CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern rode a strong defensive performance to open Big South Conference play with a resounding 41-7 win over Presbyterian on Saturday night at Buccaneer Field.
The Buccaneers (3-3, 1-0) rattled off 41 unanswered points and forced a program-record six turnovers in the contest against the Blue Hose (2-4, 0-2) on their way to opening conference play with the win.
Jonathan Slaton sparked the defensive onslaught with a pick-six early in the second quarter and Garris Schwarting added a fumble recovery score on a PC muffed punt snap to put CSU plus-six in the turnover column in the game. Overall, CSU recovered a program-record five fumbles in the game with all five coming in the second half.
John Walker was 12-of-19 through the air for 86 yards and a touchdown in the contest to lead the Blue Hose. DaShawn Davis was the recipient of the touchdown strike and finished the game with five catches for 36 yards.
Colby Campbell led the Blue Hose defensive efforts with seven tackles, a sack, and 1.5 tackles for loss. Chad Stevens added a sack in the game.
On the ensuing drive, Solomon Brown provided pressure up the middle forcing John Walker to air out the ball toward the CSU sideline. The ball traveled over the PC receiver in the flat and into Jonathan Slaton's grasp and the senior cornerback returned the ball 17 yards for the go-ahead score. The Bucs would add a Tekac field goal prior to the half and did not look back in securing the win.
How They Scored
- Presbyterian marched down the field on the opening possession of the game utilizing 10 plays and 61 yards before John Walker found DaShawn Davis in the left corner of the end zone for the eight-yard score.
- Taz Lindsey and the Buccaneers answered back in the second quarter with Johnson finding the senior h-back for the 24-yard touchdown with 10:59 left in the first half to even the score.
- Jonathan Slaton returned the Walker interception 17 yards for the score on Presbyterian's ensuing possession to put the Bucs ahead 14-7.
- Tyler Tekac converted a 32-yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds left in the first half to cap a six-play, 43-yard drive to put the score at 17-7 at the half.
- Another PC turnover led directly to CSU points as Garris Schwarting fielded the fumble on the punt snap on PC's opening possession and went into the end zone for the score with 12:43 left in the third quarter.
- Terrence Wilson took advantage of another CSU fumble recovery to score on a one-yard touchdown plunge with 10:59 left in the third quarter.
- Tyler Tekac connected on his second field goal of the game, this one from 44 yards, to stretch the Bucs lead to 34-7 with 6:50 to play in the third quarter.
- London Johnson capped the scoring with a one-yard touchdown on the quarterback option keeper to close out the CSU 41-7 win.
Inside the Numbers
- Charleston Southern finished the contest with 277 total offensive yards (155 passing) to top Presbyterian. It was the first time CSU's passing total eclipsed the rushing total this season.
- Presbyterian won the time of possession battle over the Bucs, 32:20-27:40.
- The Buccaneers did not record a turnover for the second consecutive game after coughing it up 11 times over the first four.
- CSU forced a program-record six turnovers in the win over Presbyterian (one interception, five fumbles)
- Solomon Brown and Johnny Robinson combined for the Buccaneers' lone sack of the contest.
- Brandon Rowland ended J.D. Sosebee's streak of leading the Bucs' defense in tackled with a team-leading six in the game.
- Presbyterian finished the game with two sacks and nine tackles for loss.
- Tyler Tekac converted two of his three field goal attempts and connected on all five extra points in the game.
- Taz Lindsey recorded a career-high five receptions to go with 64 yards.
- Jaquan Williams recorded his first collegiate catch for 51 yards in the fourth quarter from Jack Chambers.
- London Johnson (6-of-9) finished the game with 104 yards and a touchdown pass.
- Johnson added a team-high 18 carries for 67 yards and a score.
News & Notes of Interest
- Saturday's game marked the third multi-turnover game the Bucs forced this season. CSU forced five turnovers against Hampton, two against Virginia Lynchburg, and six against Presbyterian.
- The five fumble recoveries were a program record. CSU had previously recovered four fumbles on five different occasions, including earlier this year against Hampton, prior to their record-setting performance this evening.
- CSU's pass defense entered the contest ranked No. 1 in FCS allowing 127.4 yards per game through the air. The Bucs allowed just 98 passing yards in the game against the Blue Hose.
- It was the third time this season CSU has allowed less than 100 passing yards in a contest.
- Tyler Tekac equaled his previous season totals with his sixth and seventh field goal conversions on Saturday afternoon. He finished 2016 and 2017 with seven field goals.
- Tekac eclipsed Mike Holloway (188, 2013-16) in the career scoring list following his 11-point performance. Tekac has 192 career points and trails only Nick Ellis (214, 2003-07) all-time in CSU's annals.
- Tekac also surpassed Clint Kelly (24, 1996-99) with his 24th and 25th career field goals to move into third all-time in CSU's all-time annals.
- Garris Schwarting scored for the second consecutive game as the junior wide receiver scored on a muffed punt fumble recovery in the third quarter.
- Nick Salley, Darin Smalls, and Solomon Brown became the third, fourth, and fifth CSU players to recover fumbles in 2018.
- The Bucs' 34-point win over the Blue Hose was the second consecutive time CSU has topped PC by 30-plus points at Buccaneer Field. CSU previously defeated PC, 38-3, back in 2016.
Play of the Game
FB 2Q | PICK SIX!!— CSU Game Day (@CSUGameDay) October 20, 2018
Slaton takes it to the house. His second interception in as many weeks goes back 17 yards for the score. Bucs take the 14-7 lead pic.twitter.com/p8dCeuaDq8
Player of the Game
Charleston Southern is back in action next weekend as the Buccaneers host No. 2/3 Kennesaw State in Big South Conference play at Buccaneer Field. Kickoff on Saturday, October 27, is set for 6:05 p.m. with the game to be carried live on ESPN+.