Three points from The Citadel’s 28-24 loss at Chattanooga on Saturday:
1. Citadel coach Kevin Higgins stuck with Ben Dupree as his starting quarterback, but he did give backup Aaron Miller an earlier turn at-bat. Miller came in on the third series (with the Dogs up by 10-7) and threw a 41-yard TD pass to Jake Stenson for a 17-7 lead. Miller lost a fumble on the Dogs’ fourth series, however, when he and Darien Robinson failed to connect on a handoff. Dupree finished with 56 yards and a TD on 12 carries, but was held to -1 yard in the second half. Miller ran 8 times for just three yards, and hit 5 of 9 passes for 56 yards. He was sacked twice on the Bulldogs’ desperate final drive. There can be few quibbles with the Bulldogs’ game plan, but the Mocs’ SoCon-best defense did fare much better in the second half. Only 115 of the Bulldogs’ 334 rushing yards came in the second half, 61 of those on one play, Dalton Trevino’s TD run for a 24-14 lead in the third quarter.
2. The Mocs’ offense was thrown for a loop on the opening kickoff, when leading rusher Keon Williams went out with a leg injury. QB Jacob Huesman was off his game early as well, hitting just 4 of 11 passes and getting sacked twice in the first half. He overthrew several open receivers, too. But the Mocs scored three TDs on their final four drives, covering 48, 75 and 79 yards. Jacob Huesman gashed the Bulldogs with the QB draw on the final drive, running three times for 36 yards right up the middle. The Mocs racked up 258 yards and 21 points after halftime.
3. The biggest play of the game might have been a false start penalty on third-and-3 at The Citadel’s 46. The Bulldogs were holding on to a 24-21 lead with under five minutes to play, and already had gone for it twice on fourth down in their own territory, converting both times on what Higgins called “huge, huge gambles.” With third-and-3 at the 46, the Bulldogs surely would have gone again on fourth down, and perhaps taken another minute or two off the clock.
But after freshman tackle Harrison Davis was whistled for the false start, the Bulldogs faced third-and-8. Aaron Miller’s pass was incomplete, and the Bulldogs had to punt with 3:42 left.