Unbeaten Bucs feel confident going into game at Colorado

Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell takes his Bucs to Colorado this weekend. (Shane Roper/Special to The Post and Courier)

Based on the original 2013 football schedule, Charleston Southern would be enjoying a well-deserved break this week after opening the season with seven consecutive wins and earning a national FCS top 25 ranking.

But severe flooding in Colorado back in September began a chain of events that eventually led to CSU scheduling a game at the University of Colorado to take on the Buffaloes of the Pac-12 Conference at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Because of the flooding in Boulder, Colorado was forced to cancel its home game against Fresno State on Sept. 14. Colorado wanted to find a replacement game and eventually contacted CSU athletic director Hank Small. The two schools hashed out a deal estimated to be worth between $300,000 and $400,000 for CSU. Colorado was going to pay Fresno State $250,000 to play at Boulder.

The additional game gives Charleston Southern 13, the most regular-season games in FCS history.

Jamey Chadwell, the Bucs’ first-year head coach, said the players could use a week off to rest and heal, but they are excited about the opportunity to play at Colorado.

“An off week would have been great, especially with all of the injuries that we have. It has been a physical seven weeks for sure,” Chadwell said. “But I also know what our ultimate goals are for our program down the road.

“Weighing the benefits as a coach of having an off week versus playing this game, this makes sense for us from an obvious financial standpoint but also in terms of publicity for our program. You hate it for the guys that are banged up and could use some time off, but this football team is excited about playing this game.”

Saturday’s game is CSU’s sixth on the road this season. The Bucs are 7-0 overall, 1-0 in the Big South. The Buffaloes, who will have freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau make his first start Saturday, are 2-3 overall, 0-3 in the Pac-12.

Chadwell realizes that stepping up to a Pac-12 opponent is a huge challenge, regardless of Colorado’s record.

“The objective is to go out there and play our very best and try to get a win,” Chadwell said. “We have not lost a game so far this season and we certainly are focusing our energy on being 8-0.

“Our guys are confident. We know Colorado is at a different level than we are. We know that we will have to play our absolute best and hope they don’t play well to have a chance. But, we’re a confident team and I think our hungry football team will give it a great shot.”

CSU junior running back Christian Reyes, who needs just 46 yards to break the team single-season rushing record, is expected to see limited action because he is nursing a variety of bumps and bruises.

The Bucs’ defense suffered a major blow in last week’s win over VMI when senior defensive end Will Hunt suffered a season-ending knee injury.