Mocs blow 27-point lead, lose to The Citadel
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The Citadel scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second half, capped by a touchdown run by Darien Robinson, and defeated Chattanooga 28-27 on Saturday night.
Robinson's 3-yard run with 2:24 to play tied the game 27-27, and Ryan Sellers' extra point provided the winning margin for The Citadel (2-2, 1-2 Southern Conference).
"We did a horrible job as coaches. They did an unbelievable job," a visibly upset Russ Huesman said after the game. "Their football team never quit and they are over there yelling, hooting and hollering, and they deserve to.
"Our football team played so bad in the second half, it was unbelievable. It was amazing."
The Bulldogs' Davis Boyle intercepted a B.J. Coleman pass at the Chattanooga 43 with 2:12 remaining to seal the win.
The Citadel was plagued by three first-half fumbles as Chattanooga built a 24-0 halftime lead, and pushed it to 27-0 early in the third quarter. But the Bulldogs' running game took over in the second half. Ben Dupree, who ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns, led a ground attack that amassed 265 yards on 58 carries.
"A lot of them were missed tackles, yeah. A lot of missed tackles," Huesman said. "The one touchdown run they had, we missed a bunch there. That got it to 27-14, and then the blocked punt.
"We missed a bunch of tackles. It's ridiculous."
Coleman passed for 253 yards, including a 60-yard score to Ron Moore in the second quarter for the Mocs (2-3, 0-2). Coleman also scored on a 2-yard run.
But the Mocs offense grinded to a halt in the second half. UTC got the ball at The Citadel's 9-yard line after a fumble early in the third, but was forced to settle for a short Nick Pollard field goal.
That was offense's highest point in the second half.
On the Mocs' next drive, Brandon McCladdie intercepted a Coleman pass and returned it inside the Mocs' 20-yard line to set up the Bulldogs' first score. From there, it was a snowball rolling downhill.
"The only way they were getting back in that game is for us to throw an interception at that time and take it back to the 10 yard line. That's the only way, and we did it, unbelievable," Huesman said. "I told our offensive line we had to run the ball. Then, we come out our next drive and get two first downs by running the ball. Why can't we do it every time? We get two first downs, we're chunking yards, why can't we? Then we start throwing it and B.J. gets sacked.
"They've got a choice: they can tank it or they can come back and have a great football season. We've got a good enough team to win, we should win. We've got to execute better. We've got to play better."
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