September 20, 2012

Bulldogs Venture into the FBS Ranks with Trip to NC State

Gameday Central

Watch game live on ESPN3

Charleston, S.C. – Murderers' Row continues Saturday for The Citadel.

In what is arguably the toughest stretch for any FCS team so far this season, the Bulldogs travel to Raleigh this weekend for a matchup against the NC State Wolfpack. Kickoff at Carter-Finley Stadium is set for shortly after 6 p.m., and the game can be seen nationally on ESPN3.

The radio broadcast on The Citadel Sports Network gets underway with The Citadel Tailgate Show at 4:30. The broadcast led by play-by-play announcer Danny Reed can be heard in Charleston on ESPN Radio 910, on affiliates throughout South Carolina and online by going to charlestonsportsradio.com.

The Citadel is looking to build on its first 3-0 start since 1992 while NC State enters at 2-1 with wins over UConn and South Alabama the past two weeks following an opening loss to Tennessee.

The Bulldogs are riding the momentum of consecutive wins over Top 10 teams, beginning with a 23-21 victory over then No. 3 Georgia Southern at Johnson Hagood Stadium and following that up with a resounding 52-28 win over then No. 8 Appalachian State in Boone. The Citadel had not beaten two Top 10 teams in the same season since 1991.

The three-game winning streak to open the season has The Citadel ranked among the nation's elite for the first time in four years. The Bulldogs head into the weekend standing at No. 10 in The Sports Network poll and No. 14 in the FCS Coaches poll. The Bulldogs are in the Top 10 in any poll for the first time since finishing the 1992 regular season ranked as the top team in the country.

The Citadel will be looking to defeat an FBS opponent for the first time since beating Arkansas (10-3) and Army (15-14) during its 1992 Southern Conference championship season. Those wins came during a run from 1988-92 when the Bulldogs won six of seven games against teams from the highest classification. Since then, however, The Citadel has dropped 23 straight to FBS teams.

A year ago the Bulldogs gave South Carolina all it could handle, going into halftime behind only 20-13 before the Gamecocks pulled away for a 41-20 victory. In Kevin Higgins' third season as head coach in 2007, The Citadel battled Big Ten power Wisconsin to a 21-21 halftime tie before the Badgers pulled out a narrow 14-point victory.

With a win on Saturday, Higgins will earn his 35th victory as The Citadel's head coach and move him into sole possession of fifth place among the 23 men who have led the Bulldog football program, breaking a tie with Tatum Gressette (1932-39).

The Citadel and NC State are meeting for the first time since 1983, and the Wolfpack have won all four games in the series. In fact, the entire Atlantic Coast Conference has not been kind to the Bulldogs. The Citadel has never defeated an ACC school while it was a member of the conference (0-27) and has an all-time record of 6-64-2 against current ACC programs.

The last win over a current ACC member was a 6-0 victory over Clemson in 1931.

Following Saturday's game, the Bulldogs return to SoCon play when they host Chattanooga on Sept. 29 in a 6 p.m. game at Johnson Hagood Stadium. The Citadel is 2-0 in the conference for the first time since that historic 1992 campaign.

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