Opposition Danger Men: Charleston Southern

Next up on our opposition danger men preview of the Commodores opponents is Charleston Southern. This series is where we are taking a closer look at a couple of difference makers who Vandy will come up against in this non-conference clash. These are the guys that the coaches must game plan for if the 2014 Commodores football season is going to be a success.

Charleston Southern

Offense: RB – Christian Reyes

Even when the ‘Dores finally get out of SEC play in 2014 they will not be able to avoid difference makers at the running back position. The Buccaneers Christian Reyes may not be in the same league as a Todd Gurley or a Mike Davis, but he is a workhorse of a back who is quite capable of hurting the Commodores if they let him get into the flow of the game.

Last fall as a junior Reyes was the cornerstone of a Buccaneer offense which led the entire FCS in time of possession. The 5-foot-10, 218-pounder is, however, much more than a three yards and a cloud of dust type of running back. Though Reyes is perfectly happy to use his frame and power to churn yards through the middle of the line, he is also quick enough in space to turn those runs up field for bonus yardage. This is how he was able to put up 1,254 yards and nine touchdowns last season while averaging a very respectable 5.1 yards per carry.

Reyes was good enough last fall to smash the Charleston Southern single season rushing record by almost 500 yards. He is as tough and durable as they come and this senior will be looking to one up his junior season by smashing his own record and claiming scalps like that of the ‘Dores.

Defense: DE - Dylan Black

The Buccaneers run a 3-4 as their base defense. You would think then that the star would probably be one of the pass rushing outside linebackers or maybe a ball hawking free safety. For Charleston Southern though the man who makes the big plays on this side of the ball is actually senior defensive end Dylan Black.

Black broke out of obscurity in the defensive rotation with a big season in 2013. He totaled ten tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks, neither of which are easy for a lineman in the 3-4 front where your priorities are more with eating space and stopping the offensive line getting to the second level. Any production you get in terms of big plays from a 3-4 defensive end is usually considered nothing more than a bonus.

Big plays though is what Black was best at last fall and was why he was named Second Team All-Big South when the awards were handed out at the end of the year. His biggest play of the year was undoubtedly a strip sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown against Norfolk State which was part of the Bucs’ 7-0 start to the season. Black has a high motor and uses his hands very well to both take on blockers and fight through blocks. He is always looking to go for the ball when he is around the quarterback and he is certainly the guy on this Buccaneers defense which the Commodores should pay the most attention to.

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