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BSC Opponent 2012 Preview: Charleston Southern
As the football team continues its August training camp, LibertyFlames.com will be taking a look at each of the Flames' Big South opponents, beginning today with Charleston Southern.
Along with today's brief written preview about the Buccaneers, LibertyFlames.com has provided an audio interview with Charleston Southern Head Coach Jay Mills and FSN reporter Nick Pierce (click audio player link above to listen to the interview).
Each team enters a season with the goal of winning a conference championship and advancing to postseason competition where they will vie for a national title. However, goals for the 2012 Charleston Southern football team might be a little simpler following a challenging 2011 campaign.
The last time the Buccaneers left a football field with a victory was on Nov. 13, 2010, when Charleston Southern held on for a 42-39 victory on Senior Day against Presbyterian College.
In 2011, the Buccaneers were one of two FCS programs in the country to post a 0-11 record, as they joined Big Sky member Northern Colorado on the national winless list. The Buccaneers ranked No. 116 out of 120 teams in the country in scoring defense (40.00 points per game) and had an average margin of defeat of 16.93 points per game.
The 2012 slate for the Buccaneers will be less challenging than the 2011 schedule, one that featured three straight weekend trips to Florida, with the first to face FBS opponents UCF (L/0-62) and Florida State (L/10-62).
Mills is the "dean" of Big South football coaches as he enters his 10th season at the helm of the Charleston Southern program. Helping complete his first decade with the Buccaneers will be 40 returning letterwinners and 16 returning starters.
Charleston Southern had two selections on the Big South Conference preseason all-conference teams in wide receiver Nathan Perera and defensive back Charles James.
James was tabbed the league's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the 2011 season with 66 tackles (40 solo, 26 assisted), to go along with two interceptions, seven pass breakups and a tackle for a loss.
Perera ranked No. 3 in the Big South behind Liberty's Chris Summers (5.8/92.2) and Pat Kelly (4.4/65.7) in terms of receptions per game (3.9) and receiving yards per game (64.5).
The Buccaneers will travel to Lynchburg, Va., this year to face the Flames where they will be looking to snap a five-game losing skid inside of Williams Stadium. During the Flames' current five-game home winning streak over Charleston Southern, Liberty has outscored the Buccaneers by 24.4 points per game (37.0 points per game scored to 12.6 points per game allowed).
The Flames will open the month of November with the Buccaneers at home on Nov. 3 and will look to extend their November home winning streak to 13 games. The last time the Flames dropped a game at home in November was a 35-28 overtime setback to No. 17 Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 2, 2002.
Two of the Flames' top offensive threats the last time Liberty faced the Buccaneers return for the 2012 season. Aldreakis Allen led the Flames' ground attack during the 38-16 road victory on Oct. 22, with 16 carries for 126 yards. Kelly was Liberty's leading receiver with four receptions for 70 yards and one of his three touchdowns on the season.
The Flames also got some strong defensive and special teams play against Charleston Southern to secure the road win. KaJuan Lee and Scott Hyland returned interceptions for touchdowns, spotlighted by a school record 100-yard return for Lee.
Kevin Fogg sealed the victory by opening the second half with an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, one of his national-leading three returns for a score in 2011.
Charleston Southern Links:
Last Game against Charleston Southern:
Oct. 22, 2011 – Liberty 38, Charleston Southern 16 – Recap, Box Score
Last Home Game against Charleston Southern:
Oct. 9, 2010 – Liberty 44, Charleston Southern 20 – Recap, Box Score
The Flames will hold their final morning practice of the week, tomorrow morning, from 9:15 to 11:50 a.m. on the turf at Williams Stadium. Practice No. 10 for Liberty will be on Saturday night from 7 to 8:30 p.m., under the lights before the players receive their first day off on Sunday since practice began on Aug. 2.
Fans are reminded that Liberty's football practices are closed to the general public, outside of the Flames Fan Fest on Aug. 18.
Season and single game tickets remain on sale for the 2012 season through the Flames Ticket Office. For more information about tickets, contact the Flames Ticket Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.