The Citadel Spoils JU’s Hopes for Perfect Season
After jumping out to an early 9-0 lead in the first quarter, Jacksonville University’s hopes for a perfect season were dashed quickly as The Citadel — coming off a dismal 3-8 season — defeated the Dolphins 31-9 before a crowd of 12,099 at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston on Saturday evening.
The Dolphins, entering the game as a slight favorite, were unable to stop The Citadel’s rushing attack that churned out 439 yards — the most in seventeen seasons. Sophomore quarterback Ben Dupree, a 5’9” native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, led the Bulldogs with 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He also passed for 33 yards.
The Citadel’s Darien Robinson, another Pennsylvania product, and junior slot back Dalton Trevino rushed for 82 and 63 yards, respectively. Robinson’s 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and Trevino’s 8-yard dash early in the fourth put the game out of reach.
Capitalizing on a botched punt return, JU struck first when senior J.J. Laster scored on a two-yard run to give the Dolphins a 6-0 lead at the 8:49 mark in the first quarter. The extra point attempt was bobbled on the snap.
The Dolphins stretched their lead to 9-0 on a 23-yard field goal by sophomore Bladen Gudz with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Citadel didn’t get on the board until late in the second quarter when Dupree, displaying lightning speed and agility as he raced past one JU defender after another, took off on a 58-yard scamper to cut the lead to 9-7 with 4:29 remaining in the first half.
The Bulldogs scored again on another Dupree scamper — this one for 28 yards — to take a 14-9 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Citadel completely owned the second half, outscoring the stunned Dolphins 17-0.
Kerwin Bell’s squad, which led the entire FCS in scoring and total yards in 2010 — averaging a blistering 42.2 points-per game while amassing 486.3 yards per game — was limited to 186 total yards against their Southern Conference opponent.
The Dolphins, whose rushing game netted a minus 22 yards, were led by quarterback Josh McGregor, who completed 21 of 33 passes for 208 yards. The 6’2”, 210 senior was sacked five times in the game. J.J. Laster, a 5’6” running back, rushed for 27 yards on ten carries for Jacksonville.
JU, which hosts Charleston Southern at D. B. Milne Field on September 17, travels to Macomb, Illinois, next Saturday to play Western Illinois University — a 20-6 loser on the road at Sam Houston State on Thursday. The Leathernecks, who play at Big 12 powerhouse Missouri a week after hosting the Dolphins, are coming off an 8-5 season.