Mississippi State linebacker Montez Sweat (9) prepares to sack Charleston Southern quarterback Shane Bucenell (6) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Charleston Southern Looks To Pull Off An Upset In Their Season Opener

In their season opener, Charleston Southern football is trying to make a statement as they take on the Florida Gators in Gainesville.

Both teams seemed to struggle last season as Charleston Southern went 6-5 and Florida went 4-7. Head coach for the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, Mark Tucker, says that a big key in games like this is to be very optimistic. According to ESPN’s power index the Buccaneers only have a 1.1% chance of beating the Gators. The last time the two teams played was back in 2009, where Charleston Southern lost 62-3.


Game Familiarity

Tucker says that it’s “basically an annual event” to open the season against Florida’s Dan Mullen.

Prior to coming to Florida, Mullen was the head coach for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Last season Mullen’s bulldogs played Charleston Southern in there season opener where Mississippi State won 49-0.

Tucker says that the familiarity helps the coaches have a better understanding of what’s to come. Coach tucker also said, “My goal is a much, much more competitive football team then we took to Starkville last year.” Tucker also mentioned that he thought defensively the Buccaneers held their own against the Bulldogs, but not offensively.

Coach Mullen agrees that playing Charleston Southern last year at Mississippi State does give the coaching staff an advantage.

Mark Tucker Thought’s

Tucker has confidence that he knows what to do up against top competition. “I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes,” Tucker says, “to go into these venues in order to be competitive at every turn. One, taking advantage of every opportunity you can create for yourself offensively and you take advantage of every mistake made by someone else defensively and your very sound in the kicking game.”

Buccaneers on Offense and Defense

Coach Tucker explained the team is running a 4-3 defense and they are going to play to their teams strengths.

He also mentioned how Charleston Southern runs a triple option, but is huge on passing the ball.

Despite the team being heavy in the passing game, they also do pretty well rushing. Quarterback London Johnson showed to be a force in the run game last season, as he carried the ball 80 times for 465 yards with 3 rushing TD’s.

Red shirt junior, Ronnie Harris, was the second leading rusher to Noah Shuler. Harris rushed for 413 yards from 72 carries and had 2 touchdowns.

Game Time


Charleston Southern is taking on the Florida Gators in Gainesville on Saturday at 7:30. Pregame coverage of the game starts at 3:30 on ESPN 98.1 FM or 850 AM. The game can be viewed on the SEC Network.

About Sarah Carlie Morton

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