Thursday, February 7, 2013
Six home games, including meetings with longtime rivals Furman and VMI, four contests against teams that reached the FCS playoffs a year ago and a season finale at Clemson highlight the 2013 Citadel football schedule.
"Once again our schedule is comparable to any school in the FCS," said head coach Kevin Higgins, who is entering his ninth season at The Citadel after leading the Bulldogs to a record of 7-4 and 5-3 in the Southern Conference a year ago for the first winning overall and league marks since 2007.
"Having our two biggest rivals come to Johnson Hagood Stadium along with Wofford and Appalachian State makes this an attractive home schedule."
For the third straight year, the Bulldogs open the season with two home games, hosting Charleston Southern on Aug. 31 and Wofford the following week. Both of those games are scheduled for 6 p.m. kickoffs. Last year The Citadel rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit but fell just short in a 24-21 loss to a Wofford team that reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.
Following a road game at Western Carolina on Sept. 14, The Citadel heads to Norfolk, Va., for a first-ever meeting with Old Dominion. The Monarchs are entering their final season as an FCS team before joining Conference USA. Led by Walter Payton Award winning quarterback Taylor Heinicke, ODU won 11 games last season, advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs and finished the season ranked sixth by The Sports Network.
A second set of back-to-back home games takes place Sept. 28 against Furman at 6 p.m. and Oct. 5 against playoff-qualifier Appalachian State for a Parents Weekend contest at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs defeated both of those opponents on the road in 2012, knocking off the then-No. 8 Mountaineers 52-28 and downing the Paladins 42-20 in the final game of the season.
The Citadel heads to Georgia Southern on Oct. 12 and will be looking to duplicate its 23-21 victory over the then third-ranked Eagles at Johnson Hagood Stadium last September. Georgia Southern won a pair of playoff games last year to reach the national semifinals for the third consecutive season.
After a bye week, the Bulldogs travel to Chattanooga on Oct. 26 and host Samford on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. in their Homecoming game, and The Citadel will be seeking to avenge 2012 losses to both the Mocs and Bulldogs. The Southern Conference schedule wraps up on Nov. 9 with a trip to Elon with The Citadel looking for consecutive wins over the Phoenix following a 38-24 victory at home last year.
"Not only is the Southern Conference one of the best leagues in the nation, going out of conference to play an outstanding Old Dominion team on the road will present us with yet another challenge," said Higgins.
VMI visits Charleston on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. in the 34th edition of the Military Classic of the South and 69th overall meeting with the Keydets. The Bulldogs have won six in a row over VMI, including a 27-24 victory in Lexington in 2012.
The Citadel plays its lone game against an FBS opponent on Nov. 23 at Clemson in the first meeting with the Tigers since 2008. Clemson is coming off an 11-2 season that included a victory over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and final national rankings of No. 9 in the Coaches Poll and No. 11 in the Associated Press poll.
"It's always exciting for our players and coaches to match up against an FBS school, and Clemson should be one of the top teams in the country again next season with a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Tajh Boyd," said Higgins.
Season tickets are available by calling 843-953-DOGS during regular business hours. Individual game tickets are not yet available.
The Bulldogs open spring practice on Feb. 8 and will hold their spring game at Johnson Hagood Stadium on March 9 in conjunction with the Beautiful Bulldog Contest.