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2013 Flames Football Opponent Preview: Charleston Southern
LibertyFlames.com continues its coverage of Flames Football training camp with the third in a series of previews of Liberty's 2013 opponents, featuring Charleston Southern today.
Charleston Southern is one of two Big South programs who will be under the direction of a first-year coach, as Jamey Chadwell was named the program's head coach on January 17, 2013.
Chadwell is no stronger to the Buccaneers' program, having served as an assistant coach at Charleston Southern five seasons (2004-08).
In between his previous time in North Charleston, S.C., and now, Chadwell served as head coach at North Greenville (2009-11) and Delta State (2012). He posted a combined 23-21 record in four seasons as head coach, spotlighted by a 7-3 record in 2010 and 11-3 mark in 2011 at North Greenville.
Chadwell inherits a Charleston Southern program that finished 2012 with a 5-6 record and a 3-3 Big South mark. Behind 18 returning starters and 46 returning letterwinners, Charleston Southern was picked to finish fourth in the Big South preseason football poll, which was released at Big South Media Day in July.
Malcolm Dixon returns to lead the Buccaneers' offense after passing for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. Dixon also did some damage on the ground last season, rushing for 462 yards and seven touchdowns.
Dixon will also have three of his top four returning wide receivers to throw to, including Larry Jones, III, who led the team with 431 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Charleston Southern's leading rusher also returns in Teddy Allen, who rushed for 576 yards and nine touchdowns.
As good as the Buccaneers' offense could be, the defense could be better. Charleston Southern returns eight defensive starters from last year and six of their top seven defenders.
Leading Charleston Southern's defensive effort will be All-Big South second-team selection Elijah Lee. The returning defensive back finished 2012 with 70 stops (37 solo, 33 assisted).
Liberty and Charleston Southern have met each year since 1993 with Liberty leading the series 18-2. Liberty is currently on a seven-game win streak in its series with the Buccaneers, including last year's 26-12 victory by the Flames at Williams Stadium on Nov. 3.
Liberty and Charleston Southern will wrap up the 2013 regular on Nov. 23 in North Charleston. The 11 a.m. contest at CSU Stadium could be a historic one for the Flames if they are successfully able to make their way through their 2013 Big South schedule.
A win over Charleston Southern could clinch the Flames' sixth Big South title in the last seven years and the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs as the conference' victor will receive the league's automatic bid to the expanded postseason tournament (24 teams in 2013).