Citadel drops 15th straight to Wofford 21-10
Charleston, S.C. - Wofford jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead and held off a second half Citadel rally to earn a 21-10 victory in Saturday's Southern Conference opener for both teams at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 overall while the Terriers evened their mark at 1-1. For the first time since 1999, The Citadel is winless after two games when both opponents came from the FCS ranks.
The Citadel battled back from a 14-point halftime to deficit to score 10 unanswered points in the third quarter on a 25-yard Thomas Warren field goal followed by a 92-yard interception for a touchdown by Brandon McCladdie to cut the Wofford lead to 14-10.
The play was the second longest defensive score in program history and the first interception for a touchdown against an FCS opponent since Cortez Allen did so against Samford in 2009. Jeff Varnadoe returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown against William & Mary in 1970.
Darien Robinson had just eight carries for 32 yards but moved into 10th place on the school's all-time rushing list with 2,056 career yards. Robinson is just 23 yards shy of climbing into ninth past Kenyatta Spruill (1994-97).
Carl Robinson led the team in tackles for the second straight week with 16 and now has accumulated a total of 30 through two contests.
Wofford took control of the clock in the second half with a time of possession advantage of 21 minutes to The Citadel's nine. A fourth quarter drive that took eight minutes off the clock and resulted in a 19-yard touchdown on a pass from Michael Weimer to Will Gay that sealed the Terriers' 15th consecutive win over the Bulldogs.
Wofford B-back Donovan Johnson led a Terrier rushing attack that gained 280 yards on the ground, carrying the ball 32 times for 149 yards and a second quarter touchdown which gave Wofford a 14-0 advantage.
After both defenses stymied the triple option, leading to nine combined punts and a missed field goal to open the game, the Terriers struck first on a six play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Weimer to Will Irwin at the 8:38 mark of the second quarter.
The Citadel's Thomas Warren misfired on a 30-yard field goal attempt with 3:49 left in the second quarter, setting up the Terriers up for an eight play, 80-yard drive which was capped by Johnson's one-yard touchdown with 1:28 left on the clock to give Wofford its two-touchdown lead at halftime.
The Citadel came out in the second half and put together a 50-yard drive, led by Aaron Miller runs of nine and 29 yards, which resulted in a 25-yard Warren field goal, cutting the deficit to 14-3 with 11:50 left in the third quarter.
Wofford stormed back with a 13-play drive down to The Citadel's 13 before McCladdie stepped in front of a third down pass from Weimer in front of the Terrier sideline and took it back for the score, trimming the deficit to 14-10.
The Citadel defense earned a big stop on the next Wofford possession and had the ball on its own 28 with a chance to take the lead, but a Terrier defensive stand forced an Eric Goins punt and gave the ball back to Wofford with 14 minutes remaining in the game.
Wofford methodically marched down the field, taking nearly eight minutes off the clock before the Weimer pass to Gay produced the final margin.
Aaron Miller marched the Bulldogs 90 yards down to the Wofford 14 with four minutes left in the game, but a six-yard run on 4th and 7 turned the ball back over to Wofford, which ran out the clock.
Goins punted the ball seven times, netting 43.9 yards per punt including a 61-yard boot in the second quarter.
The Citadel rushed for just 154 yards, the lowest since gaining only 119 against Samford in the final game of the 2010 season.
The Bulldogs will travel to Cullowhee, N.C., next week to take on Western Carolina in their first road contest of the season. Wofford hosts Georgia Southern in its home opener on Saturday.