Charleston, S.C. - The Citadel opens Southern Conference play Saturday night with defending league champion and third-ranked Georgia Southern. Kickoff at Sansom Field at Johnson Hagood Stadium is 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs and Eagles enter 1-0 after resounding home victories last Saturday. The Citadel broke away from a halftime tie to defeat Charleston Southern 49-14 while Georgia Southern blanked Jacksonville 58-0. Both teams were dominant on the ground, with The Citadel rushing for 479 yards and Georgia Southern accumulating 557 on the ground.
The Bulldogs will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Eagles, a skid made even more frustrating by the fact that four of the losses have come by seven or fewer points. A year ago The Citadel was in position to win in Statesboro, but a missed 37-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining allowed Georgia Southern to escape with a 14-12 win.
The other close losses over the past five years have been by scores of 21-17 (2007), 44-41 in triple overtime (2008) and 13-6 (2009). The last Citadel win over Georgia Southern was a 24-21 victory at Johnson Hagood Stadium in 2006. Overall, the Eagles hold a 17-4 lead in the all-time series including wins in the opening round of the 1988 and 1990 Division I-AA playoffs.
The Bulldogs will be hoping to knock off a nationally-ranked team for the second straight season. Last year The Citadel rallied from a 27-0 deficit to win at No. 15 Chattanooga 28-27. The Bulldogs have not beaten a team ranked in the top 10 in the country since a 23-20 overtime win over No. 8 East Tennessee State in 1997.
The Citadel will be out to end another streak as well, having lost nine straight SoCon home games since a 28-16 victory over Samford in 2009.