CHARLESTON - Quiet through The Citadel's first two football games, Andre Roberts reminded Bulldogs fans again Saturday night why he is an All-American - with a little help from quarterback Bart Blanchard.
Roberts caught four touchdown passes, tight end Alex Sellars snared two and Blanchard matched a 30-year-old school record with six TD passes as the Bulldogs out-gunned Presbyterian College, 46-21, before 13,034 fans at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
In all, Roberts grabbed 12 passes for 184 yards, more than he totaled in the first two games against North Carolina and Princeton combined. Blanchard completed 20 of 30 passes for 263 yards, including TD passes of 7, 11, 40 and 16 yards to Roberts.
But with Southern Conference heavyweight Appalachian State due in to Johnson Hagood next week, the defensive performance of the 2-1 Bulldogs against the 0-4 Blue Hose was hardly reassuring.
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Presbyterian running back Trandon Dendy rushed for 147 yards and a TD and the Blue Hose trailed by just 20-14 at the half in their fourth straight game against a SoCon team.
Some special-teams snafus by the Blue Hose helped the Bulldogs break open the game with two touchdowns in the third quarter.
A 29-yard punt return by Roberts, coupled with a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a late hit by PC tight end Zach Houston, gave The Citadel the ball at the Blue Hose 21. On third-and-goal from the 5, Blanchard faked the QB draw and then made like Tim Tebow, launching a sort of jump pass to Sellars for the TD, his sixth touchdown on his last six catches.
A corner blitz foiled the Bulldogs' 2-point conversion, leaving The Citadel with a 26-14 lead at 7:48 of the third.
Then, a 7-yard punt by PC's Patrick Morgano set up the Bulldogs at their own 42. On third-and-5, Blanchard saw the blitz coming and lofted a 40-yard TD to Roberts, racing downfield behind the Blue Hose secondary for a 33-14 lead with 2:58 left in the third.
A 16-yard TD strike to Roberts made it 40-14 early in the fourth, and gave Blanchard his sixth TD pass, matching the school record set by Tim Russell against Furman in 1979. Keith Gamble's 89-yard interception return for a TD blew it open at 46-14 with 7:04 left in the game.
Blanchard threw three TD passes - two to Roberts and one to Sellars - for a 20-14 lead at halftime. But the Blue Hose's spread offense worked over the
Bulldogs' defense for 122 rushing yards in the first half, including a 40-yard TD by Dendy.
Roberts, who dropped a sure TD on The Citadel's first play, made up for it by snaring eight balls for 121 yards in the first half, including TDs of 7 and 11 yards.
Sellars' 25-yard TD grab - his fifth TD on his last five catches - put the Bulldogs up by 13-7 late in the first quarter.
But on fourth-and-2 at The Citadel's 40, Blue Hose coach Harold Nichols called time out, then ordered up an option to the right. Dendy took the pitch and hit the sideline, churning 40 yards for the score and a 14-13 lead with just 3:56 left in the half.
Blanchard responded with a bad interception, throwing a flutter-ball as he was hit, the pass picked off by PC cornerback Damon Lawrence. But Citadel corner Cortez Allen got the ball right back, leaping high to pick off a deep ball from Brandon Miley at the Bulldogs' 10 with 2:15 left in the half.
Running the two-minute offense, Blanchard hit Roberts for 19, then scrambled right and found Roberts down the left side for 37 yards to the PC 34. On third-and-goal from the 11, Roberts lined up in the left slot, cut out and then in and snagged the TD pass from Blanchard for a 20-14 lead with 55 seconds left in the half.