pick 6.  Photo byWillis Glasgow

Shy’s Pick 6. Photo byWillis Glasgow

By: Jeff Hartsell
Nov 28 2015

CONWAY — With starting cornerback Mariel Cooper out for Saturday’s FCS playoff game at Coastal Carolina, sophomore Shy Phillips made his first start of the season. The 6-0, 165-pounder from Hartsville wasn’t shy about making an impact. His 32-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was a key play in the Bulldogs’ 41-38 win at Brooks Stadium. Phillips’ touchdown, off his first career interception, gave The Citadel a 38-28 lead with 13:06 left in the game. It came after defensive end Joe Crochet pressured Coastal quarterback Alex Ross into a poor throw to the outside, and was the fifth interception taken back for a TD by The Citadel this season.

“My coaches put me in a great position to make the play,” said Phillips, who also played outfield for The Citadel’s baseball team last season. “I saw the running back coming out, and I just tried to jump the ball. Joe Crochet did a great job putting pressure on the quarterback.” Said Ross, “That’s on me. I should have held on to the ball. Instead, I put it out there while I was being hit.”
Phillips finished with two tackles and also broke up a pass. Cooper, the graduate-student transfer from South Carolina State who started all 11 regular-season games, should return next week, coach Mike Houston said.

“Shy was ready,” Houston said. “He knows I have high expectations for him, and he’s worked his tail off to be ready. He had been playing a lot coming into this game, so we never flinched with him. I told him before the game that he’d play great, and he did.”

Advantage CSU?
Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia has faced both Charleston Southern and The Citadel this season, losing by 33-25 to the Bucs and by 41-38 to the Bulldogs. He says a first-round bye favors CSU in next week’s rematch with The Citadel.

“I think it’s an advantage for Charleston Southern to have had the bye week,” Moglia said. “I’m sure they had a good solid three days off, and that gives you the chance to heal up at the end of a long, hard season. But they are two very good college teams, and I think it will be a great game.
“I think there’s a little advantage for Charleston Southern being at home, and having the bye week gives them a bit of an edge. But I think it will be a great game.”

Extra Points
— Attendance for Saturday’s game was 6,751 at 9,214-seat Brooks Stadium, more than the 5,601 Coastal drew for its home FCS playoff game last year.
— Coastal Carolina will begin the transition to FBS and the Sun Belt Conference, and will not be eligible for the FCS playoffs next season. The Chants had made the playoffs four straight years under Moglia. “There are a lot of teams in the country who’d love to get to the playoffs and finish 9-3,” Moglia said. “It’s kind of sad the way we finished up, but all we can ask is that our guys give it their best, and they did. I don’t think they are too worried about next year right now.”

— Safety Malik Diggs led the Bulldogs with eight tackles. Tevin Floyd and Mark Thomas each had a sack, and Mitchell Jeter and Jonathan King split one. Thomas had two tackles for loss, while Kailik Williams and Shy Phillips had interceptions.

— There were only three punts in the game, one by The Citadel.


%d bloggers like this: