Quay Holmes

Quay Holmes rushed for 120 yards the last time ETSU played The Citadel.

JOHNSON CITY — The most dangerous number in Saturday’s Southern Conference football game between East Tennessee State and The Citadel might the big zero in the win column for the Bulldogs.

Bucs running back Quay Holmes is certainly treating it that way.

The Citadel enters Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at Hagood Johnson Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina, at 0-7. The Bulldogs are 0-3 since the Southern Conference’s spring season began.

“The record, it shouldn’t play too much of a part on how we prepare and go into it,” Holmes said. “When you look at a team that’s 0-7, you’re just looking at a team who’s looking for their first win. Those 0-7 teams are probably the ones we should pay attention to the most because they haven’t gotten that taste of victory yet. That’s something that they’re craving, so I hope that none of us are taking that lightly at all.”

After opening the season with 125 yards against Samford, Holmes was held to 67 last week ETSU’s 17-13 loss to Furman. He’s itching to get back onto the field.

“It was some tough sledding out there, so as a running back you want to be able to get back out there and kind of just get back into a rhythm, start breaking big runs and really just bounce back from the performance from last week,” Holmes said. “It was tough, but we definitely see this as another opportunity to go out here and play as good as we can. So we’re definitely excited.”

Holmes says when the Bucs (0-2) are on offense, they’d better do something because The Citadel’s ground attack is designed to keep the ball and shorten the game.

“It’s going to be a quick game,” he said. “That’s pretty much the whole basis of their offense. They want to nickel and dime here and there. Offensively, I would tell those guys that we’re going to have to make the most of all of our opportunities because we probably won’t get that many. We can’t afford to go out there and have penalties and make mistakes. We’ve got to go out there and make the most of all of our possessions because there’s no telling how many of them we’ll get.”

The Citadel won the teams’ last meeting, 31-27 in 2019. Holmes had 120 yards on 20 carries and 90 more yards on kickoff returns.

“I did run the ball pretty well against them last year and I’m pretty sure that they know that, too,” he said. “I know that they’re going to go into this game thinking, ‘We’re not going to let him do that again.’ So I definitely won’t take it lightly. We have to go out there and put in even more effort, knowing that we’re about to play a team that we ran the ball well against last year. Pretty sure their whole mindset is to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”


Former Science Hill star Jaylan Adams is The Citadel’s starting quarterback and leading rusher. He is averaging 119 rushing yards per game and scored four touchdowns.

Adams’ passing has been hit or miss. In the three spring games, he’s completed 15 of 32 passes for 138 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

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