Hurricanes Storm Past Bucs 52-7August 28, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Charleston Southern offense had a rough go of it in the season-opener against Miami, Thursday night, as they fell 52-7 in the Hurricanes’ first home game in Dolphin Stadium. An announced attendance of 48,119 was on hand to watch as Miami celebrated the victory on the first-day of the 2008 college football season.
CSU had just seven first downs, and 126 total yards in the loss. Tribble Reese, who got the first start of his college career, finished the game 21-10 for 81 yards and one touchdown.
“It felt really good to come into the game knowing that I was the guy and that the team was behind me,” said Reese on his first start. “I think our game plan was good. Miami just came out and played really well and put pressure on us. We just have to get everyone on the same page to execute our offense as well as we know we can.”
On the ground, T.J. Latimore and DeMarcus Moon each had six carries with Latimore gathering in 29 of the teams’ 49 rushing yards. Dee Brown was the favorite target of Reese, catching four passes for 24 yards. Running back Antwan Ivey had two receptions for 44 yards, including a 39-yarder down the sideline to setup the lone CSU touchdown.
Defensively for CSU, Darius Gaither led the way with nine stops, while Okeba Rollinson had six. Zachery Hillery had the lone CSU sack of the day. Matt Bach and Jake Killeen each added tackles for loss.
Despite the offensive struggles, Head Coach Jay Mills was still pleased with what he saw out of his team.
“I think that both programs, us as we try to achieve national prominence at the FCS level, and Miami as they try to restore national prominence at the FBS level, are headed in the right direction,” said Mills.
It was tough for CSU to get much going in the first quarter as a failed fourth-down gamble by the Bucs resulted in a short field for Miami. With 82 yards coming on the ground, 52 by James, it was a 21-0 lead for the Hurricanes after one quarter of play.
Disaster struck in the second after CSU forced the first Miami punt of the game as Philip Ashley bobbled a fair catch attempt and the ball was immediately pounced on by a host of Hurricanes. With just 14 yards to go for their fourth-score of the game, Miami used just two plays to put it in and go up 28-0 with 12:29 still remaining in the half.
CSU finally got their break in the second quarter as Matt Bach recovered a fumble by James to halt a Miami drive deep in CSU territory. Though the CSU offense was still unable to put together a scoring drive, the Bucs’ defense solidified and held the Hurricanes scoreless for the remainder of the half, trailing 28-0 at halftime.
CSU finished the half with just 43 total yards as opposed to 244 amassed by Miami.
A quick three-and-out forced CSU to punt it away and Craig Cooper returned it 65 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 35-0 quickly after the break.
Winning the field position battle in the second half, CSU finally took advantage of it as they drove down and set up a first-and-goal on the seven yardline. Facing third-and-goal, Reese scrambled from the pocket and as he was falling out of bounds, lofted a pass into the end zone where it fell into the waiting arms of tight end Tyrese Harris to put CSU on the scoreboard with 3:39 in the third quarter, 35-7.
Miami stormed right back as they answered on a six-play, 60-yard drive of their own to make it 42-7 just before the end of the third quarter. They added to it on their first drive of the fourth, marching down the field before adding a 22-yard field goal off the foot of Matt Bosher to go up 45-7.
Miami would add one more touchdown with 2:33 left in the game as Shawnbrey McNeal punched it in from one yard out to give the final score of 52-7.
The Bucs will try to take advantage of a couple of extra days off before hosting Wofford on Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m.Related Item: Box Score