Bulldogs Stumble in Home Opener

Bulldogs Stumble in Home Opener
Bulldogs drop to 0-3 following lopsided loss to EKU. (Source: The Citadel Football)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Parker McKinney threw for a career-high four touchdowns and Eastern Kentucky beat The Citadel 37-14 on Saturday to give Walt Wells his first victory as a head coach.

VIDEO: Bulldogs Stumble in Home Opener

McKinney was 16-of-26 passing for 274 yards. It’s the first time an EKU player threw for four scores since Oct. 8, 2016. All three of Tennessee transfer Jacquez Jones' catches went for touchdowns, the longest a 53-yarder that gave EKU a 30-14 lead in the third quarter.

McKinney and Jones combined for two touchdowns in the first quarter and Keyion Dixon made it 20-7 in the second quarter following a Bulldogs fumble when he made a juggling catch of a long pass for a 50-yard score.

Emeka Nwanze rushed for 114 yards for The Citadel. Brandon Rainey had a rushing and passing touchdown. With 89 yards rushing, he became the 16th player in program history to go over 2,000 yards on the ground.

The game was a rare 2020 FCS matchup with only 17 schools in the division playing this fall. This was The Citadel’s only home game in a four-game fall schedule allowed by the Southern Conference, which hopes to play a spring league slate. The Bulldogs (0-3) lost 49-0 at No. 1 Clemson last weekend.

EKU (1-2) opted out of playing an Ohio Valley Conference schedule in the spring, choosing to play a nine-game fall schedule.

The Citadel restricted fan attendance to about one-quarter of its stadium capacity.