Darius Hammond

Darius Hammond and Charleston Southern will open the FCS playoffs at Wofford on Saturday. (Jim Killian/CSU Athletics)

For the second consecutive season, Big South Conference champion Charleston Southern is headed to the FCS national playoffs.

The Buccaneers (7-3) learned their postseason fate on Sunday morning as the 24-team playoff bracket was announced live on ESPNU. Charleston Southern will play at Wofford (8-2) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The winner of the first-round game will play at The Citadel at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

Charleston Southern, which beat Kennesaw State, 28-7, on Saturday to clinch the Big South’s automatic bid to the playoffs, was hopeful of landing a first-round home game. The Buccaneers took some consolation in getting a game relatively close to home.

“Anytime you get to keep playing, it’s a good thing,” senior receiver Colton Korn said. “Especially for us seniors, just trying to get one more and play as long as we can. Wofford is another in-state school that didn’t offer a lot of us so it’s a great opportunity for us.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s the playoffs and we are happy to be in. We had to battle for it late in the season, so it’s special to be in.”

CSU lost to Gardner-Webb on Nov. 3 and needed to win its final two regular season games to earn the playoff bid. The Buccaneers responded with resounding wins over Liberty and Kennesaw State.

Buccaneers head coach Jamey Chadwell expressed disappointment about having to go on the road, but said getting a playoff opportunity was the ultimate goal.

“It’s disappointing. I don’t know all of the details, but you would think a conference champion would get more favor in the bidding process,” Chadwell said. “Regardless, we’re in and that’s all that matters. We’ve done a nice job on the road this year, so hopefully we will go up there against a really good team and compete.”

Wofford has won all 13 previous meetings with Charleston Southern, the last game being played in 2010. The Terriers and Buccaneers renew their regular season series next fall.

“I don’t care about 0 and 13,” Chadwell said. “I don’t think that has a bearing on this game. I know Wofford is really good and really tough at home, so we have to do our best to get ready to play this game.”

The matchup will pit two of the top defensive teams in FCS football. Wofford’s defense allows only 68 yards rushing per game this season, while CSU allows only 137 yards on the ground per game.

Both offenses are predicated on the option run game. Wofford averages 295 yards rushing per game, while the Buccaneers rush for 273 yards per game.

“It’s a good matchup in terms of styles and schemes,” Chadwell said. “It will be a physical, tough football game I’m sure.”

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