CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern Buccaneers rolled to 409 yards rushing, the second most in school history, en route to beating overmatched Edward Waters, 42-7, on Saturday afternoon at Buccaneer Field.
With the win, CSU improves .500 overall on the year, while the Tigers fall to 3-5.
Charleston Southern pounded the Tigers in the opening half, moving the ball at-will in their option attack. The Bucs were stopped on a three-and-out on their opening drive, then ripped off touchdown drives of 77, 60, 60, 69, and 43 yards on their next five drives to quickly put the Tigers away before the half.
The win was one CSU's most complete wins of the year, as the Bucs' defense held the Tigers to 192 total yards, most coming late in the game on the Tigers' lone touchdown drive.
The story, however, was the Bucs' run game. CSU overpowered the Tigers to grind out 409 rushing yards, the second most in school history. The Bucs had 417 against Guilford in a 58-0 win during the 2000 season. CSU averaged almost seven yards per carry.
"Our guys came out and were ready to play," CSU head coach Jay Mills said after the game. "We were ready to play on offense, defense and special teams, executed and protected the football. You don't play to win a football game. You play to try to strive for excellence."
The Bucs large margin early in third quarter allowed for a number of underclassmen to see significant playing time in the second half.
"It was an opportunity to build the morale of the team when we play as many guys as we can," Mills said. "Also, we can build for the future. We're young. There are a lot of guys we played in the third and fourth quarters that are going to be playing a lot of football for us."
The win moved the Bucs to four wins in their last five games and secures a winning home record for 2012. CSU completes a three-game home stand, 3-0, with a tough final three games looming.
"We talk about three seasons," Mills said. "In the first part of the season we were 0-3. In the middle part of the season, we are 4-1. Now we have three games in November. A great team will win in November and that's what we have done in the past. And I believe we're starting to executive and starting to build a little confidence as well too."
The Bucs picked up 77 yards on 11 plays on their second drive, all coming on the ground, to roll to a 7-0 lead at the 10-minute mark of the first quarter. Junior Teddy Allen had five carries for 38 yards and quarterback Malcolm Dixon scored on an 8-yard TD run to finish out the drive.
Allen led the Bucs with 115 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Briar Van Brunt, seeing his first action since his start and injury against Illinois, added 99 yards on 12 carries.
CSU extended its lead on the following drive as Zach Frazier slipped out of the backfield to take a Dixon pass 36 yards to set up the Bucs second score. Allen pounded it in from three yards out to extend the lead to 14-0. The score was Allen's fifth TD run in as many quarters.
The Bucs would score on six-straight possessions to build a 42-0 lead, while their defense held the Tigers to five three-and-outs in the game.
The lead climbed to 21-0 in the opening minutes of the second quarter to as Larry Jones III hauled in a back shoulder throw from Dixon in the corner of the end zone to cap the Bucs'third scoring drive. Running back Michael Cirino had a 38-yard reception to open the drive.
Allen added his second score of the game with just under four minutes left in the half. The junior plowed his way into the end zone, bouncing off of tacklers, from 20 yards out to build the lead to 28-0. Freshman Gabe Johnson sprinted in from 30 yards out with just under two minutes to play in the half for the Bucs final TD of the first half.
The Bucs' Chase Jones, who has been playing both ways in October, came up with his first career interception to stop the Tigers' best drive of the half late in the second quarter.
The Buc defense was relentless throughout. CSU had six tackles for loss against the Tigers option attack and sacked quarterback Brandon Turman three times.
Defensive tackle Isaac McKenzie led the way with 1.5 sacks and four stops. Freshman linebacker Aaron Brown added five stops as Edward Waters had no answers for CSU's front seven.
CSU returns to Big South action next Saturday against Liberty in Lynchburg, Va. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. at Williams Stadium.