CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to keep pace with No. 2/2 Kennesaw State on Saturday night in Big South Conference play as the Buccaneers fell to the Owls, 38-10.
James Allen scored on a CSU-record 100-yard interception return just before the halftime break, and Tyler Tekac connected on his eighth field goal of the season to highlight the Bucs' (3-4, 1-1) efforts in Saturday's game.
However, the Bucs did not have an answer for KSU's Chandler Burks as the senior quarterback accounted for 294 total yards and four touchdowns in the Owls' (7-1, 3-0) second consecutive win in the series. KSU finished the game with 508 yards of total offense and held onto the ball 37:39 (12:52 in the fourth quarter).
Ronnie Harris provided the highlights for CSU's offense early with a 54-yard gain on the Bucs' opening drive. The junior running back finished with a team-high 14 carries for 87 rushing yards. London Johnson was 6-of-14 for 63 yards through the air. Kenny Dinkins led the way with four catches for 35 yards.
Burks was 11-of-18 through the air for 192 yards with a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions. He added 102 rushing yards on 23 carries and two more scores.
Solomon Brown led three Bucs defensively with 14 tackles in the game and added a tackle for loss. Brandon Rowland chipped in 12 tackles, while Kyle Syvarth had a career-high 11 stops in the game. E.J. Pride added his first collegiate interception in the game.
Bryson Armstrong paced KSU's defense with eight solo tackles among his nine stops in the game. He added the contest's lone sack.
Charleston Southern was unable to build any momentum offensively late as Kennesaw State maintained possession 21:02 minutes over the final 30 minutes of the game. Key to KSU's ball control was the Owls' 11-minute drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and lasted until 4:50 left in the contest.
The Owls held onto the ball throughout the 19-play drive that spanned 88 yards and converted five third downs on the possession. Shaquil Terry closed out the possession with a one-yard plunge on third-and-goal at the CSU one-yard line to essentially secure the KSU win over the Bucs.
How They Scored
- Tyler Tekac converted his eighth field goal of the season on CSU's opening drive of the game to put the Bucs ahead early. Tekac's 32-yarder capped the five-play, 55-yard drive with 11:03 left in the first quarter.
- Chandler Burks put the Owls on the board with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter with a three-yard touchdown plunge up the middle.
- The Owls took to the air for their second touchdown of the game as Burks hit the back shoulder pass to Justin Sumpter in front of the left front pylon for the 21-yard score midway through the second quarter.
- Darnell Holland was the recipient of Burks' second touchdown pass of the game as the slot-back took the swing pass and went 65 yards for the score with 5:45 left in the second quarter.
- Justin Thompson converted a 44-yard field goal attempt capping a five-play, 19-yard drive with 2:07 remaining to stretch KSU's lead to 24-3.
- James Allen picked off a Burks pass on the CSU goal line and returned it 100 yards for the touchdown for the final play of the second half to send the teams into the locker room.
- Burks added his second touchdown run of the game in the third quarter, this one from three-yards out to put KSU ahead 31-10.
- Terry's late touchdown run sealed the Kennesaw State win and capped the 11-play, 88-yard drive.
Inside the Statistics
- Charleston Southern was held to 186 total offensive yards in the game and was limited to 123 yards rushing in the contest.
- Kennesaw State was held below its season average of 377.0 rushing yards as the Bucs limited the Owls to 323 yards on 59 carries in the game.
- The Owls passed for 192 yards on the Bucs, only the third time CSU has allowed an opponent to top the 150 mark on the season.
- CSU picked off a season-high two passes in the game with Allen (second) and E.J. Pride (first) both recording interceptions in the game.
- CSU won the turnover battle over the Owls, 2-1.
- Kennesaw State converted 11-of-16 third downs in the game, while the Bucs were held to a 1-of-10 conversion rate in the contest.
- The Owls held the 37:39-22:21 edge in time of possession on Saturday.
- Both teams struggled to punt in the game with KSU (35.5) and CSU (35.3) netting averages well below their season totals entering the game.
- KSU held the 26-9 edge in first downs on the game.
News & Notes of Interest
- Tyler Tekac connected on his eighth field goal of the season in the first quarter, establishing a new season standard for the senior placekicker. Tekac had recorded seven field goals in both 2015 and 2017.
- Kennesaw State's 508 yards of total offense was the most the Bucs had surrendered this season and the most an opponent has put up on a CSU defense since Mississippi State recorded 555 last season in the 2017 opener.
- James Allen has found the end zone on both interceptions this season returning picks for scores against both Hampton and Kennesaw State. It was also Allen's third touchdown of the season as the senior cornerback also returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Hampton.
- Allen's interception return for a touchdown was CSU's third pick-six of the season and second in as many weeks.
- Ronnie Harris' 87 rushing yards were a career-high for the running back and the second time he eclipsed the 80-yard mark this year (83 at Florida).
- CSU was held under 10 first downs as a team for the third time this season as the Bucs recorded nine against the Owls.
- Kyle Syvarth's 11 tackles were a career-high for the sophomore linebacker, while E.J. Pride's interception was a career-first for the freshman cornerback.
CSU Play of the Game
CSU Player of the Game - James Allen
Charleston Southern remains in Big South play as the Buccaneers hit the road to West Long Branch, N.J. next Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Monmouth University. The game will be carried live on ESPN3.