CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern bids for its fourth straight victory on Saturday against Bucknell. Kickoff at Buccaneer Field is set for 11:45 a.m. and the game will be broadcast on csusports.com via the Big South Network. It is also Kids' Day at CSU, with all children 12 and under receiving free admission.
The late non-conference matchup pits No. 9 CSU (4-2, 2-0 Big South) against a Bucknell (3-4, 2-1 Patriot League) team that has rebounded from a 1-3 start with wins in two of its last three games. CSU is going after its tenth straight home win but, more importantly, is hoping to build momentum off a thorough victory over Presbyterian before embarking on a three-game closing stretch in Big South play.
CSU played its most complete game of the year to rout Presbyterian, 38-3, last Saturday. The Bucs outgained the Blue Hose 507-102 and held PC without a first down in the second half. CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell hopes his team can carry that forward and clean up some mistakes as November approaches.
"I was really pleased – one, with the effort, which I didn't think that would be an issue," Chadwell said. "I thought our execution for the most part was pretty good. We had a couple of hiccups there early in the game but just more than pleased with the way we dominated the game, really, in all three phases. Hopefully, we can start to get on a roll now that we're uninterrupted with the schedule."
Saturday's contest will be the first-ever matchup between the two program's. Bucknell is led by seventh-year head coach Joe Susan, a long-time assistant to Greg Schiano at Rutgers. Offensively, the Bison will look to run the football behind a big offensive line featuring left tackle and NFL prospect Julie'n Davenport. Defensively, Bucknell plays a 4-2-5 base scheme and is coming off one of its better outings of the year in a 42-17 triumph over Lafayette.
"One, they're new so there's a uniqueness about them in that you don't know tons about them and what their coaches like to do so you're studying all that," Chadwell said. "They're a big, physical team and they're going to try to come after us."
"They've got a left tackle that's an NFL prospect and you can see why," Chadwell continued. "They do a nice job up front of blocking so that's gonna be a challenge – their size against our quick defensive line. How can we match up with that? Then defensively, they give you a lot of different looks and they're a tough, physical team. We're not going to be able to just line up and try to pound it down their throats. It'll be a good test for us."
BLUE SWARM OF THE WEEK
Charleston Southern's defense was recognized as the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week thanks to its collective effort against Presbyterian. CSU allowed only 102 yards, the fewest it has ever yielded to an FCS opponent. The Bucs did not give up a single first down in the second half, permitting 18 total yards on 19 plays. The performance marked the fourth time in the last year CSU has limited a Big South foe to less than 150 yards of offense.
TOP TEN AGAIN
CSU is ranked in the top ten of both major national polls for the fifth straight week and seventh time overall this year. The Bucs have been ranked in the top 25 for 17 straight weeks dating back to last season. CSU was ranked in the preseason and installed as the Big South Conference favorite for the first time ever this summer. No other Big South team has entered the rankings this year.
TRENDING WELL AT HOME
CSU is 17-2 at home under Chadwell and has won nine straight games at Buccaneer Field dating to November of 2014. The Bucs were a perfect 6-0 in 2015, capped off by a playoff win over The Citadel in front of nearly 8,500 fans, a Buccaneer Field record.
HOLLOWAY UP FOR S.C. FOOTBALL H.O.F. HONOR
Holloway was named one of 25 finalists for South Carolina Football Hall of Fame Collegiate Player of the Year on Oct. 25. Voting for the award goes through Dec. 11. Last year's winner was Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. This year's nominees include players from all 13 of the state's college football programs.
NO FRESHMAN JITTERS FOR BUCENELL
Shane Bucenell turned in another excellent outing against Presbyterian, connecting on 13-of-14 passes for 156 yards while adding an 11-yard touchdown run. Bucenell was a perfect 9-for-9 in the first half and completed his first ten passes in his third career start.
BIG PLAY BOB
Robert Mitchell rushed for 113 yards on just six carries in the win over PC. Mitchell's 78- yard burst for a touchdown gave the Bucs a 21-3 halftime lead and is the longest quarterback run in program history. It is the Bucs' third longest run of any kind.