With the football season less than 10 weeks away, it is never too soon to begin to look at the opponents that will try to derail the Clemson Tigers’ quest for a second-consecutive national championship and their third appearance in the College Football Playoff in as many years.
Today, we continue our series with the Tigers’ penultimate opponent and the Citadel Bulldogs—who will be the Tigers’ final home game before making the trek down I-26 to face the South Carolina Gamecocks the following week.
Second-year head coach Brent Thompson experienced unprecedented success in his first year with the Bulldogs, in leading them to one of their best sessions in the schools history as members of the Southern Conference.
Last season saw the Bulldogs achieve a 10-game winning streak, a single-season school-record six road victories and only the seventh undefeated, 8-0, season in 84 seasons of Southern Conference football. And after winning their second consecutive conference championship, they were rewarded with a No. 6 national seed in the FCS Playoffs and their first home game in. 24 years.
Even with the success experienced in his first year at the helm, the job is to keep pushing forward this year.
“We don’t want to get too complacent,,” Thompson said. “(Last year’s) over. This is a difference football club, and we have to make sure we are moving on. We can’t rely negatively or positively too much on the past. Neither the 2016 ream or the 2015 team can help this year.”
The Citadel Offense:
The Citadel returns their captain and the man with whom their vaunted triple-option attack begins and ends with, quarterback Dominique Allen. Also joining Allen in returning to the Bulldogs this upcoming season are All-American B-back Tyler Renew and fellow running back Cam Jackson.
“Offensive coordinator-turned-head coach Brent Thompson will keep the triple-option humming,” Athlon magazine said of the Bulldog offense. “In QB Dominique Allen and Tyler Renew and Cam Jackson, the Bulldogs return three players who gained more than 750 yards.”
The Citadel Defense:
The Bulldogs’ defense will have to deal with one of the biggest losses on the entire team in two-time All-American cornerback Dee Delaney, who left the program and transferred to the University of Miami after graduating.
Adding to the difficulty that could be experienced by the Bulldogs in addition to replacing an All-American cornerback, the Bulldogs suffered a handful of other losses on the defensive front. Those losses mean they will be relying on Brandon Rainey and Raleigh Webb—both of whom made the change from receiver to defense this spring—along with a bevy of new faces to anchor their hopes of a third-straight championship.