CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern hits the road for their final Big South Conference game of the season as the Buccaneers travel to Barker-Lane Stadium and Campbell University. Kickoff on ESPN+ is set for 2 p.m.
All game day information is available on the Game Day Central page.
Big South Win Streak
Charleston Southern has finished at or above .500 in Big South competition in each of the last six seasons dating back to 2012's 3-3 mark in conference competition. The Bucs finished 3-2 in the Big South last season and a win on Saturday could put the Bucs back in the winning column again this season. CSU is 2-2 overall in conference play.
Containing Daniel Smith
Charleston Southern's defense takes on another talented signal caller this weekend in Campbell's Daniel Smith. Smith has put up 2,206 total offense and 26 touchdowns on the season, including four last weekend in CU's win over Presbyterian. Smith will have all eyes on him on Saturday as the Bucs look to add to their success after a seven-sack game against GWU.
Back To .500
CSU is 4-5 with two games to play this season. If the Bucs win out, it would mark the sixth consecutive season CSU has posted a winning record dating back to 2012. The Bucs' senior class is 35-14 overall with an 18-7 mark in conference competition over the last five years.
Campbell made its Big South Conference debut this season after 10 years of playing in the Pioneer League. The Camels are 1-3 in Big South play this year and coming off their first conference win in program history with a 34-6 victory over Presbyterian.
Quarterback Daniel Smith was named a First Team Freshman All-American last season. The redshirt sophomore was a Jerry Rice finalist as one of the top freshmen in the country last season. He currently paces the CU offense with 2,206 yards of total offense and 26 touchdowns on the year.
Smith posted 3,161 yards total offense last season and 30 total touchdowns in the Camels' final year in the Pioneer League.
CSU won the first matchup between the two teams back in 2013. The Bucs boasted 100-yard rushing performances by Malcolm Dixon (135) and Christian Reyes (105) in the 30-10 victory at Barker-Lane Stadium.
Campbell has secured a winning record at home for the first time since the 2014 season. The Camels are 4-2 at home this year with victories over Chowan, Shaw, North Alabama, and Wagner.
Wide receiver Caleb Snead is one of the top pass catchers in the Big South this season. The redshirt freshman has posted 40 receptions for 715 yards and added eight touchdowns on the season.
Head Coach Mike Minter is in his sixth season with the program after serving as an assistant coach at both Liberty and Johnson C. Smith. Minter, a former starting safety for the Carolina Panthers, was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
The Camels are fifth in conference play in scoring offense and scoring defense. Campbell is fourth overall in total offense and total defense.
The Camels are surrendering 89.0 passing yards per game in Big South play.
Christian Reid Steps Up
Freshman quarterback Christian Reid took advantage of his first collegiate start this past Saturday in leading the Buccaneers to the 16-0 win over Gardner-Webb. The Newnan, Ga. native discovered he was taking the snaps early in the week after leading the first team offense preparations against the Runnin' Bulldogs. His goal was to lead the Bucs to the win and honor the 18 seniors on the roster for Senior Day. He finished the game with 128 total yards, completing 8-of-21 passes for 92 yards and added 15 carries for 36 yards in the win. His key plays under pressure included a 19-yard carry on 3rd-and-9 early in the second quarter that kept the drive alive for the Bucs' first touchdown of the game. He added a 30-yard completion to Kenny Dinkins on 4th-and-9 that directly led to CSU's second touchdown of the game.
Terrence Wilson Can Scoot
Sophomore running back Terrence Wilson has quietly established himself as the workhorse in the CSU backfield this season. The Leesville, S.C. native posted his second 100-yard rushing effort of the season and third of his collegiate career this past weekend against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Wilson tailled a career-high 137 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries to help the Bucs hold off GWU. Thirteen of his 19 carries came in the second half to help CSU ice the game and rack up a strong time of possession edge (32:22-27:38) in the contest. Wilson took over CSU's rushing lead for the season with 473 yards. He is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and has scored six touchdowns this year.
Kenny Dinkins Back Shoulder
One of the biggest plays of the game this past Saturday came at the hands of Charleston Southern's top receiver of the season, Kenny Dinkins. The senior wide-out rotated back to the right front pylon and caught the ball on his knees at the GWU 1-yard line on 4th-and-9 midway through the second quarter. Two plays later, Wilson scored for the second time to extend CSU's lead against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Dinkins has taken over the reins as CSU's primary receiver this season following the injury to Kameron Brown. The Lawtey, Fla. native leads the Bucs with 17 receptions for 277 yards and a touchdown. He is currently eighth all-time in CSU history with 1,042 career receiving yards and seventh all-time with 11 touchdowns. He's posted five games with multiple receptions this season and has three games with at least 60 receiving yards.
Offensive Line Protection Holds Strong
Charleston Southern's offense line helped pave the way to the CSU hitting the 200-yard rushing mark for the fifth time this season and the first time since October 13 against Virginia Lynchburg. The Bucs ran the ball 44 times for 203 yards and two touchdowns and controlled the line of scrimmage against the Gardner-Webb pass rush. GWU was able to get to the quarterback twice and recorded six tackles for loss, but CSU's experienced group kept the ball moving on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs held onto the ball for 32:22 in the contest and recorded 13 first downs in the game to keep the Gardner-Webb defense on the field. The Bucs will look for similar production against a Campbell defensive front surrendering 212.4 rushing yards per game and 342.0 yards of total offense per game this season.
Charleston Southern has gone from one of the nation's worst at holding onto the ball to one of the best. The Buccaneers enter Saturday's contest ranked 18th overall in FCS with a +0.67 turnover margin and will look to widen the mark. After surrendering 11 turnovers over the first four games of the year, the Buccaneers have protected the football since entering conference play. CSU has given up three turnovers in their last five games and posted a +10 margin over the last five games forcing 13 turnovers in games against Virginia Lynchburg, Presbyterian, Kennesaw State, Monmouth, and Gardner-Webb. In each of CSU's Big South wins this season, the Bucs have held onto the football. Campbell is +3 overall in turnover margin this season and will attempt to force the Bucs into bad decisions on Saturday.
Converting Third Downs
For the first time in three weeks, the Buccaneers' offense was able to stay on the field as CSU converted multiple third down opportunities. The Buccaneers tied their season-high with six third-down conversions in the win over Gardner-Webb, equaling the mark achieved back on September 22 against Elon. The Bucs were 6-of-17 on third down to raise the season total to 29.4% on the season. The Bucs will look to continue the momentum this weekend against a stout Campbell defense. The Camels are 24th in FCS allowing opponents to convert 33.3% of their third down attempts.
Quarterback Take Downs
The breakout defensive performance CSU was waiting for came this past weekend against Gardner-Webb as the Buccaneers recorded a season-high seven sacks in the win over the Runnin' Bulldogs. Five different players recorded sacks in the contest paced by Taequan Washington and Garrett Sayegh's 2.0 sacks apiece in the game. The total was the second-highest in head coach Mark Tucker's coaching tenure with the Bucs and tied for the second-most in program history. The Buccaneers more than doubled their season total entering the contest as CSU had posted six sacks as a defensive unit prior to the GWU game. The Bucs are third in the Big South averaging 1.44 sacks per game on the season led by Jonathan Glover II's 2.5 sacks on the season. Overall, four different CSU players have multiple sacks on the year and provide a balanced attack against a mobile quarterback in Campbell's Daniel Smith.
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
In addition to CSU's defensive prowess at getting after the quarterback this past weekend, the Buccaneers were active behind the line of scrimmage. CSU equaled their season-best mark of 11.0 tackles for loss in the game, matching the total they achieved against Savannah State on October 6. Johnny Robinson helped pace the way with a pair of tackles behind the line of scrimmage to increase his season total to 6.5 on the year. The Bucs are averaging 6.7 tackles for loss on the year led by Solomon Brown's 8.5. Thirteen different players have recorded tackles behind the line of scrimmage this season and will look to continue their success this weekend against a unit allowing 5.30 tackles for loss per game on the year.
Freshman Standouts – Washington, Sayegh, and Pride
Charleston Southern has been relying on the play of freshmen standouts this season with the Bucs putting youth on the field in response to various injuries. The last two weeks the youth movement has paid off for CSU with defensive tackle Taequan Washington, linebacker Garrett Sayegh, and defensive back EJ Pride have put together dominant performances. Washington and Sayegh sparked the defensive efforts this past weekend against Gardner-Webb with the duo recording two sacks apiece and seven tackles overall in the win. Washington and Sayegh's efforts come one game after Pride recorded a career-high 16 tackles in the loss against Monmouth. The Bucs will continue to rely on their freshmen defensive efforts this weekend against the Camels.
Allen Steps In Front
James Allen continued his standout play this past weekend as the senior cornerback recorded his third interception of the season. Allen stepped in front of GWU quarterback Jordan Smith's pass near midfield and returned it 17 yards to the GWU 32 to set up CSU's second touchdown of the game. It tied the Ft. Lauderdale native for the Big South interception lead and extended his lead in interception return yards to 133. Allen leads the Big South with two interception returns for touchdowns highlighted by his 100-yard return against Kennesaw State. He recorded his first pick-six, a 16-yard return against Hampton, in the Bucs win over the Pirates. Allen and company will face a talented Campbell wide receiver corps headlined by freshman Caleb Snead and senior Aaron Blockmon. Snead (40 catches, 715 yards, eight TD) and Blockmon (39 catches, 518 yards, three TD) will attempt to crack the Bucs' pass defense ranked third in FCS at 133.6 yards per game.
Getting the Team Off the Field – Stopping Third Downs
Charleston Southern's defense will need to continue their dominance and prevent sustained drives for the Camels on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs allowed Kennesaw State (11-of-16) and Monmouth (10-of-17) to hit the double-digit mark in third-down conversions in CSU's lone Big South losses on the season. This past weekend, CSU allowed Gardner-Webb to convert 8-of-20 attempts on third down in the winning effort. CSU is currently 96th overall in FCS in third down conversion percentage defense (42.1%0 on the season. Campbell enters the game ranked 23rd in the country with a 42.9% successful conversion rate. The Bucs will need to force the Camels into long third down situations in order to get the offense back on the field.
Matching Up with Daniel Smith
Finalist for the 2017 Jerry Rice Award, redshirt sophomore quarterback Daniel Smith has lived up to the accolades this season leading the Big South Conference with 245.0 yards of total offense per game. He's averaging 7.2 yards per play and is second in the Big South with 26 offensive touchdowns. Smith is fourth in the Big South with 72.6 rushing yards per game and second in passing yards per game with 172.4 yards. Smith has taken a few steps back in conference play, but led Campbell to the first Big South win in program history this past weekend, a 34-6 win over Presbyterian. Smith posted 238 total offensive yards last week (129 rushing, 109 passing) and totaled four touchdowns in the win. He will look to succeed against a CSU defensive effort that ranks 24th in FCS in total defense at 329.1 yards per game.
Tekac Hits 50
Senior placekicker Tyler Tekac checked another milestone off his list this past weekend against Gardner-Webb as the Goose Creek native connected on a career-long 50-yard field goal in the first quarter against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Tekac converted the longest field goal in the Big South this season, retaking the lead from Monmouth's Matt Mosquera with his conversion. Tekac is 10-of-14 on the season with his 50-yard conversion tying him for fifth all-time in the CSU record books with 10 field goals on the year. Tekac is currently second on the Bucs with 203 career points scored sitting 11 behind Nick Ellis (214, 2003-07) all-time in the CSU record books.
Reighard Spots Up
Redshirt junior punter Kyle Reighard had near-perfect placement of his nine punts this past weekend on his way to earning Big South Special Teams Player of the Week recognition. The Salem, Va. native averaged 40.2 yards per attempt and pinned five punts inside the 20-yard line in the win over Gardner-Webb. He added two 50-yard punts, including one that was downed at the GWU 11 yard line. Reighard is averaging 41.0 yards per attempt on the season and has pinned 20 punts inside the opponent's 20 this year.
Lindsey Making Late Push
Taz Lindsey continues to make a late push to retain his title as the top punt returner in the Big South Conference this season. Lindsey leads the conference with 12.8 yards per return on the year and is fourth in the conference with 19.8 yards per kickoff return. The senior return specialist has recorded 636 all-purpose yards this season and is averaging 70.7 yards per game on the year.