Five players to watch when South Carolina plays The Citadel
It’s an anniversary year South Carolina would like to forget. Twenty-five years ago, The Citadel knocked off the Gamecocks 38-35 at Williams-Brice Stadium.
There are some similarities between that infamous game in Gamecocks history and Saturday’s matchup against the Bulldogs.
But South Carolina, competitive against Tennessee and Florida the past two weeks, should be ready — the Gamecocks have heard all about the anniversary this week.
Despite the resignation of Steve Spurrier and the uncertainty at quarterback, the Gamecocks have been competitive under interim coach Shawn Elliott, staying close in losses against Texas A&M, Tennessee and Florida.
Once again, the Bulldogs (7-3) are a strong FCS team with a potent, triple-option running attack. In 1990, Citadel was 3-3 prior to playing the Gamecocks, but used the upset victory to trigger a four-game winning streak and a bid into the Division I-AA playoffs. South Carolina running backs coach Everette Sands scored a TD for the Bulldogs.
Like the 1990 team, this year’s Bulldogs feature a three-back, triple-option running attack, enter the game off a loss to Chattanooga (which beat them the week before the 1990 game, too) and are fighting for a berth in the Division I-AA playoffs. Led by QB Dominique Allen, the Bulldogs average 417 yards rushing per game.
Here’s five players to watch in Saturday’s game:
Citadel QB Dominique Allen — The lynchpin of the Bulldogs offense, Allen leads the team in rushing with 692 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s averaged eight passes per game, completing 51.9 percent. With opponents focused on stopping the run, he’s averaged more than 17 yards per completion with four TDs and five interceptions.
South Carolina LB Skai Moore — The Gamecocks’ top defender, who leads the team with 95 tackles, will need to stay in position, fill gaps and make solid tackles to slow down Citadel’s efficient option attack.
Citadel RB Cam Jackson — The Bulldogs’ halfback has 519 yards and four TDs, averaging 7.9 yards per carry. The former quarterback has scored four TDs, one on a run of 68 yards.
Citadel CB Dee Delaney — With a knack for making big plays, Delaney has made five interceptions, returning one for a 44-yard TD.
South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper — Cooper has made 51 catches — more than one-third the team’s total — for 696 yards and six TDs. Also a threat to run and throw as well as return kicks, Cooper serves as the Gamecocks’ big-play weapon.