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Charleston Southern's coach plays a team full of his friends
Charleston Southern is coming off the high of one of the biggest wins the Buccaneers have ever had to a different kind of emotion of playing a team full of friends.
The Buccaneers take on North Greenville on Saturday, the Division II team coach Jamey Chadwell was with just two years ago.
“It’s a team we all know pretty well. A lot of our staff coached at North Greenville. We have guys who played there. They gave me my first start at the head job. I have a lot of love and respect for what they do,” Chadwell said.
In other games involving South Carolina’s Football Championship Subdivision teams Presbyterian travels to Wofford; Furman hosts Elon; The Citadel is at home with Appalachian State; and South Carolina State plays North Carolina A&T at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
In North Charleston, Charleston Southern (5-0) wants to maintain its sudden popularity on campus by beating North Greenville (4-0).
The Buccaneers beat Appalachian State last week, and several dozen fans were waiting when the bus rolled into campus after midnight to celebrate perhaps the school’s biggest win since Charleston Southern beat Coastal Carolina in two overtimes in the last game of the 2005 season to win the Big South Conference title.
“There is a great buzz on our campus for football right now,” Chadwell said.
Chadwell coached at the Division II school for three seasons, winning 20 of his last 26 games. The Crusaders already have defeated one FCS team, knocking off VMI 37-24.
“I know they love to play,” Chadwell said. “They are going to come down here believing they can win the game.”
In Spartanburg, Wofford (2-2) hopes to bounce back from a tough loss as they take on Presbyterian (1-3).
The Terriers had a bye week after a 3-0 loss to Gardner-Webb in a driving rainstorm. Coach Mike Ayers could sense his Terriers were frustrated and he sent them home for the off week with specific instructions.
“I told them when they left — don’t even think about football. Just rest and relax. Go home, spend some time with your folks, get some home cooking and come back and get ready for phase two,” Ayers said.
Playing the Blue Hose has its benefits, he said.
“It’s an opportunity to get that last taste of defeat out of your system and move on,” he said.
Both teams spent a long time in Division II and have quite a history. Presbyterian leads the series 40-39-3, but the Terriers have won three in a row.
Presbyterian coach Harold Nichols said he knows Wofford and its triple option offense well enough to have not made a real complicated game plan this week.
“If you go in trying to do too much, you are going to hurt yourself,” Nichols said.
In Greenville, Furman (2-2, 1-0 Southern Conference) will try to win three games in a row for the first time since 2011 against Elon (1-4, 0-1).
The Paladins luck in close games appears to be finally changing. They blocked a field goal on the next-to-the-last play of the game to beat Presbyterian 21-20 two weeks ago for their first win by less than a touchdown in almost two years. Last week, Furman got a touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter and put together a defensive stand to beat The Citadel 24-17.
“There’s no substitute for being able to complete a game,” Paladins coach Bruce Fowler said.
Furman broke a four-game losing streak against Elon with a win last season. The Phoenix leave the SoCon at the end of the year, meaning the two teams may not play again for a while.
In Charleston, The Citadel (1-4, 0-2 SoCon) is seeing a longtime rivalry end with one final game against Appalachian State (1-3, 1-0).
The Mountaineers are leaving for the Football Bowl Subdivision at the end of the year. It has been a rocky transition with the team off to its worst start in 10 years,
But Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins said the Mountaineers don’t look like a 1-3 team on film. “Appalachian State is still Appalachian State. They are loaded with good football players,” Higgins said.
Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield said both teams have had similar seasons of disappointment this year, noting both teams have only one loss by more than a touchdown.
“We’ve lost some close games,” Satterfield said. “The thing we keep preaching is just stay together. We are a family. We win together and we lost together. We don’t want to point fingers.”
The Citadel stunned Appalachian State 52-28 last season to end an eight-game losing streak to the Mountaineers.
In Atlanta, South Carolina State (3-2, 1-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) is off to the Georgia Dome to play North Carolina A&T (3-0, 1-0) in the Atlanta Football Classic.
The Aggies surprised South Carolina State last season with a 17-7 win, ending an 11-game winning streak in the series by the Bulldogs.
South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough said this year’s team might be better. North Carolina A&T opened the season with a win at Appalachian State.
“We need to catch them now. I see them improving week in and week out,” Pough said.
One thing Pough worked on in practice this week Is discipline. The Bulldogs committed 11 penalties for 162 yards in a 30-6 win last week over Hampton.
“We’ve got to figure out how to continue to enjoy ourselves but play within the rules,” Pough said.
By JEFFREY COLLINS, The Republic