CSU vs. NGU Game NotesSeptember 25, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
Saturday’s game will be the ninth all-time between CSU and North Greenville. CSU currently has a 7-1 record against the Crusaders, with the only loss coming in 2003. The two teams have played every years since 2001, with CSU having shut out NGU twice; 38-0 in 2001, and 9-0 in 2002.
In last year’s contest, Charleston Southern scored with six minutes remaining to take their first lead of the game since a field goal on the opening drive. CSU scored the last 22 points of the game to win 46-33.
The Bucs are coming off a much-needed off week after facing two FBS Schools (Miami-Fla., and Miami-Ohio) as well as nationally-ranked Wofford in the first three weeks of the season.
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Charleston Southern is now 4-14 all-time in season-openers, including a 1-12 mark on the road. They have opened each of the last five seasons away from home.
Buccaneer’s Year-By-Year Season-Opener Results
1991 at Methodist L 8-18
1992 Methodist W 20-19
1993 at Morgan State L 20-54
1994 at Presbyterian L 34-38
1995 at Chattanooga L 0-41
1996 at Presbyterian L 26-34
1997 at East Tennessee State L 7-30
1998 South Carolina State L 7-17
1999 at South Carolina State L 14-20
2000 Guilford W 58-0
2001 North Greenville W 38-0
2002 VMI L 24-27
2003 at The Citadel L 10-64
2004 at Presbyterian L 14-19
2005 at The Citadel L 28-14
2006 at Presbyterian W 21-13
2007 at The Citadel L 14-35
2008 at Miami (Fla.) L 7-52
The Bucs have won 18 of their last 23 home games over the past four years, including a perfect 6-0 record in 2006. CSU had a 12-game home winning streak, stretching from Oct. 15, 2005 to Oct. 20, 2007. The streak was the second-longest in the nation at the time it ended and matched the longest home run in Big South history. Coastal Carolina also won 12 consecutive home games between Sept. 11, 2004 and Nov. 12, 2005. The Sept. 27, 2008 home-opener against North Greenville will be the latest date for the first home game in CSU history, edging out the Sept. 25, 2004 game against the University of Charleston (W.V.)
Buccaneer’s Year-By-Year Home-Opener Results
1991 Mars Hill L 0-29
1992 Methodist W 20-19
1993 Presbyterian W 17-16
1994 S.C. State L 0-37
1995 Presbyterian L 6-44
1996 West Virginia State W 17-12
1997 Presbyterian L 6-17
1998 South Carolina State L 7-17
1999 Lenoir-Rhyne * W 14-7 (OT)
2000 Guilford W 58-0
2001 North Greenville W 38-0
2002 VMI L 24-27
2003 Presbyterian L 14-17
2004 Charleston (WV) W 38-21
2005 Presbyterian L 0-42
2006 Wingate W 20-17
2007 Johnson C. Smith W 44-20
2008 North Greenville
* - First game of the season at Buccaneer Field
On The Road Again
With week two’s game being changed to a road game, CSU will start the 2008 season with three-straight road games. Combined with a bye week, CSU will not play their first home game until Sept. 27 when they host North Greenville. Never before has CSU played their first three games on the road. Five times (1997, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007) CSU has played their first two games away from Buccaneer Field.
Despite a combined 35 juniors and seniors on the roster, the 2008 Buccaneers continue to show their youth. The 2008 Buccaneers have a total of 15 seniors on the roster. The roster also has 20 juniors, 23 sophomores, 20 redshirt-freshmen and 24 true freshmen.
Gerald Stevenson has continued to make his name known around the country with his electric kick return abilities. After earning Big South Special Teams Player of the Week (11/3) and Big South Freshman of the Week (11/10) honors last season, he has already earned Big South, and TSN National Special Teams Player of the Week in 2008. Both honors came after he set a Big South record with 255 return yards on seven returns against Wofford on Sept. 6. Combined with his receiving total (33) and 14 rushing yards, Stevenson posted a school-record 302 all-purpose yards against the Terriers, the second-best total in Big South History. So far in 2008, Stevenson has had more than 140 all-purpose yards in every game.
Charleston Southern had four players selected to the 2008 Big South Preseason All-Conference team. Wide receiver Dee Brown and center Alex Bragg were named to the offense, while defensive lineman Jake Killeen and linebacker Josh Mitchell were named to the defense. All four selections are in their senior year.
After the 2007 season, the Bucs had a total of nine players named to the Big South All-Conference teams. Four of those selections return, including first-team offensive selection Dee Brown. Second-team tight end Ryan Ard returns, but moves to the defensive line in 2008, while second-team defense selections Jake Killeen and Okeba Rollinson also return for CSU.
In the first three weeks of 2008, CSU has already had the Big South Special Teams Player of the Week (Gerald Stevenson - 9/6/08) and the Big South Freshman of the Week (Chris Kuzdale - 9/13/08).
The Charleston Southern football program continues to remember Eddie Gadson. Gadson was a walk-on wide receiver, who fought to earn a scholarship, and was named first-team all-conference as a redshirt freshman. The summer before the 2005 football season, Gadson was tragically killed in a car accident. The team rallied behind his memory to win their final five games of the season, claiming their first-ever winning season, and their first-ever Big South Champion. Each year, a golf outing is held to help raise money for the scholarship created in his honor; the Edward A. Gadson Memorial Scholarship. The Scholarship is awarded each year to a walk-on who shows the same heart and determination that Eddie was known for.
2008 - Matt Bach
2007 - Alex Thomas
2006 - Darius Jackson
A number of Buccaneers on the current roster started their careers elsewhere. One of the most notable transfers on the roster for CSU is quarterback Tribble Reese, who joins CSU for his final year of eligibility from Clemson University. Andrew McKain, who transferred in from the Air Force Academy will also look to make an immediate impact on the Bucs at the linebacker position. Both Reese and McKain are slated to start in the season-opener against Miami. Darius Gaither also joined CSU from the Clemson program, making his presence known immediately with a team-leading nine tackles against Miami (Fla.).
Trials and Tribble-ations
After transferring from Clemson for his final year of eligibility, senior Tribble Reese made his first-career start last Thursday against Miami. Reese finished the game 10-21 with 81 yards, but most importantly helped lead the offense to a turnover-free game. CSU went only one game in 2007 (Nov. 10 vs. Presbyterian) without throwing an interception. CSU had turned the ball over at least once in every game since Sept. 25, 2004 against the University of Charleston (WV). Against Wofford, Reese wrote his name in the record books with 30 completions (3rd all-time at CSU), and 46 pass attempts (6th all time at CSU). His four touchdown passes against Miami (Ohio) ties him with the second-highest total ever in Big South history.
Freshman Antwan Ivey made an immediate impact on the Charleston Southern backfield, tying for a team-high six rushes. The Florida AA player of the year also had two catches out of the backfield for a team-high 44 yards. 39 of his yards came on one play as Ivey slipped inside the defensive back to keep the CSU scoring drive alive. Through three games, Ivey has 164 all-purpose yards (88 rush, 76 receiving), which is second only to return specialist and wide receiver Gerald Stevenson.
All about the Team
An All-Big South tight end in 2007, senior Ryan Ard took one for the team and gave up his position. Head Coach Jay Mills approached Ard, who began his CSU career on defense, about moving back across the ball to serve on the defensive line. Knowing it was best for the team, Ard agreed and has fought hard to earn the starting spot going into the season-opener. “I figure I can work just as hard on the defensive line,” said Ard. “It would be great to be able to say I made all-conference on offense and on defense.
Tackle Your fancy
Even with the loss of Jada Ross, the Big South’s all-time leading tackler, the Buccaneers are still solid on the defensive side of the ball. Josh Mitchell, who redshirted last season, returns for 2008 as the active career leader in tackles with 209.
Career Leaders in Tackles (Active Players Only)
Josh Mitchell Sr. 221
Josh Warrior Sr. 151
Okeba Rollinson Sr. 138
Mike McCann Sr. 115
Vs. FBS Opponents
Going into the 2008 season, Charleston Southern had played four games against FBS (Formerly Division I-A) competition. With the loss at Miami (Fla.) to open the season, the Bucs are 0-5 all-time against FBS opponents. Below is a list of CSU’s FBS contests.
Date Opponent Conference Result
Nov. 21, 1996 at UAB Independent L, 13-49
Nov. 2, 2002 at South Florida Independent L, 6-56
Oct. 18, 2003 at South Florida Conference USA L, 7-55
Sept. 22, 2007 at #19 Hawaii WAC L, 10-66
Aug. 28, 2008 at Miami (Fla.) ACC L, 7-52
Sept. 13, 2008 at Miami (Ohio) MAC L, 27-38
Vs. Non D-I Opponents
Including victories against Johnson C. Smith and North Greenville last year, the Bucs have won eight-straight games against non-Division-I opponents, dating back to the 2005 season. Seven of those wins have come against Division II schools, with one coming against an NAIA school. The team’s last loss to a non-Division I opponent came on Sept. 10, 2005 at home to Presbyterian, who was Division II at the time. Charleston Southern is 12-6 under Coach Jay Mills against all non-Division I opposition (holding a 13-20 record against Division I opponents)
Championship Game Honored
The memorable 2005 Big South Championship game was honored as part of the Big South’s 25th Anniversary “Best of the Best” list of the top-25 moments in the League’s history. The game, played in honor of fallen teammate Eddie Gadson, ended in a bizarre series of events, with CSU emerging victorious in a double-overtime thriller. It was the first Big South Championship for the football team.
Playing extensively in the CSU backfield as a true freshman, running back DeMarcus Moon established himself as a legitimate threat on the ground. Moon led the team with 382 yards on 67 carries. The McDonough, Ga., native averaged a team-best 5.7 yards per attempt. On Oct. 6, 2007, in the game against Savannah State, Moon topped the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career, carrying 16 times for 103 yards in the contest. His first-career touchdown came on Sept. 15, 2007 against Johnson C. Smith. Against Miami, Moon tied for the team lead with six carries, running for 16 yards.
In his first season at wide receiver, transfer Dee Brown quickly became CSU’s primary offensive target last season. Brown finished the season with 69 receptions for 898 yards and nine touchdowns, all team highs. He led the Big South in receptions and receiving yards, and was ranked in the top-25 in the NCAA in both categories.
His 13 receptions at Wofford on Sept. 8, 2007, tied a school record for most catches in a game, also held by Maurice Price and the late Eddie Gadson. Brown’s 13 grabs, only one shy of matching a Big South single-game record, came in only his second game played with the Bucs after transferring from Garden City CC in Kansas.
CSU has had a WR lead the conference in receptions every year in Big South football history (five total seasons, since 2002).
Run of the Mills
Head Coach Jay Mills is in his sixth season as the head coach at CSU, and currently holds a career record of 27-28. Until last season, the Buccaneers had improved every season under his leadership. The 2006 season set the bar high, though, as the Bucs won their first nine games of the year before losses at Liberty and Coastal Carolina left the team with a 9-2 mark. The 9-0 mark was coming off a five-game winning streak in 2005, giving CSU a combined 14-game winning streak, which was the second-longest in the country behind San Diego (18).
For the first time in five years, the Bucs will walk the sidelines without Jada Ross. Ross, who finished his career as a redshirt-senior in 2007, finished as the Big South’s career leader in tackles with 454. He finished his senior year leading the Big South, and tied for seventh in the country, averaging 11.91 tackles per game. His best two performances of the season came in the final two games of 2007, with Ross tallying 17 tackles in each game. Ross led the Big South in total tackles each of the last two seasons, finishing with a school record 131 stops.
New Faces On the Sidelines ...
Only Jamey Chadwell (Asst. HC/WR/Recruiting Coord.) and Chuck Kelly (Offensive Coord./OL) return from last year’s assistant coaching staff. Joining the CSU coaching staff for 2008 are: Thielen Smith (Defensive Coord.), Chad Staggs (Secondary), RaShan Frost (Defensive Line), and Gabe Giardina (Running Backs)
And some familiar ones ...
Even though their eligibility is up, a couple of familiar faces can still be found on the sidelines for CSU. During his offseason from Arena ball, Collin Drafts returns for his second season as an assistant coach for CSU. Drafts works with the quarterbacks after having set every passing record in school history. All-Conference offensive lineman Rick Howell has also taken off the helmet and put on the coach’s whistle. Howell started in 35 games over the course of his four-year career for CSU, earning second-team all-conference honors as a junior, and first-team as a senior.
Bucs at the Next Level
Former wide-out Maurice Price represents Charleston Southern on the highest level as a member of the New England Patriots. Price, who left in 2006 after his junior year, looked to have a spot with the Kansas City Chiefs last year before getting injured.
In two preseason games with Kansas City, Price had four receptions for 61 yards, including a 27-yard reception in the Chiefs’ preseason contest against the Miami Dolphins. Early on during the 2008 season, Price was released by the Chiefs and quickly signed on with the Patriots.
Mike Brown also put the Bucs on the national scene as he helped lead his Philadelphia Soul team to the 2008 ArenaBowl Championship. Brown was also given the 2008 AFL Al Lucas Hero Award, given to the player who makes the most significant contribution to both his community and the game.
Former CSU Football Players at the next level:
Maurice Price (2004-06)
WR - New England Patriots (NFL)
Mike Brown (1999-2000)
DB/WR - Philadelphia Soul* (AFL)
*2008 ArenaBowl XXII Champions
Vernon Huger (2004-07)
WR - Georgia Force (AFL)
Collin Drafts (2003-06)
QB - Green Bay Blizzard (AF2)
Anthony Moore (2003-06)
FB/LB - Lubbock Renegades (AF2)
Matt Hoisington (2003-07)
OL/FB - CenTex Barracudas (IFL)