ETSU (2-3, 1-2 SoCon) vs. The Citadel (2-3, 1-2 SoCon)
Hagood Stadium - Charleston, S.C.
National Leader ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells ranks 21st in total offense per game (253.6 yards/game) ... He ranks second in the Southern Conference behind Chattanoogas Chris Sanders (286.2) ... Browns Eric Webber leads the nation, averaging 348.3 yards of total offense in three games.
Southern Conference Leaders ... ETSU ranks third in the Southern Conference in passing offense (217.0 yards/game) ... ETSU ranks second in pass defense efficiency (110.9) ... The Bucs rank fourth in the Conference in pass efficiency (126.4).
Individual Conference Leaders ... Quarterback Todd Wells ranks second in the Conference in total offense (253.6 yards/game) and passing (217.0 yards/game) ... Last years Conference leader in punt returns, Keyandre Fenn, ranks fourth in 2000, averaging 10.0 yards/return ... Wells 346 yards of total offense against VMI was the second most prolific individual performance in the SoCon this year ... Aaron Bass 78-yard punt against Liberty is the longest in the SoCon this fall
Remember The Citadel ... The ETSU coaching staff has numerous ties to The Citadel ... ETSU head coach Paul Hamilton was the Bulldogs receivers coach in 1982 ... Assistant head coach Jeff Bleamer was the offensive line coach at The Citadel from 1987-96 ... The Bucs defensive coordinator Jeff Farrington earned two varsity letters at The Citadel as a defensive back.
Some Change Since Last We Saw the Bulldogs ... The Bucs opened last season with a 28-10 win against The Citadel (Sept. 2) ... ETSU is 7-8 since that time ... Six starters from the 1999 season opener are expected to start on Oct. 7 ... On offense, Nick Hendrickson and Todd Wells should be in the starting lineup while on defense Rahim El Amin, Keyandre Fenn, Keydrick Gordon and Denario Smalls all return.
Depleted Corps ... While the entire ETSU team has been hindered by injuries, the receiving corps has been hit especially hard ... True freshmen Tim Turner and Tony Tiller have missed time because of ankle injuries ... Sophomore Michael Rader suffered a concussion and missed the Appalachian State game.
Special Teams Touchdown ... The Bucs first touchdown at Western Carolina came on a 31-yard return by Howard Nix following a Denario Smalls blocked punt ... It was the first time ETSU returned a blocked punt for a score since Nov. 16, 1996 when Derek Fudge accomplished the feat ... The #11-ranked Bucs won that game 28-24 at Chattanooga. Against The Citadel ... ETSU leads the all-time series against The Citadel, 12-8 ... ETSUs victory last season broke a two-game win streak by the Bulldogs ... The series is tied 5-5 in Charleston, S.C. ... The last time these teams squared off in Charleston, The Citadel emerged with a 31-20 win ... Todd Wells was 9-of-15 for 145 yards in that game.
Last Season ... The Bucs defeated The Citadel 28-10 in the season-opener at Memorial Center (Sept. 2) ... Quarterback Todd Wells went 15-of-27 for 187 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buc attack ... Terrance Sims and Wells connected on a 31-yard touchdown that gave the Bucs a 21-10 halftime lead.
Receiving Combo ... Wide-outs Corey Martin and Cecil Moore have been consistent all season ... After not making a catch in the season opener, Martin has 20 receptions in the past four contests (five in each game) ... He ranks second on the team with 360 receiving yards (72.0 yards/game) ... Moore has made 20 catches for a team-high 364 yards this season (72.8 yards/game) ... He made a team season-high seven receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown in the loss to Appalachian State.
In Todd We Trust ... Senior quarterback Todd Wells has been very productive so far this fall, amassing 1,268 yards of total offense in the first five games ... Wells has thrown for 1085 yards (71-of-133) and ranks third on the team with 183 rushing yards ... The 1997 SoCon Freshman of the Year led the Bucs in passing (115.6/game) and total offense (123.8/game) in 1999.
More than a Passing Frenzy ... Quarterback Todd Wells has thrown for over 200 yards in three of the first five games this season ... Wells passed for 283 at Liberty, 238 against VMI and 221 at Western Carolina ... Wells eclipsed 200 yards passing once last year -- 217 in a 38-10 win against Western Carolina.
In the Southern Conference ... The Bucs are 57-103 (21 seasons) in league games since joining the SoCon in 1979 ... Their best finish was second in 1996 when ETSU finished 7-1 in the league ... ETSU is 27-21 since 1994 and have been above .500 every year except 1998 (3-5) in that span ... The Bucs are 13-14 under Coach Paul Hamilton ... ETSU won its 2000 Southern Conference opener on Sept. 16 against VMI, 38-3.
Senior Leadership ... The 2000 Buccaneer squad is being led by a talented senior class ... The following is a list of this years senior leaders:
Todd Wells leads team in total offense and passing
Terrance Sims ranks second in rushing and kick ret.
Corey Martin tied for team lead in receptions
Keyandre Fenn leads team in punt returns
Cory Bolden leads team in tackles
Rahim El Amin ranks second in tackles
Russ Lindgren leads team in sacks and interceptions
Denario Smalls leads team in interceptions
* Eight of the top 10 in tackles are seniors. The other two -- Travis Williams and Brandon Calton are freshmen.
Freshman Phenoms ... The Bucs are also being led by their true freshmen ... Running back Corey Carter leads the team in rushing, averaging 42.6 yards/game ... He has 213 rushing yards and four touchdowns ... Wide receivers Tim Turner and Tony Tiller have made contributions ... Kick returner Andrew Nuckolls has returned five kicks and leads the team, averaging 23.2 yards/return ... On defense, Travis Williams ranks ninth on the team in tackles while Brandon Calton ranks 10th.
Linebacker U? ... East Tennessee State hopes to have an All-America linebacker for the fourth consecutive season ... each of the last four years the Bucs have enjoyed a stellar linebacking corps ... gone from last years squad are two-time All-America Kevin Peterson (1998-99) and All-Southern Conference player Derek Fudge ... taking over in the middle this year is All-America candidate Rahim El Amin and All-Southern Conference candidate Cory Bolden ... linebacker Mario Hankerson earned All-America honors in 1997 ... All four of ETSUs top tacklers this season are linebackers: Bolden (53), Rahim El Amin (53), Russ Lindgren (43) and Lee Neisz (40).
Winning Season ... ETSU is playing for its third winning season in the past four years ... The Bucs finished last season 6-5 and went 7-4 in 1997 -- head coach Paul Hamiltons first campaign ... If the Bucs finish above .500 in 2000 it would be the fourth time in the past five years they accomplished the feat.
Leader of the Ship ... Fourth-year head coach Paul Hamilton has a 19-19 (.500) career record ... Hamilton earned 17 wins in his first three years which made him the winningest coach in that span in Buc history ... Hamilton is ETSUs 16th head coach.
Pre-Season Honors ... Three Buc players earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors ... Seniors Rahim El Amin (linebacker), Terrance Sims (kick returner) and Denario Smalls (defensive back) earned the distinction ... Following last season, three Buccaneer players earned All-Conference honors: Jim Beverly (center), Derek Fudge (linebacker) and Kevin Peterson (linebacker).
On the Airwaves ... ETSU football and basketball fans can enjoy game broadcasts on WJCW-AM (910) -- the flagship station of the Buccaneer Radio Network ... Chip Kessler returns as the Voice of the Bucs after leaving the post in 1996 ... The pregame show, College Football Today, will air one hour before game time while the postgame show will run for 30 minutes following the final whistle ... Both shows are hosted by Bill Meade, program director of WJCW ... The Paul Hamilton show airs live from The Firehouse Restaurant every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m. on WJCW.