CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern will open the season at Mississippi State and renew series against South Carolina State, Elon, and Savannah State as the Buccaneers released their 2017 football schedule on Monday.
The Bucs will host five games at Buccaneer Field, with matchups against Point, Mississippi Valley State, Savannah State, Monmouth (Homecoming), and Liberty all scheduled for the upcoming season.
"I'm excited it's been finalized, and hopefully we'll have the kickoff times to release soon as well," CSU head football coach Mark Tucker said. "We'll have a full complement of FCS games this season with one Division II and one FBS game, and we're excited about it. We get the opportunity to play in a big venue at the start of the season in Starkville, Miss. and we'll be ready to go."
The Buccaneers are in their first season under Tucker. He inherits a team that has posted 35 wins over the last four seasons - the most over a four-year stretch in program history. The Bucs have been ranked for 22 consecutive weeks over the last two years after appearing in the national rankings just once in the program's first 22 seasons.
"We established a standard of success during my time here and we've spent each day working on living up to that standard," Tucker said. "Only we can determine what affects us and if we continue to stay motivated, continue with our tempo, physicality, and mindset, and play to those results, everything else will take care of itself.
CSU opens the season by traveling to Mississippi State on September 2. The contest will be CSU's sixth against a member of the Southeastern Conference. The last CSU-SEC matchup came on November 21, 2015, in Tuscaloosa against eventual FBS national champion Alabama. It will be the first time the Bucs have traveled to Starkville. CSU has previously faced off against Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Georgia.
Following the opening weekend, CSU makes the short trip up I-26 to renew its rivalry with South Carolina State on September 9. The Bucs and Bulldogs last squared off in Orangeburg in 1999. Prior to the 18-year gap, they had played in eight times in the 1990's, with the Bulldogs victorious in all eight matchups.
The Bucs' third road game of the season is at Elon, of the Colonial Athletic Association, on September 16. The matcup is the first season between the two programs since 2002. They complete the home-and-home series when the Phoenix make a return trip to Buccaneer Field in 2018.
CSU opens its home slate with back-to-back contests at Buccaneer Field against NCAA Division II Point (Sept. 23) and Southwestern Athletic Conference foe Mississippi Valley State (Sept. 30).
Following an open date, CSU begins its defense of back-to-back Big South Conference championships in Clinton, S.C. against the Presbyterian Blue Hose on October 14.
After an eight-year hiatus, the Buccaneers will then renew their series against Savannah State with a home contest at Buccaneer Field on October 21. CSU is a perfect 6-0 against the Tigers all-time and has outscored SSU, 123-38, at home in the series.
Homecoming marks the conference home opener on October 28, as Monmouth makes the trek to Charleston. The Bucs have won all three matchups against the Hawks since MU joined the Big South as a football-only member in 2014.
Trips to Gardner-Webb (Nov. 4) and Kennesaw State (Nov. 11) close out the road portion of the conference season.
CSU will host Liberty in its regular season finale for Senior Day. The Flames will play a full Big South slate in 2017 as they prepare to transition to the FBS level in 2018.
A complete TV schedule and kickoff times for home games will be announced at a later date. Season tickets will also go on sale at a later date.
2017 Charleston Southern Football Schedule
|Sept. 2||at Mississippi State||TBD|
|Sept. 9||at S.C. State||6 p.m.|
|Sept. 16||at Elon||TBD|
|Sept. 30||Mississippi Valley State||TBD|
|Oct. 14||at Presbyterian*||TBD|
|Oct. 21||Savannah State||TBD|
|Oct. 28||Monmouth* (Homecoming)||TBD|
|Nov. 4||at Gardner-Webb*||TBD|
|Nov. 11||at Kennesaw State*||TBD|
|Nov. 18||Liberty* (Senior Day)||TBD|