Week 1 is finally upon us meaning the offseason wait will soon be over for college football fans. This opening week often comes with a sense of positivity amongst supporters as everyone enters the year with a clean slate.
Not everybody is so psyched, it seems.
Citadel football coach Maurice Drayton made some interesting comments ahead of his team’s season opener. He didn’t seem too confident in the Bulldogs’ chances during Week 1.
Just like the rest of America, removing the handful of programs that played in Week 0, the Bulldogs enter this weekend at 0-0. No wins, no losses, and nothing but expectations.
Team goals are still in front of them, and even if The Citadel isn’t predicted to have a fantastic season, there’s still that underlying feeling that anything can happen.
Drayton didn’t do much to build the confidence of his Citadel supporters, though, in his most recent press conference. In fact, he did quite the opposite as the team eyes a Week 1 matchup versus Georgia Southern.
Didn’t see this coming.
First career head coach, game week press conference for Maurice Drayton at The Citadel.
He comes out swinging…. at his own team.
I asked if it was a motivational tactic, he says, “no, that is truly how I feel”.
at Georgia Southern on Sat. pic.twitter.com/EBGip6BCWL
— Scott Eisberg (@SEisbergWCIV) August 28, 2023
“Starting quarterback? We don’t have a starting quarterback right now,” Drayton said. “The fact is, we’re a poor football team at the moment. We’re not playing very well. We’re not happy with our progress at this moment in time… That is truly how I feel.”
“We have some work to do,” the head coach continued. “We’re not in a good place… The last three days have not been to the standard to compete in a college football game at this level.”
Drayton noted that performance has declined as players make the transition of returning to class, which is reasonable. Not having a starting quarterback ahead of a matchup against an FBS opponent? No so much.
Drayton is in his first season with the program as head coach, though he did serve as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator in 2014-15. Since, he’s coached on a variety of NFL staffs in a special teams capacity.
The Citadel went 4-7 last season, though they did win their last two games. The school did not renew the contract of head coach Brent Thompson, whom Maurice Drayton replaced this offseason.
Not much is expected from the program in the upcoming college football season as the Bulldogs were picked to finish 8th in the nine-team Southern Conference. Judging by Drayton’s comments, that might not be far off.