Charleston Southern's running backs and defensive line impressed once again in the team's second scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday morning. The Bucs held the scrimmage prior to Media Day activities in the afternoon, and now have 11 practices remaining prior to their August 28 opener against Point University.
“I thought there was some significant improvement from our first scrimmage last Sunday,” CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell said. “Especially as far as guys knowing what to do as far as positions and assignments while still playing with great effort. Overall, it was a good performance in all phases and we've made some solid progress in these two weeks.”
Sophomore Ben Robinson continued an outstanding camp with 25 and 17-yard runs to lead the CSU rushing attack. Classmate Mike Holloway added a 12-yard touchdown run off an option pitch. Quarterbacks Danny Croghan III, Austin Brown and Kyle Copeland each led sustained drives behind a veteran offensive line that paved the way for the nation's 17th ranked rushing offense in 2013.
Copeland accounted for some of the biggest plays in the passing game, with two 18-yard completions coming to redshirt junior receiver Nathan Perera. Perera, looking to return to his 2011 all-conference form after missing most of the last two seasons due to injury, looked strong. Freshman Jakob Salgado, one of a number of rookie receivers bidding for playing time, hauled in a 57-yard over the shoulder grab.
“Kyle has really shown some maturity in camp and still is working on eliminating the mistakes that can slow us down as an offense,” said Chadwell of Copeland. “The same is true of Austin, but he's come around a good deal in picking up what we're trying to do. Danny got back out there today and was a little rusty but also did some good things. Those three are still fighting it out and the competition has been good for us as a whole in camp.”
Defensively, Dylan Black, James Smith and freshman Mike Taylor highlighted a strong performance by the defensive line. Freshman linebacker Bobby Ruff, a local product from West Ashley High School, also made several plays with his speed in open space.
“Our defensive line has probably been the strongest spot on our defense throughout camp,” Chadwell said. “We've got a lot of experienced playmakers up there and are confident that they can lead the way as our back end continues to grow. Zac (Johnston) and Aaron (Brown) are doing a good job bringing the linebackers along, as well as Coach Wilson. Bobby Ruff really stood out with a few plays and the effort he gave today.”
On special teams, sophomore Truett Burns unleashed a couple of strong punts as he looks to build on a solid freshman campaign. In the kicking game, meanwhile, freshmen David Kennedy and Patrick Woods continued their competition for kickoff and field goal duties.
“Special teams is an area we have to continue to sure up but we've been happy with the effort a lot of our young guys are giving there,” Chadwell said. “As we get closer to the season, we're just hoping for more of the same positive attitude we've seen so far, and better consistency.”
CSU will attend service at Summerville Baptist Church as a team Sunday morning, before returning to practice Monday at 9:30 a.m.