Charleston Southern at Jacksonville State FCS Football 2015 Quarterfinal Breakdown

George Hammond

Charleston Southern at Jacksonville State FCS Football 2015 Quarterfinals Breakdown


Charleston Southern at Jacksonville State, Friday, 7:00 p.m.

This is an interesting matchup but one that likely won’t equal Saturday’s thrilling overtime contest that saw Jacksonville State (11-1) defeat rival Chattanooga, 41-35, before a record crowd of 21,452 at Jacksonville State. Meanwhile, the Big South champion Buccaneers (10-2) were taking care of The Citadel, 14-6, in a defensive struggle in which Charleston Southern’s top two quarterbacks, Austin Brown and Kyle Copeland, were injured and left the game. Danny Croghan III filled in for most of the contest. CSU had beaten The Citadel, 33-20, during the regular season.

This will be the first meeting between the two and the winner will face the Colgate-Sam Houston State winner in a FCS semifinal on Dec. 18-19. Even though Jamey Chadwell (28-9 in three seasons) has been a miracle worker at Charleston Southern and even if the Bucs’ starting quarterback were available (Brown’s status is unknown at this point), CSU enters this quarterfinal as the underdog. If the Bucs are to have a chance, they must have another stellar defensive effort such as the one against The Citadel where they forced six turnovers and stymied the Bulldogs’ triple-option attack. The Citadel had rushed for 350 and 524 yards, respectively, against South Carolina and Coastal Carolina in the previous two games but was held to 199 yards against CSU. Solomon Brown had 15 tackles to lead the Bucs.

But the Gamecocks are more balanced than The Citadel as they had 640 yards offense against Chattanooga. They trailed 35-28 late in the fourth quarter before Troymaine Pope broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown run. Pope rushed for 234 yards – the second-highest single-game total in school history – while quarterback Eli Jenkins added 195 yards rushing. In addition, Jenkins had 208 yards passing and became just the fifth quarterback in school history to surpass 5,000 yards.

If Jacksonville State has any kind of emotional letdown from its victory over Chattanooga, Charleston Southern will be in the game. But there’s too much at stake for that to happen and after last year’s early playoff exit, the Gamecocks will come to play.

Projected Score: Jacksonville State 24, Charleston Southern 14


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