Derek Douglas returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown to give The Citadel a 21-point lead in the third quarter, and the Bulldogs held on to beat Virginia Military Institute 27-24 Saturday.

The Citadel (6-4, 5-3 Southern Conference), which outgained the Keydets 248-86 in rushing yardage, needed Douglas' fumble return midway through the third quarter and Thomas Warren's two field goals to stave edge VMI (2-8, 1-5 Big South).

Ben Dupree's 10-yard touchdown run opened the scoring. VMI's Jeff Sexton kicked a field goal, but the Bulldogs scored 17 unanswered points and seemed comfortably ahead after Douglas' TD return.

But short scoring runs by Deon Watts and Cody Shirley trimmed The Citadel's lead to 24-17. Warren's second field goal, a 35-yarder, made it 27-17 with 4:56 left.

Eric Kordenbrock brought VMI within 27-24 with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mario Thompson with 3:03 left, but it got no closer.