Rolling into this weekend’s upcoming matchup with Southern Conference rival The Citadel, the Samford Bulldogs have appeared to find their stride.
This past weekend’s 55-21 victory over Alabama A&M proved to be a dominant performance on both sides of the football for Samford. The Bulldogs will need to turn in an equally impressive performance if they are to keep up with the other Bulldogs from Charleston, South Carolina.
Much like Samford, The Citadel began its season with an 0-2 start with two close losses coming against Towson and Elon. Since then, the Bulldogs have pulled off two gut-wrenching victories against FBS opponent Georgia Tech and crosstown rival Charleston Southern. Both of these wins went down to the wire, as the Bulldogs defeated the Yellow Jackets by means of an overtime field goal and made a goal-line stand in the final moments of the game against Charleston Southern.
Offensively, The Citadel boasts a traditional option system with multiple different backs involved in the running game. The team has ran for 1,005 yards this season, good for an average of 251 yards per game. However, this does present the idea that their offense is a bit one-dimensional, as they have only thrown the ball 21 times on the year.
Junior quarterback Brandon Rainey is in command of the offense. Rainey has completed 50 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He is also the team’s leading rusher, having carried the ball 69 times for 280 yards and five touchdowns.
Sophomore b-back Clay Harris has contributed in the running game as well, carrying the ball 65 times for 224 yards on the year. Other ball carriers to look out for will be senior Remus Bulmer, sophomore Nkem Njoku and redshirt sophomore Dante Smith.
On defense for The Citadel, the unit has given up an average of 405 yards per game, something they will need to work on if they are to remain in the game against Samford’s offense. Junior linebacker Willie Eubanks III leads the team with 30 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, one fumble recovery and a sack. Other key defensive contributors to look for will be senior Airan Reed, sophomore Chris Beverly and senior Joseph Randolph II.
Be sure to come out and watch what looks to be a great SoCon matchup between the Bulldogs from Birmingham and the Bulldogs from Charleston. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Seibert Stadium. The game will also be aired on ESPN+.
Collin is a sports writer for The Crimson. He is a senior finance major.