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Alabama Football 2015: Previewing the Charleston Southern Offense

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Remember that time Alabama scheduled Georgia Southern before the Iron Bowl?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The worst part about playing against small schools is the lack of information and videos surrounding the team. As such, this preview of Charleston Southern is going to be short and sweet. Please speak with Erik for any refunds.

As I'm sure you have heard by now, CSU runs a variant of an option offense, but not quite the wing-T triple option that Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern run so effectively. On a personal note, I am always enamored by a team that can run a true option offense. While they are fun to watch, they are very annoying to play against. That frustration can sometimes creep into defenders, who start playing a little more reckless in an attempt to make big tackles, and recklessness can lead to injury. On top of that, option teams are often very... creative... with their blocking, and that can sometimes also be dangerous to defensive players. Coming out of this game with minimal attrition should be top priority.

CSU is actually averaging 168 passing yards per game, which, while not great by any means, is more than option offenses normally get. Senior QB Austin Brown has consistently completed about 55% of his passes over the past two years, and has put up 1356 yards so far in 2015. He's thrown 11 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, on a somewhat low 7.4 yards per attempt. Brown is not much of a rusher, despite being in an option offense, and sophomore Kyle Copeland has taken on the role of a change-up rusher at the QB position.

The Buccaneers have a trio of junior running backs who have been scarily effective at platooning the carries this season. Darius Hammond had the least playing time in previous years, but has become the lead back for the offense in 2015. He has put up 734 yards on 120 attempts (6.1 yards per carry), and has added 6 touchdowns. Behind him, Mike Holloway has 87 carries for 515 yards and 9 touchdowns. Holloway is used more as a short yardage and goal line back.

After rushing for 800 yards in his first two seasons, Ben Robinson is third in the rotation, and has put up 398 yards on only 55 carries. The explosive change of pace back averages a team best 7.2 yards per carry, and has added 4 touchdowns. However, he's also fumbled at a higher rate than anyone on the team.

Senior receiver Nathan Perera is easily the top target on the team, and has caught 37 balls for 560 yards and four touchdowns. For context, however, he has caught almost twice as many balls as anyone else, and is still not quite getting four catches per game. Behind him, junior Colton Korn has caught 19 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown. Korn is mostly used as a dump off option in the short yardage game, and only averages 10 yards per catch. Sophomore Kenny Dinkins has been the best big play threat, and has 270 yards on only 15 catches, and has added three touchdowns.

The most difficult part of defending this offense is not keeping track of who has the ball, but being on the watch out for blocks coming from any direction. A'Shawn and company will have their work cut out for them along the defensive line, and hopefully the corners will be ready to clean up the runs that get to the sidelines.