The Citadel pulled off one of the biggest wins in the Football Championship Subdivision so far this season last Saturday, upsetting then-No. 3 Georgia Southern 23-21 on a late 37-yard field goal by Thomas Warren.
For a Bulldogs squad that has struggled in recent years, it was a breakthrough victory against the defending Southern Conference champions. The Citadel, now ranked No. 23 in the FCS coaches' poll, scared Georgia Southern last season in a 14-12 defeat but got the job done last Saturday in Charleston.
"I can't say enough about the effort and the play of our guys," Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins said during Tuesday's SoCon media teleconference. "They wanted it badly and they were able to execute and find a way to get the win."
The Citadel is chasing more big game this week with a trip to No. 7 Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. The Mountaineers have won the past eight meetings and 17 of 18.
Higgins said he let his players enjoy the Georgia Southern win for 24 hours before they turned their attention to the Mountaineers, who beat No. 12 Montana 35-27 last week.
GSU's Eagles, who dropped to No. 10 in the coaches' poll, are off this week. Coach Jeff Monken said he'd much rather be playing.
"Who wants to live with that for two weeks? I don't think anybody wants to live with that for two weeks," he said.
Samford coach Pat Sullivan was back on the teleconference Tuesday after missing the first two weeks of the season. He said he's still recovering from pneumonia, which has kept him off the sideline so far this season.
"I'm still fighting some of it, but I'm doing much better," he said with a lot of spirit in his voice. "I appreciate everybody's thoughts and prayers and concern. I tell you what, it sure helps you feel better when you win a game or two."
The Bulldogs are 2-0 with wins over Furman and West Alabama. Sullivan was in the press box for both games and was directing his team through a headset, rather than the sideline. And he liked the view.
"Up in the box, you can see so much better," he said. "You can see things going on, and I enjoyed the perspective. I told the coaches I'm superstitious and I may stay in the box until we lose one."
Samford hits the road Saturday for a nonconference game at Gardner-Webb.
The Citadel is ranked for the first time since 2008. ... Wofford's Brian Kass leads the SoCon with four touchdown passes, three of which came in the Terriers' 82-0 thrashing of Division II Lincoln last week.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.