CSU defense shows well at Buccaneers' first scrimmage

  • Monday, August 11, 2014

Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell speaks to his team after its first scrimmage of fall camp Sunday. CSUSPORTS.COM

Charleston Southern's defense shined against a still-developing passing game Sunday at Buccaneers' first intra-squad scrimmage of fall camp.

The Bucs' veteran defensive line headlined by preseason All-Big South selections James Smith and Dylan Black attacked the backfield and led a host of defensive stands. Linebackers Zac Johnson, Jermichael Bailey and safety Demaris Freeman followed suit with several big hits of their own.

“I thought there was some really good competition on both sides of the ball, and positives to take away,” CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell said. “I was a little disappointed with the ball being on the ground a few times. It was wet and humid, but that's something we try to really emphasize is not turning the ball over.

“Our young guys got to get out of practice and into a game-type environment which is good for them. Productive overall, thankful we got it in because it gives us some good video to watch and learn from.”

Chadwell and the Bucs' coaching staff have used the early weeks of fall camp to ramp up the intensity and attitude throughout the team. After winning 10 games last season, the second-year head coach says the Bucs' experience and veteran leadership is a welcomed addition this offseason.

“I think attitude's been a huge positive,” Chadwell said. “There's an excitement and a maturity. There's guys who know what we have to do to prepare and they have done a really good job of trying to lead the younger guys along.”

Junior quarterback Austin Brown and sophomore Kyle Copeland both led scoring drives Saturday. Brown hooked up with junior wide receiver Alex Cruz in the back corner of the end zone for one of the day's top plays. Chadwell says he hopes to see more consistency at quarterback as the season approaches.

“We've been up and down,” he said. “There's too much inconsistency, so we have to take that step mentally and stop making some mistakes that are drive-killers. It's only practice 10 and we've seen a lot of looks, so it will come along.”

Chadwell was pleased with the performance of his running back unit that features returning starter Christian Reyes, as well as sophomore Ben Robinson and senior Zach Frazier.

“We feel great about where we are at running back,” Chadwell said. “We've got some good depth and a nice mix of veterans and some excitable talent if we can get that excitable talent to know what to do and get them on the field where they can do some things. I think it's going to be a very good situation for us at running back.”

Charleston Southern will host its second scrimmage and media day Aug. 16.

The Bucs kick off the regular season Aug. 28 at home against Point.

Frankie Mansfield, the sports reporter for the Moultrie News can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more, follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook.

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