published Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Citadel expanding offensive options

The Citadel's Ben Dupree (2) attempts to turn the corner as UTC's Davis Tull (90) closes in.
The Citadel's Ben Dupree (2) attempts to turn the corner as UTC's Davis Tull (90) closes in.
Photo by Robin Rudd /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

At its core The Citadel remains a triple-option football team, but that's not going to be the Bulldogs' only offensive look this season.

The Bulldogs were fourth in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2012 with 300.6 rushing yards per game, so the triple-option was working. Coach Kevin Higgins said during Tuesday's Southern Conference teleconference that the Bulldogs had the weapons and the experience to do more than run the option.

"Last year was the first year we actually put the shotgun in and used it probably 15 to 18 percent of the time," said Higgins, whose Bulldogs went 7-4 (5-3 SoCon) last season. "We're looking to expand that a little bit more. We've put another couple of concepts in as well, and really this week is all about trying to narrow things down and determine as a staff what we'll take into that first game.

"I think it's all about expanding."

The Bulldogs open Saturday against Charleston Southern. They'll take the field at Johnson Hagood Stadium with some of the SoCon's most explosive athletes, including quarterback Ben Dupree, who ran for 839 yards last season and averaged 5.2 yards a carry.

"We have more depth than ever before and, yes, I would say that we probably have more athletes. I know from an offensive standpoint we do," Higgins said.

ASU's Price practicing

Suspended Appalachian State wide receiver Sean Price, last season's SoCon freshman of the year, is practicing with the Mountaineers. When he will play hasn't been decided, new ASU coach Scott Satterfield said Tuesday.

"The things about Sean that we're focusing on right now is for him to re-earn the trust of the coaches, his teammates and the campus and everyone around here," Satterfield said during the teleconference. "We have stipulations in place for him, and we'll see when that happens. Right now it's undetermined, the length of time he will be out."

Price was arrested on Aug. 18 for being intoxicated and disruptive, and ASU announced in a release last Thursday that he was suspended. He was suspended for the start of last season also.

In 2012 Price broke numerous receiving records, finishing with 81 catches for 1,196 yards. The Mountaineers open their season Saturday at Montana. Satterfield said ASU is 0-for-9 all-time in games west of the Mississippi River.

Sullivan to miss opener

Just as he did at the SoCon's media day last month, Samford associate head coach Bill D'Ottavio filled in for head coach Pat Sullivan during the teleconference. Sullivan is still recovering from back surgery -- he had a cervical fusion -- and has had limited participation in the Bulldogs' preseason.

D'Ottavio will be in charge during the Bulldogs' opener Friday at Georgia State, as well. Samford announced in a release Tuesday afternoon that Sullivan will not be able to attend the game. Sullivan missed several games last season, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga game, while battling pneumonia.

Wofford paring QBs

For a long stretch of Wofford's preseason practice, six quarterbacks were in the hunt for the starting job. That search is now down to three, according to a Spartanburg Herald website report. The three finalists are James Lawson, who started last season against UTC, Michael Weimer and Evan Jacks.

"All three of them are going to play," Terriers coach Mike Ayers said Tuesday. "As far as who's the guy right now, we're still heading in that direction. I think after today we'll probably have the lineup."

Wofford opens its season Saturday at Baylor University.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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