After team meetings at the North Charleston Inn on Friday night, Citadel football players and coaches settled into their rooms for a night of TV viewing.
A popular choice was the broadcast of Arizona's 41-2 trouncing of Toledo. The Bulldogs were impressed with their next foe.
"I watched a little bit of the game," coach Kevin Higgins said after Saturday's 56-14 win over Division II Chowan. "Arizona started out slow like we did, but they certainly finished strong. Their quarterback is the real deal, they've got a running back who is extremely quick and they've got a big wide receiver outside.
"Their offense is good. They will spread you out and put you in a lot of one-on-one matchups as well."
Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles completed 32 of 37 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns against Toledo. Running back Nic Grigsby carried eight times for 53 yards and two scores, and 6-4 receiver Juron Criner caught 11 passes for 187 yards and a TD.
Obviously, it will be a huge challenge for a Citadel defense that allowed 245 passing yards and 19 first downs against Chowan.
"We'll have to play a lot better against Arizona," said defensive end Erik Clanton, who had three sacks and forced a fumble against Chowan. "They will be bigger, faster and stronger. The game is going to be a lot faster and a lot quicker, so we will have to step it up."
The Bulldogs' defense turned in many big plays against Chowan, with three defensive touchdowns, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and seven sacks. But the Hawks drove the ball to the Bulldogs' 1-yard line twice in the first half before self-destructing, and then drove 60 and 81 yards for touchdowns in the third quarter. The Hawks hit passes of 39 yards to Eddie Coard and 47 yards to Robert Holland.
"Defensively, I think we're going to be fine," Higgins said. "We just didn't tackle as well as we want. But I thought our guys up front did a nice job putting pressure on their quarterback, and that was critical."
Defensive tackle Derek Douglas added two sacks and Demarrio Sims one, while tackle Keith Carter and end Chris Billingslea shared a sack. The Bulldogs had 12 tackles for loss, four by Clanton.
Quarterbacks Ben Dupree and Matt Thompson were not the only true freshmen to see action for the Bulldogs.
Center Mike Sellers, from Fort Dorchester High, got plenty of snaps in relief of starter Bobby Jarvis. Fullback Darien Robinson ran seven times for 16 yards, and slotback Terrance Martin got one carry for 5 yards. Dupree started the game at QB and ran seven times for 17 yards, and did not attempt a pass.
On defense, cornerback Jamal Allen got some snaps on defense, and was credited with one pass breakup.
--The announced attendance of 9,106 at Saturday's game was The Citadel's smallest for a home opener since 2004. That season, a crowd of 5,127 came out to see a Thursday night home opener against Benedict, a 29-0 victory in Duran Lawson's first start at quarterback.
--With right guard Jameson Bryant (shoulder) out, offensive line coach Bob Bodine shifted Lincoln Kling from right tackle to right guard, and Jim Knowles from right guard to left guard. Tyler Thornton started at right tackle.
--Safety Demontrelle Smith (concussion) did not suit up…Jonathan Glapsie started for DeAndre Smith at linebacker and had three tackles and an interception, the second of his career…Cortez Allen's interception return for a TD in the first quarter was the second of his career. He went 82 yards for a TD against Samford last year…WR Domonic Jones, a 6-5 redshirt freshman, caught the first three passes of his career for 56 yards and two touchdowns…TE Alex Sellars' had one catch, but it was a beauty, a juggling 37-yarder to set up a TD. It was the longest catch of his career…CB Biron Nabritt got his first interception in the fourth quarter.
Who: The Citadel (1-0) at Arizona (1-0)
When: 10 p.m., Saturday
Where: Tucson, Ariz.