Forgive the Charleston Southern football team if they need directions to Buccaneer Field for Saturday's game against Norfolk State. The Buccaneers have not played a game there since last November.
Charleston Southern opened the 2011 season with three consecutive road games in Florida, losing all three to Central Florida, Florida State and Jacksonville.
In addition to the losses, the team suffered bus problems in two of the three trips, making long trips even longer. No such problem today. The Buccaneers can focus on just playing football.
"It's been a long three weeks and as a team we are very excited about playing at home" said quarterback Malcolm Dixon, who rushed for 163 yards in CSU's 37-30 loss to Jacksonville last week. "We get to sleep in our own beds and walk to the stadium. It's going to be a great feeling to walk out there with our home fans there pulling for us."
Norfolk State presents quite a challenge for the Buccaneers, having won two of its first three games. The lone loss came to nationally-ranked West Virginia.
But, the Buccaneers face even more challenges from within as they seek to fix the issues that have led to a slow start. No one expected CSU to beat UCF or Florida State but last weekend's showing against Jacksonville was disappointing.
CSU more than doubled its offensive output in terms of yardage from the first two games combined. The Bucs rushed for 327 yards but had 12 penalties, double the total of the first two games.
"It was disappointing on several fronts, from the mistakes and penalties we had in the first half offensively to the inability to stop the run in the second half," said head coach Jay Mills. "I said in July and I say it now, we're going to be a good football team. When that happens depends on how much we can improve and eliminate the mistakes that we're making.
"This team has great leadership and great character. They continue to work hard everyday in practice. I know success is right around the corner and hopefully we can take the necessary steps on Saturday to get a victory."
Charleston Southern has won its last five home openers. This will be the first meeting with Norfolk State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.