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Big South Opponent Preview: Charleston Southern

August 28, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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B.J. Hayes and the Flames will host their 2010 Big South opener against Charleston Southern at Williams Stadium on Oct. 9, 2010.

B.J. Hayes and the Flames will host their 2010 Big South opener against Charleston Southern at Williams Stadium on Oct. 9, 2010.

During this week between training camp and the Flames preparation week for St. Francis, is going to preview the Flames Big South Conference opponents. Each preview will include audio interviews with head coach Danny Rocco and the opposing head coach.

We continue today's week-long series by taking a look at Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs program is predicted to finish in fourth place in this year's Big South Conference standings, as selected by the league's head coaches and media members.

The Buccaneers, who garnered one first-place vote in the Big South preseason rankings, are coming off their most successful campaign since their shared Big South title with Coastal Carolina in 2005. Last year, Charleston Southern won its last four games of the season, including a thrilling 30-27 overtime victory over Stony Brook.

Charleston Southern set a program record for Big South wins, finishing 4-2, which earned them a third-place finish in the final 2009 conference standings, behind co-champions Liberty and Stony Brook.

For the second-straight season, the Buccaneers will square off against a pair of FBS programs in 2010. After facing Florida and South Florida last year, Charleston Southern is slated to hit the gridiron with Hawaii and Kentucky. Charleston Southern's trip to the "Big Island" is scheduled for Sept. 25, while their trip to Lexington, Ky., will fall during the middle of Big South play (Nov. 6).

Charleston Southern returns a total of 18 starters from last year's squad, including first-team all-conference performers Gerald Stevenson (WR), Joe Walton (DL) and Chris Kuzdale (DB). The Buccaneers' 18 top returnees are evenly split on both sides of the field, with eight players returning on offense and seven on defense (plus three returning starters on special teams).

Stevenson was the No. 2 wide receiver in the Big South last year, finishing the 2009 campaign with 724 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The speedy athlete was also used heavily in the Buccaneer's return game, allowing him to finish the year ranked second in the league in all-purpose yards (1,452/132.0 average per game).

Charleston Southern gave the Flames all they could handle in their last meeting on Oct. 24, 2009. It took a late score by Liberty's offense and a last-second stop by the Flames' defense to prevent Charleston Southern from picking up its first win against Liberty since 2005.

With less than six minutes left in the game in Charleston, S.C., Mike Brown found tight end Will Quarles open for a six-yard scoring strike to put the Flames up 20-13. The Buccaneers quickly fought back and managed to drive deep into Liberty territory on the ensuing drive. However, defensive end Daryl Robertson was able to bat down an A.J. Toscano pass from the 18-yard line to the end zone on the game's final play of the contest to allow No. 23 Liberty sneak out of town with a seven-point road win.

The last time the two met at Williams Stadium, the game was completely a different story. Liberty dominated the Homecoming match-up for the entire 60 minutes of play, rolling to a 42-0 victory on Oct. 25, 2008. No. 20 Liberty outgained Charleston Southern by more than 300 yards (492 to 191 total offensive yards). Many players had banner days for the Flames, including running back Rashad Jennings (127 yards and two touchdowns), quarterback Brock Smith (12-of-17, 269 yards and two touchdowns) and wide receiver Jonathan Crawford (124 yards and two touchdowns).

Location: Charleston, S.C.
Enrollment: 3,287
Founded: 1964
Nickname: Buccaneers
Colors: Navy Blue and Gold
Conference: Big South
Stadium: CSU Stadium (4,000)
Surface: Natural Grass
President: Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr.
Athletic Director: Hank Small

Head Coach: Jay Mills (Western Washington, '84)
Record at School: 40-38 (Seven years)
Career Record: 43-59 (10 years)
Assistant Coaches:
Thielen Smith - Defensive Coordinator
Chuck Kelly - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
RaShan Frost - Defensive Line
Gabe Giardina - Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
Dave Brunner - Wide Receivers
Marcus Woodson - Defensive Backs

Offensive Formation: Multiple; One Back
Defensive Formation: Multiple Pro
Lettermen Returning: 31 (12 Off., 16 Def., 3 SP)
Lettermen Lost: 19 (9 Off., 9 Def., 1 SP)
Starters Returning: 18 (8 Off., 7 Def., 3 SP)
Starters Lost: 10 (4 Off., 5 Def., 1 SP)
Offensive/Defensive Starters Returning: 8/7
Offensive Starters Returning: B.J. Baker (OL), Anthony Chalmers (WR), DeMarcus Moon (RB), Kwame Krakue (WR), Jordan Lancaster (OL), Levi McFatter (OL), Gerald Stevenson (WR), A.J. Toscano (QB)
Defensive Starters Returning: Jaques Bazile (DB), Fred Godfrey (LB), David Jackson (LB), Chris Kuzdale (DB), Chris Patrick (LB), Joel Walton (DL), Matt Woods (DL)

Athletics Web Site - Link
2009 Record: 6-5 – Link to Results
Conference Record/Finish: 4-2/3rd
2009 Statistics – Link to Statistics
2010 Schedule – Link to Schedule

Series Results
Series Record: Liberty leads the series, 15-2
Last Meeting at Home: Oct. 25, 2008
Liberty, 42-0 – Link to RecapBox Score
Last Meeting on the Road: Oct. 24, 2009
Liberty, 20-13 – Link to RecapBox Score
Current Series Streak: Liberty, W4