Monday, August 11, 2014
Charleston Southern held its first scrimmage of fall camp on Sunday night after waiting out heavy rainfall throughout the area earlier in the day. The defense controlled much of the action, with a veteran defensive line and a mix of experienced and young linebackers wreaking havoc.
CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell was pleased that the weather subsided enough for the Bucs to scrimmage in concluding their opening week of practice in preparation for the 2014 season.
“I thought there was some really good competition on both sides of the ball, and positives to take away,” Chadwell said. “I was a little disappointed with the ball being on the ground a few times. It was wet and humid but that’s something we try to really emphasize is not turning the ball over. Our young guys got to get out of practice and into a game-type environment which is good for them. Productive overall, thankful we got it in because it gives us some good video to watch and learn from.”
The focus and intensity exhibited by CSU through the opening stages of camp has been a welcome sight for Chadwell and his staff as the Bucs look to build on a program-record 10-win season in 2013.
“I think attitude has been a huge positive,” Chadwell said. “There’s an excitement and a maturity. There’s guys who know what we have to do to prepare and they have done a really good job of trying to lead the younger guys along.”
A defensive line headlined by Preseason All-Big South selections James Smith and Dylan Black led the way for the Bucs’ defense. Senior Isaac Lowrance and sophomore Caleb Batchelor made several stops as well, while Zac Johnston, Jermichael Bailey and Demaris Freeman came up with several big hits from linebacker and safety, respectively.
Offensively, quarterbacks Austin Brown and Kyle Copeland each led scoring drives and narrowly missed on several other potential big plays in the passing game. Brown provided one of the highlights of the night with a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Alex Cruz in the back corner of the end zone. Steady play at quarterback will be a focus for CSU as camp continues.
“We’ve been up and down,” said Chadwell of the Bucs’ quarterback play. “There’s too much inconsistency so we have to take that step mentally and stop making some mistakes that are drive-killers. It’s only practice ten and we’ve seen a lot of looks so it will come along.”
CSU again showcased its depth at running back behind senior Christian Reyes, who shattered the program’s single-season rushing record a year ago. Sophomore Ben Robinson broke off a few solid runs, as did senior Zach Frazier.
Sophomore Darius Hammond, who saw most of his action on special teams in 2013, showed himself capable as did several newcomers.
“We feel great about where we are at running back,” Chadwell said. “We’ve got some good depth and a nice mix of veterans and some excitable talent if we can get that excitable talent to know what to do and get them on the field where they can do some things. I think it’s going to be a very good situation for us at running back.”
CSU will hold its second scrimmage this Saturday at 9:15 a.m.
The Bucs kick off the season against Point University on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.