CHARLESTON, S.C. – The 15th-ranked Citadel football team moved to 2-0 on the season after defeating SoCon foe Furman 19-14 inside Johnson Hagood Stadium on Saturday night. The win came in front of 12,009 fans, the highest attendance for a home opener since 2013.
Furman (0-2, 0-1 SoCon) struck first in the game, taking a 7-0 lead after the Bulldogs fumbled the opening kickoff on the 25-yard line.
The Citadel (2-0, 2-0 SoCon) answered one drive later, wearing down the Paladin offense with a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ran five minutes off the clock and was punctuated with a Jordan Black touchdown from one yard out.
The game remained knotted at 7-7 with four minutes remaining in the second quarter until Furman muffed a punt and Khafari Buffalo recovered the ball at the four-yard line. Black found the end zone from one yard out again for his second touchdown of the day and The Citadel, unable to convert the PAT after a low snap, took a 13-7 lead into halftime.
Furman earned its second score of the game with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter on a one-yard run to take a 14-13 lead.
The score remained 14-13 until The Citadel got the ball back with 6:45 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs marched down the field thanks to two 20-plus yard throws by Dominique Allen and then the junior punched it in from one yard out to give The Citadel a 19-14 lead after the two-point conversion failed. The 10-play, 78-yard drive left the Paladins with 4:38 on the clock but the Bulldogs’ third interception of the game, this time by Malik Diggs, gave The Citadel the SoCon victory.
Dee Delaney grabbed two interceptions in the game and now has nine in his career. The junior’s two interceptions give him nine in his career and moved him into a tie for fifth with Chris Carter. The Bulldogs finished the contest with forced four turnovers and held Furman to 5-of-13 (.385) on 3rd down.
The win marks the second time in program history and first time since 1963 that The Citadel opened its season with two straight Southern Conference games when it hosted William & Mary in week one and played at Davidson in week two. The win also marked the first time The Citadel started 2-0 in the SoCon in back-to-back seasons.
The Bulldogs now hit the road for a non-conference matchup at Gardner-Webb on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.