Three Things to Watch as CSU travels to Campbell in the Big South regular season finale

Three Things to Watch as CSU travels to Campbell in the Big South regular season finale

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern hits the road for their final Big South Conference game of the season as the Buccaneers travel to Barker-Lane Stadium and Campbell University. Kickoff on ESPN+ is set for 2 p.m. In light of the kickoff tomorrow, here are three things to watch for between the Bucs and Camels.

All game day information is available on the Game Day Central page.

CSU Notes | Campbell Notes | Big South Notes

STOPPING CAMPBELL'S PASS ATTACK
Campbell quarterback Daniel Smith leads an adept CU passing attack heading into Saturday's game. The redshirt sophomore quarterback and company will provide a good test for Charleston Southern's No. 3-ranked pass defense in the Big South finale for both teams.

Smith posted 3,161 yards of total offense and 30 touchdowns last season on his way to an accolade-filled postseason. The Leesburg, Va. native was a First Team Freshman All-American, a Jerry Rice Award finalist, and named to the STATS Walter Payton Award and CFPA midseason watch lists after his record-setting campaign with the Camels.

Smith racked up 1,272 rushing yards last season to lead Campbell and added 1,889 passing yards and 18 more scores through the air. He also ranks among the tops in Campbell's all-time record books in passing touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and total offense.

The 6-0 quarterback did not waste any time adding to his totals this season. Smith is currently ranked among the Big South leaders in multiple categories as seen below.

Daniel Smith Among Big South Leaders
Total Offense – 1st, 245.0 ypg
Total Offense TDs – 2nd, 26
Rushing Yards – 4th, 76.2 ypg
Yards Per Rush – 2nd, 6.7 ypc
Passing Yards – 2nd, 172.4 ypg
Pass Efficiency – 1st, 137.6
Passing TDs – 2nd, 13

Key to Smith's success has been the standout play from wide receivers Caleb Snead and Aaron Blockmon. Snead is a four-time Big South Freshman of the Week recipient this season and currently leads the conference in yards per catch (17.9), while Blockmon was listed among the Big South preseason honorable mention team and is ranked among the top five pass catchers this season.

Overall as a unit, Campbell is ranked second below Monmouth in most of the team passing categories on the year. The Camels are second in pass offense (199.7 ypg), pass attempts (287), pass completions (163), passing yards (1,997), and fourth in pass completion percentage (56.8%).

Campbell has been able to connect through the air against a majority of their opponents in 2018. The Camels have posted 200-plus yard passing efforts in six of their 10 games, but have been limited in their past two against Kennesaw State (46) and Presbyterian (109). Campbell threw for a season-high 333 yards on 28 attempts against Monmouth back on October 20.

The Buccaneers defense has seen its fair share of passing attacks this season and currently ranks below just Kennesaw State (125.0 ypg) and Campbell (129.6 ypg) in the FCS rankings. The Bucs are allowing the opposition to throw for 133.6 yards per game on the season and have not surrendered a 200-yard passing game since Elon (Sept. 22 – 220 yards).

Included in CSU's stretch was a trio of games allowing under 100 yards of passing offense. The Bucs limited Hampton (38), Savannah State (11), and Presbyterian (91) under the century mark this season and have two other contest with under 150 yards allowed.

The Bucs have also been at their best taking on the top receivers in the conference as well. CSU limited Monmouth's Reggie White Jr. to four catches for 43 yards and a touchdown.

CSU Against the Big South's Top Pass Catchers
1. Reggie White Jr, Monmouth, 91.3 ypg – 4 catches, 43 yards, 1 TD
2. Caleb Snead, Campbell, 71.5 ypg
3. Keith Pearson, Presbyterian, 59.9 ypg – 3 catches, 28 yards
4. Kyle Horton, Gardner-Webb, 54.4 ypg – 2 catches, 17 yards
5. Aaron Blockmon, Campbell, 54.4 ypg
6. DaShawn Davis, Presbyterian, 49.7 ypg – 5 catches, 36 yards, 1 TD
7. Kenny Dinkins, CSU, 30.8 ypg
8. Brody Rollins, Gardner-Webb, 27.4 ypg – 4 catches, 88 yards
9. Vinny Grasso, Monmouth, 26.4 ypg – 1 catch, 6 yards, 1 TD
10. Braylin Collins, Gardner-Webb, 23.4 ypg – 1 catch, 9 yards

Once again CSU's senior-laden defensive backs will look to make an impact on the Campbell passing game. James Allen (3 INT, 12 pass breakups) and Jonathan Slaton (2 INT, 6 pass breakups) highlight the defensive backs' efforts on the outside. In the interior, Brandon Rowland (6.4 tackles) and Shadarius Hopkins (5.6 tackles) are among the conference's best tacklers at the safety position. Freshman EJ Pride has joined the group in the middle with a 16-tackle performance against Monmouth and is averaging 3.6 tackles per game on the field.

The Bucs also rediscovered their pass rush this past weekend with a season-high seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss in the win over Gardner-Webb. Five different players recorded sacks in the game with Taequan Washington and Garrett Sayegh both recording two apiece against the Runnin' Bulldogs.

CSU jumped from sixth to third in the Big South in quarterback takedowns on the season following the win against Gardner-Webb. The Bucs will face another tough test with Solomon Brown, Johnny Robinson, and company looking to crack a Campbell offensive line that has surrendered just six sacks on the year.

If the Bucs are able to get after Daniel Smith and throw him and the receivers off their game, CSU will likely face plenty of time on the offensive side of the ball where Terrence Wilson and the running game are starting to hit their stride.

TERRENCE WILSON HITTING 100 TO PACE BUCS RUSHING
Sophomore running back Terrence Wilson had the game of his collegiate career this past weekend against Gardner-Webb. Wilson posted his third career 100-yard rushing game and added two touchdowns in the win over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Wilson picked up six carries, including both touchdowns, in the first half against GWU. He added 13 more carries and finished with a career-high 137 rushing yards to secure the victory. Wilson guided the Bucs to 32:22 minutes in time of possession in the game and helped CSU convert 6-of-17 third downs in the game.

The 100-yard rushing effort was Wilson's second triple-digit game of 2018 and third over the last two seasons. It was also CSU's fourth 100-yard rushing effort of the season as the sophomore running back joined London Johnson and Jack Chambers in achieving the mark

CSU 100-Yard Rushing Games in 2018
London Johnson vs. Elon – 14 carries, 119 yards, 3 TD
Terrence Wilson at Hampton – 10 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD
Jack Chambers vs. Virginia Lynchburg – 17 carries, 112 yards, 1 TD
Terrence Wilson vs. Gardner-Webb – 19 carries, 137 yards, 2 TD

Wilson's efforts paced a Charleston Southern rushing attack that had struggled to gain traction over the last few weeks. CSU had failed to crack the 200-yard rushing mark over their last three games against Presbyterian, Kennesaw State, and Monmouth, before reaching 203 yards on 44 carries against Gardner-Webb.

The Bucs enter the contest ranked third in the Big South in rushing offense at 181.8 yards per game. The Bucs are also third in the conference with 4.7 yards per rush on the year led by Wilson's 5.8 yards per carry.

Campbell's run defense was sturdy early in the season, but they have shown their cracks in Big South Conference play. The Camels are ranked sixth in the league allowing 271.2 rushing yards per game in conference competition.

Campbell Defense against Big South
Monmouth – 40 carries, 298 yards, 4 TD
Gardner-Webb – 47 carries, 228 yards, 1 TD
Kennesaw State – 58 carries, 395 yards, 4 TD
Presbyterian – 39 carries, 164 yards, 1 TD

Wilson and the Bucs will look to get going against the Campbell defense on the ground. CU is surrendering just 89.0 passing yards per game in conference play. The Camels will look to limit a CSU passing attack throwing for 106.8 yards per game through the air.

If the Bucs are able to get the ground game moving on Saturday, expect solid efforts from Tyler Tekac, Kyle Reighard, and the special teams to also play a big role against the Camels.

TEKAC, REIGHARD CEMENTING LEGACIES
Tyler Tekac and Kyle Reighard will look to provide another big game for the Buccaneers this weekend in the final Big South contest of the year. Both are fighting to advance in the CSU record books in several categories and will keep battling their way in the Big South finale.

Tekac is coming off a game where he connected on a career-long 50-yard field and currently sits second all-time in a number of CSU scoring categories. The senior placekicker is closing in on becoming the school's all-time record holder in several career categories, while also climbing in the season rankings.

Tekac All-Time Rankings
Field Goals – 28, 3rd
Extra Points – 119, 2nd
Field Goal Length – 50, 2nd

Tekac Single Season Rankings
Field Goals – 10, T-5th
Scoring – 51, NR
Extra Points – 25, NR

Redshirt junior punter Kyle Reighard is quietly having another one of the best punting seasons in Buccaneer history. The Salem, Va. native is coming off earning Big South Special Teams Player of the Week recognition after putting five punts inside the 20-yard line against Gardner-Webb.

Reighard again leads a top-10 punting unit in net punting posting 38.82 yards per attempt. He is also ranked 39th in FCS in averaging 41.0 yards per punt on the season.

Reighard will look to continue to climb the Bucs' record books as well this weekend already sitting among the all-time leaders in punt attempts, punt yards, and punt average.

Reighard All-Time Rankings
Punts – 115, 5th
Punt Yards – 4,732, 5th
Punt Average – 41.1 ypa, 2nd

Reighard Single Season Rankings
Punts – 50, 8th
Punt Average – 41.0, 3rd

The Bucs' special teams unit is among the best in the conference thanks to their two aces in the hole and will look to keep CSU on track should the game come down to the wire on Saturday against Campbell.

View: Mobile | Desktop