Charleston Southern can tie a school record for victories in a season Saturday with a win over Presbyterian College in a key Big South Conference football game.
The 8-1 Buccaneers, ranked 18th in the latest FCS Coaches poll, will finish the season with four straight conference games, beginning with the Blue Hose.
Next week, CSU plays host to Coastal Carolina, ranked No. 3 in the FCS with an 8-0 record, before traveling to Gardner-Webb on Nov. 16 and playing Liberty at home on Nov. 23.
“It starts now,” said CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell. “We’ve accomplished a lot of good things this season, but everyone knows the conference schedule is what matters most. Hopefully the good things that we have been doing in these first nine games have prepared us for these last four.”
Chadwell said he’s not worried about his team looking past Presbyterian in anticipation of the huge showdown with Coastal Carolina. Presbyterian is 3-4 overall but has won consecutive games with 49-point scoring efforts, including a win over Big South foe VMI.
Freshman quarterback Heys McMath has started the last two games for the Blue Hose, throwing for 482 yards and four touchdowns.
“The last time we played there, they beat us 45-14, so it’s not like we beat them every year,” said Chadwell. “People have to understand where we are as a program. We are not good enough to just show up against anyone.
“The last two weeks they have played very well. They have a chance to be 2-0 in the conference, same as us. We expect a very tough game.”
The Bucs are coming off one of their most impressive performances of the season, a 36-14 victory over Charlotte last week. Junior running back Christian Reyes rushed for 168 yards and was named the Big South offensive player of the week. Reyes is the school’s single-season rushing record holder and needs 47 yards to become the first player in school history to reach 1,000 yards in a season. The Bucs are averaging 245 yards rushing per game.
Defensively, CSU continues to be one of the top units in the Big South, ranking second in total defense while leading the conference in sacks (21) and third-down defense. Senior linebacker Calvin Bryant has 56 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss.