Scouting Charleston Southern – Defense/ST

Figuring out what Charleston Southern is likely to do offensively is pretty easy. Just think about the Gator offense in slow motion and you pretty much have it. Defensively, however the Bucs are much harder to prepare for, but not to excel against. While the Gator defense returns its entire two deep from a year ago, Charleston Southern returns just three.

Scheme wise think back to John Thompson and his days at Arkansas. That's what you are likely to see from Charleston Southern. They might have two down linemen or six. They can rush nine guys or none. With undersized personnel at almost every position they have to rely on confusion to beat people their own size. Remember that Miami offense that couldn't get out of its own way last year? They scored 52 on these guys.

The issues begin up front where the starting tackles' average weight is 270 and the ends check in at 225. Florida's huge, talented offensive line will steamroller these guys. There is some speed at end, but their top returning sack man, Dorein Perkins is not on the depth chart.

Linebacker is the best unit on either side of the ball. You start with their best player Andrew McKain who led the team with 74 tackles and was second with eight tackles for loss. David Jackson had a good game in their loss to Miami (5 tkl) and Fred Godfrey played in every game last year and registered 32 tackles. All three are smallish – none weighs even 230 – and they'll have to make a lot of tackles Saturday night.

There is one good player in the secondary, CB Jacques Bazile. He has pretty good speed, but also got beaten a good bit a year ago. He's the only starter back from a secondary that allowed over 60 percent completions a year ago.

Defensively Charleston Southern has to gamble successfully to have any hope of making it interesting. Florida can overpower them in the running game and out quick them in the passing game. It's rather significant that Tim Tebow would be their third biggest starter on defense.

Charleston Special Teams ---- Here's one area where they are better than most teams they face, though not Florida. Punter Andy Brown (36.3) is decent overall, but quite good at coffin corner kicks, dropping 19 inside the 20 last year. However he's not likely to be punting from that close this week. They had two punts blocked last year. The Bucs' place kicker John Paglia is from Ocala where he was a teammate of John Brantley at Trinity Catholic. He was 10-14 on Field Goals last year, but just 5-9 beyond 30 yards. Stevenson (24.9 KOR, 10.0 PR)) is a pretty good return man.

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The bottom line to this game is that it shouldn't be competitive let alone close. What the Gators hope to get out of this is some experience as far as game day logistics and such for the coaching staff. This is especially true on offense with two new coaches and a returning coach in Steve Addazio who has been promoted to offensive coordinator.

The Gators need to use this game to begin building cohesion on the offensive line and dominance on the defensive front. As always, you hope a game like this will give tons of playing time to Brantley, Emmanuel Moody, Frankie Hammond and T.J. Lawrence among others.


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