Behind Enemy Lines: The Citadel Bulldogs

Zach Lentz

Head Coach:Brent Thompson enters his fifth season as the head coach at The Citadel.
Thompson owns an overall record of 26-20, including a program-record 10 wins during his first season in 2016.

Under Thompson’s guidance, the Bulldogs have ranked in the top-10 in rushing offense each of the last four seasons. The Citadel ranked sixth nationally in 2019 at 268.2 yards per game, ninth in 2018 at 283.6 yards per game, second in 2017 at 294.6 yards per game and led the nation in 2016 at 348.2 rushing yards per game.

The 2019 season saw the Bulldogs overcome some early adversity to pull off the biggest win in the FCS. The Citadel went on the road in late September and knocked off Georgia Tech, 27-24, in overtime. It was the Bulldogs’ first win over an ACC opponent, and the only victory by a FCS team over a Power 5 team that year.

The Bulldog offense was not one dimensional as it also threw for 1,195 yards and 14 touchdowns, the most in both categories since the 2009 season.

Bulldogs on offense: Lou Conte enters his fifth season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks/B-Backs coach under Brent Thompson at The Citadel.

The 2020 season will mark the eighth year that Conte and Thompson have worked together. The two were together at The Citadel in 2014, and spent three years together on the offensive staff at Lenoir-Rhyne.

The Citadel has possessed one of the top ball control and rushing attacks in the FCS over the past four seasons. Over that span, the Bulldogs have ranked in the Top-10 nationally in both categories.

The 2019 season featured one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in recent history in Brandon Rainey. He rushed for 900 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also throwing for 1,114 yards and 13 touchdowns. Rainey is just the second quarterback to rush and throw for at least 10 touchdowns in a season.

Rainey was not the only part of the rushing attach as B-Back Clay Harris ran for 699 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Bulldogs on defense:Tony Grantham enters his second season as the defensive coordinator, safeties coach at The Citadel.

In his first season with the Bulldogs, Grantham transitioned the defense into a 3-4 scheme. The defense continued to improve throughout the season and held two of the top rushing offenses in the country under their season averages. For the year, the Bulldogs led the Southern Conference in rushing yards allowed per game.

The Bulldogs were led by All-American linebacker Willie Eubanks III. He recorded 112 tackles, including 11.5 tackles-for-loss.

The back end of the defense was led by Chris Beverly. The sophomore ranked second on the team with 71 tackles, while tieing for the team lead with seven pass break-ups. His biggest play of the season came at ETSU when he stopped the receiver at the one-yard line to secure the victory.

Fellow safety Sean-Thomas Faulkner was third on the team with 70 tackles, two sacks and four pass break-ups.