Wednesday, July 6, 2022

2022 Football Preseason Preview: Charleston Southern

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2022 football opponents.

For the 2022 season's first game, the Catamounts travel to Charleston, SC to face the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in the first-ever meeting in a new home and home series between the two teams on the gridiron. 

The Bucs completed the 2021 season tied for third place in the Big South Conference standings.  

               Game #1 - Charleston Southern Buccaneers

When: Saturday, September 3, 2022
Time: 12:00 noon
Where: Buccaneer Stadium, Charleston, SC
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV/video: ESPN+
Live Stats: WCU Live Stats
Conference:  Big South 

The Series: This is the first meeting between the two teams on the football field, and is the first game in a new home and home series between the two universities. 

Head Coach
Autry Denson Jr. was named the Charleston Southern head football coach in January 2019. Denson became the fifth CSU head football coach in program history. He came to the Buccaneers after coaching stops at Notre Dame, South Florida, Miami (Ohio), and Bethune-Cookman. 

Autry Denson's Record: 12-16 overall (3d season)

Autry Denson's record vs. Western Carolina: 0-0
Kerwin Bell's record vs. Charleston Southern: 0-0

Last Season's Record - 2021 (CSU): 4-6 overall, 2-2 home, 2-4 away, 3-4 Big South

Offensive Formation:  Has transitioned from a run-oriented triple-option approach to a spread attack 
Defensive Formation:  
base 4-3 defense

CSU Offense - Returning/loss:  6 / 5
CSU Defense- Returning/loss:  6 / 5
CSU Special Teams - Returning/loss:  0 / 1

In preseason honors, CSU was selected number three (tied with Gardner-Webb) in the Big South preseason poll (total of 6 members this season).  On the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver,  Cayden Jordan, (R-Jr. ) was selected for the first team all-conference, and defensively linebacker  Garrett Sayegh (Gr.,) and defensive back  Hombre Kennedy (Gr.) were both selected for the first team. 

Charleston Southern enters the fourth year of the Autry Denson era, after transitioning from a run-oriented triple-option approach to a spread attack. The Bucs are returning 12 starters from the offense and defensive sides of the ball while losing 5 starters on each side of the ball. Over the past couple of seasons, the Buccaneers have shown flashes of success on offense, but have also struggled at times with consistency.  

In 2019, during the first year of Denson as head coach, the Buccaneers averaged 22 points per game, and last year's 24.5 ppg after assistant coach Klay Koester took over as the team's offensive coordinator is a minor improvement in scoring.  With the loss of an experienced quarterback, Jack Chambers behind center, the Buc's biggest need in 2022 is to fill the QB position. CSU currently has 4 qbs on their roster, including last season's back-up, redshirt sophomore Ross Malmgren.  

In  2021, the Bucs completed the season in seventh place in scoring with an average of 24.5 points per game, and completed the season in fourth place in scoring defense, giving up 29.9 points per game.  scoring

2021 Charleston Southern Statistics (Fall -10 games)
Rushing Offense: 1144 yards
Yards per game: 114.4
Yards per rush: 3.4 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 72
TDs rushing: 12
Passing Offense: 2553 yards or 255.3 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 111
Passing Att-Comp-Int: 434-239-10
TDs Passing: 19
Total Offense: 3697 yards or 369.7 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 9 - 5
3d Down Conversions: 67 of 174 (38.5%)
4th Down Conversions: 5 of 17 (29.4%)
Field goal attempts:  6 - 15
PAT-Attempts: 29 of 29
Red Zone Scores: 25 of 35
Red Zone Touchdowns: 20 of 35
On-Side Kicks: 0 - 1
Penalties-Yards: 45 - 446 - Avg. per gm 44.6
Punts-Yards: 67 - 2572 - Avg. per gm 38.4
Sacks: 23 for 133 yards

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