As Charleston Southern opens fall football camp Saturday, second-year head coach Jamey Chadwell sets out to build on last year's 10-3 season that ended with the Buccaneers ranked among the nation's top 25 FCS programs.
Chadwell returns all 11 starters offensively, but the kicking game needs major work. There are also several holes to fill defensively. And, one has to wonder how CSU will handle night games on campus for the first time ever, as well as a difficult road schedule.
Here's a look at the most pressing issues for CSU entering fall camp:
How will CSU respond after such a successful season? Chadwell addressed the issue at the Big South media day two weeks ago, saying the challenge this season is to prove his program can be a consistent winner. The Bucs won 10 games last year but posted three pretty big upsets in wins over The Citadel, Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.
Can the Bucs count on upsets this season? The schedule this fall includes games at Vanderbilt, Georgia, Liberty and Coastal Carolina. CSU will not be favored in any of those contests. The Bucs host The Citadel for the first time and also face challenging games with Newberry and Charlotte.
CSU opens the season with four consecutive home games, all at night, then has six of its final eight games on the road.
2. Kicking game
CSU returns a solid punter in Truett Burns but opens camp without a placekicker with any college game experience. The Bucs did not attempt field goals in the spring game because they had no kicker on the team.
A pair of freshmen, including Summerville grad David Kennedy, will be in contention for the top job. Last year's tandem of placekickers converted 11 of 15 field goals and 32 of 36 PATs.
Who will win the starting nod at Quarterback? CSU redshirt sophomore Danny Croghan of Bishop England started the final seven games last season and earned the Big South Freshman of the Year honor. Yet, Chadwell saw a need at quarterback and brought in mid-year transfer Austin Brown from UAB.
Brown had a solid spring and will battle Croghan for the starting job. Regardless of who ends up starting, the Bucs have improved their overall depth at the position.
4. Running game
With the entire offensive line returning intact, senior running back Christian Reyes could end up leading the Big South in rushing this season. Reyes gained a school record 1,254 yards last season and needs only 488 yards to become the career record holder in only two seasons.
CSU led all of FCS in time of possession last season and wants to be a running, ball control offense. Sophomore Michael Holloway averaged 10.5 yards per carry last season and is a nice complement to Reyes.
5. Night football
CSU installed lights on Buccaneer Field after last season and played its spring game under the lights. The first four games of this season (Point University, Newberry, Campbell and The Citadel) are night games.
The home game versus The Citadel is a first at CSU (where will everyone sit?).
Jamey Chadwell was 10-3 in his first season as the head coach at Charleston Southern last year.Paul Zoeller/Staff×