Florida State Seminoles Preview: Charleston Southern

This is Charleston Southern's stadium.

This week the Florida State Seminoles take on the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. You might have noticed a distinct lack of CSU coverage this week. There's a reason for that. It is hard to imagine Charleston Southern entering this game with much confidence, as the club was dismantled by UCF on opening weekend by a 62-0 score. The Buccaneers aren't just a D1-AA team. They are a very, very bad 1-aa team. This is what the 'Noles need in preparation for next week's showdown with Oklahoma. The Sooners have a bye week. The 'Noles don't, but this is the next closest thing. 

Time: 6 pm

TV: ESPN3.com

Line: None yet

Injury Report
OG Henry Orelus (concussion)
WR [starter] Willie Haulstead (concussion)
WR Josh Gehres (knee )
LB Holmes Onwukaife (shoulder)
OL Tre' Jackson (knee)

DT [starter] Anthony McCloud (knee)
SS [co-starter] Nick Moody (quad)

Charleston Southern Offense
LT 73 Levi McFatter   6-4  291  R-Sr.
LG 60 Nick Kemper  6-2  268  R-Jr.
C 56 Jeff Hartung  6-3  280  So.
RG 78 B.J. Baker     6-5  290  R-Sr.
RT 70 James Nicholson  6-4  295  R-Jr.
TE 83 Carson Leshin  6-3  250  Jr.
TE 86 Henly Griffon  6-4  218  R-Fr.
QB 15 Malcolm Dixon  6-1  180  So.
RB 23 B.J. Hackworth  6-0  240  R-Sr.
WR 88 Kirby Broome  6-2  200  So.
WR 32 Mike Davis  5-9  195  Jr.
WR 7 Estevan Cintron  5-9  160  R-Fr.

Charleston Southern finished the game last week with a meager total of 119 total yards on 51 offensive plays and were 4-of-15 on third down conversion attempts. Furthermore, they committed a pair of turnovers, and those mistakes obviously didn't help the cause.

Malcolm Dixon saw most of the action at quarterback for Charleston Southern and did little to excite his supporters. Dixon completed a mere 6-of-15 passes for 50 yards, and with the exception of a 21-yard completion, most of the connections went for minor gains. Richard Mounce completed all three passes that he attempted, but considering the fact that he finished with just 20 passing yards, he wasn't much more impressive than Dixon.

Don't look for an enormous number of sacks, as Charleston Southern will look to get rid of the ball very quickly. UCF managed only one sack against CSU, and UCF can rush the passer a good bit. Plus, this offensive line does return four of five starters. That said, these receivers are new, so don't rule out communication issues.

But let's be honest, this is an awful team. Quite literally, FSU's walk-ons could beat Charleston Southern, provided of course they were able to practice as a team.

I'm intrigued to see this 240-pound running back. Typically big guys are momentum runners, in that they need a lot of time to build up speed. If Florida State's defensive line wrecks this offensive line like should be expected, it could be a long day for B.J. Hackworth.

Charleston Southern Defense
DE 96 Will Hunt 6-4 240 R-So.
NG 48 Matt Woods 6-3 260 R-Sr.
NG 72 Coril Joseph 6-1 300 R-So.
DE 51 Tanner Rogers 6-2 240 Fr.
MLB 52 Gabe Middlebrook 6-1 220 So.
WLB 47 Brandan Davis 5-11 174 Sr.
WOLF 36 Brad Sweatt 6-1 107 Jr.
BNDT 24 Chris Kuzdale 5-11 200 Sr.
SPUR 17 Matt Hardy 5-11 175 So.
CB 1 Charles James 5-10 175 R-Jr.
CB 35 Ray Rowe 5-11 155 Fr.
FS 5 Demaris Freeman 6-1 178 So.
CB 2 O’Brian Campbell 5-10 205 Sr.
CB 29 Marquiz Hodo 6-0 170 Fr.


The Charleston Southern defense was completely overmatched by the offense of UCF last week, as the Knights were able to rack up a staggering total of 560 yards. CSU got pushed around all afternoon, yielding 316 rushing yards at a clip of 6.6 ypc. Against the pass, the Bucs permitted 17.4 yards per completion, proof that they were completely helpless against both means of attack.

As discussed by Rico in yesterday's piece, the Bucs runs a 3-3-5 defense. This will probably be different than the 3-3-5 FSU saw last week with Louisiana Monroe, in that the Bucs are expected to be much less aggressive. This could mean fewer big plays for the offense, and drives consisting of a series like "10, 12, 5, 7, 20, 6 TD."

"Our youth and lack of maturity showed up," said Bucs' head coach Jay Mills. "We played hard; we just made a lot of errors. We'll become a good football team and how soon that occurs, is up to us. We played obviously an outstanding football team that I really believe is a top-20 caliber team. At the same time, we did not play close to our potential. This was one of 11 tests we have, but it wasn't a final exam, we have 10 more tests to go and we are going to handle those in a mature way."

What to Watch

  • Somewhat like last week, this week is all about FSU and not about the opponent. Expect the starters to be pulled quickly and to see a lot of reserves. Look for sharpness and execution, not simply physical domination.
  • With Haulstead's concussion symptoms flaring up yesterday morning, he is out. I'll be watching Jarred Haggins, Greg Dent and Kenny Shaw as they battle to claim his spot. Haggins is the clear leader, but the other two can play as well. This is important if Haulstead misses the Oklahoma game.
  • This is an excellent opportunity to see the young members of the highly-rated 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes. This will be the last time to see some of these guys before the, um, injuries occur to earn the medical hardship redshirt.
  • This game is exactly what FSU needs before Oklahoma: a game with zero chance of loss. Last week the 'Noles played the starters a lot. This week, they'll play just enough.
Prediction: CSU 0, FSU 68. Look for FSU to outgain Charleston Southern by 400% per play.
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