The Citadel's Brian Murdaugh .JPG (copy)

The Citadel's Brian Murdaugh passes the ball during the Bulldogs' 22-13 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

A review of the game film revealed that backup Citadel quarterback Brian Murdaugh did make at least one mistake during the Bulldogs' 22-13 victory over cross-county rival Charleston Southern.

He fumbled the victory formation snap at the end of the game.

"Fortunately, it bounced right back up to him," coach Brent Thompson said during his weekly news conference on Monday.

Murdaugh, a former walk-on playing his first significant snaps as a Bulldog, otherwise acquitted himself well against CSU, rushing for a team-best 76 yards on 20 carries and throwing a 54-yard touchdown pass to Raleigh Webb.

One of the first Bulldogs to congratulate Murdaugh after Saturday's win was starting quarterback Brandon Rainey, out with a lower leg injury suffered in a 27-24 overtime win at Georgia Tech two weeks ago.

Rainey practiced late last week and again Sunday, and Thompson said the 6-0, 205-pound junior is "looking good" in his bid to return for the Bulldogs' Southern Conference opener on Saturday at Samford.

"We probably could have used him in an emergency situation (against CSU), but we opted not to," Thompson said. "We went with Murdaugh and Brian did a fabulous job."

Rainey was in uniform on the sidelines and wearing a headset during the CSU game. Thompson said all the checks at the line of scrimmage ran through Rainey, who relayed them to Murdaugh on the field.

Nevertheless, Citadel coaches scaled back the triple-option a bit, with Murdaugh and fullbacks Clay Harris and Emeka Nwanze accounting for 44 of the team's 58 rushing attempts. Slotback Remus Bulmer scored two touchdowns, but carried just seven times for 38 yards.

"Last week, we had to save ourselves a little bit with the B-back, because we didn't want to do too much operationally with the triple option," Thompson said. "But with Brandon back, we'll be able to play a little bit more of the option game than we did last week."

Thompson said he's prepared to go with true freshman Evan Schickel as the third-team QB behind Rainey and Murdaugh. Schickel is a 6-0, 183-pounder who ran an offense similar to The Citadel's at Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg, Va.

"We were fully prepared to have Schickel go in," Thompson said. "He's a fully capable triple-option quarterback out of high school, and we really think he'll be the next guy eventually when Brandon leaves here with his MBA."

Thompson said Rainey should get more of the first-team reps this week in practice than he did last week.

"We will prepare them both to start, and by the end of the week we'll have a good idea of who will be the starter," Thompson said. "We're going to try to get Brandon more of the No. 1 reps so that he's good to go."

Fair-catch fever

• Astute Citadel fans have noticed that the Bulldogs are calling for a fair catch on a larger number of kickoff returns this season. Thompson explains the strategy:

"The number say that if you put your heels on the 5-yard line, anything you catch in front of the 5-yard line, you've got a 60-something percent of taking it beyond the 25-yard line," he said. "Anything inside the 5-yard line, your chances go down to 30 percent.

"So we've been playing the percentages on that, and we thought it best to play the numbers in that case."


• The Citadel remained No. 25 in the FCS media poll ... Furman is ranked No. 16 in the media poll, and is the only SoCon team ranked in the FCS coaches poll at No. 15.

• Citadel linebacker Willie Eubanks wreaked havoc against CSU, with nine tackles, two for loss, with a sack and an interception. He made all three tackles on a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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