The Citadel, CSU, and SC State looking forward to 2013 - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

The Citadel, CSU, and SC State looking forward to 2013

Posted: Updated:
August 15th,2013 -

The Citadel:

Citadel coach Kevin Higgins felt like his program was ready to break through in the Southern Conference a few years earlier before discovering he had to rebuild and revamp his offense.

This time with the overhaul complete, Higgins believes the Bulldogs are ready to capitalize on last year's success and return to the top of the league.

Citadel took a big step forward last season in going 7-4, its first winning record since 2007. Higgins had thought his team turned a corner then, but he scrapped the offense after the Bulldogs went 8-15 the following two seasons.

Citadel was in the mix for a conference title last year after defeating Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. But the Bulldogs dropped four of their next five to fall off the pace.

Charleston Southern:

New Charleston Southern coach Jamey Chadwell can't imagine having a bad first season with the Buccaneers.

Chadwell was hired from North Greenville in January to take over for Jay Mills, who retired after 10 seasons. The Bucs haven't finished above .500 since 2009 and return 18 starters from a group that went 5-6 last fall.

Still, Chadwell is excited about his first head coaching job in the Football Championship Subdivision. He says he'll lean heavily on last year's returnees, particularly quarterback Malcolm Dixon and defensive end Will Hunt. Dixon is a three-year starter at his position who accounted for 16 touchdowns while Hunt led the line with three sacks.

Chadwell understands things don't change overnight, but believes there's enough talent to make a mark in the Big South Conference.

SC State:

After the worst season of his coaching career, South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough looked to his team's recent past to improve its future.

The Bulldogs were29-8 and won three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles from 2008 to 2010. The team's fallen off the past two seasons, the Bulldogs finishing 5-6 last fall for the first losing season in Pough's 11 seasons in charge.

Pough acknowledges the offense struggled to move the ball the past two seasons, in large part due to a lack of consistency running the ball. Top rusher Jalen Simmons had just 512 yards and four touchdowns. So Pough re-hired his offensive coordinator from that successful stretch in Joe Blackwell, who left after 2009.

Blackwell says he'll get the Bulldogs back to the business of strong running.

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