CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern will face three first-time opponents among their five non-conference games as the Buccaneers announced the complete 2019 football season on Thursday afternoon.
The Buccaneers will take on Furman, South Carolina, and North Carolina A&T for the first time in program history, while contests against The Citadel and Savannah state round out the non-conference schedule for CSU.
"Our 2019 schedule offers a wide variety in regard to this year's opponents," head coach Autry Denson said. "My excitement to release this is a direct reflection of the excitement that is circulating within our program."
"There are a lot of first-time opponents, along with some familiar foes, and followed up by a tough Big South schedule," Denson continued. "Our goal week-in and week-out will be to give a God-honoring effort while having a God-honoring attitude. It is going to be one heck of a ride, so I'm asking the entire CSU family to buckle up, hold on tight, to show up, and show out every week because it is going to be a fun one."
Charleston Southern's Big South schedule was announced on December 18 and features home contests against Monmouth (Oct. 26), Hampton (Nov. 9), and Campbell (Nov. 23). The Bucs road conference schedule features back-to-back trips to Kennesaw State (Oct. 12) and North Alabama (Oct. 19), as well as trips to Gardner-Webb (Nov. 2) and Presbyterian (Nov. 16).
CSU opens the season traveling to Greenville, S.C. and Furman University on August 31 for the first matchup between the Bucs and Paladins in program history. It will be the sideline debut of new CSU head coach Autry Denson as the Bucs take on a tough Paladins team. Furman tied for the SoCon regular season championship and finished the year receiving votes in both major FCS polls.
The Bucs continue their season-opening road trip the following weekend at Williams-Bryce Stadium as CSU takes on the South Carolina Gamecocks on September 7th. It marks the first time CSU and USC will take the field against each other and the Bucs' eighth matchup all-time against a Southeastern Conference opponent.
Another first-time opponent awaits the Bucs as CSU makes its home debut on September 14 against North Carolina A&T. The Aggies have won three of the last four Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowls and have posted a 41-7 record over the last four seasons. N.C. A&T was ranked No. 11/12 in the final rankings of both major FCS polls.
CSU continues its local rivalry with The Citadel on September 21 at Johnson Hagood Stadium. The Bulldogs won the opener of the four-game series this past season to snap CSU's four-game winning streak in the series.
Following a bye week, the Bucs close out the non-conference schedule with a home date against Savannah State on October 5. The Tigers have made the transition to Division II after 19 years as full NCAA Division I members.
CSU opens conference play with a tough matchup at reigning Big South champion Kennesaw State on October 12. The Bucs and Owls have combined for the last three conference titles dating back to the 2016 season. KSU has the 2-1 edge over the Bucs over the last three seasons.
The Bucs remain on the road the following weekend as CSU travels to Florence, Ala. to take on Big South newcomer North Alabama. The Lions made the transition to FCS this past season and joins the conference as a full-fledged member for the 2019 season after posting a 7-3 mark in 2018.
CSU's conference home opener brings Monmouth to Buccaneer Field on October 26. The Hawks have won each of the last two contests against the Bucs to take the 2-1 series edge over CSU.
The Bucs are back on the road to open November as CSU travels to Spangler Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C. to take on Gardner-Webb. CSU has won the last two games in the series, including a 10-9 victory in their last contest at GWU thanks to a Tyler Tekac 43-yard field goal as time expired.
CSU welcomes Big South newcomer Hampton to Buccaneer Field on November 9. The Bucs and Pirates faced off against each other for the first time last season, a 48-14 CSU win that featured five Hampton turnovers and a pair of James Allen touchdowns.
A trip to Presbyterian wraps up the Bucs' road conference schedule on November 16. CSU has won each of their last three games over the Blue Hose outscoring PC, 86-10, over the stretch.
The Bucs close out the 2018 regular season with Senior Day at Buccaneer Field against Campbell. CSU is 3-0 all-time against the Camels after topping CU this past season in the conference finale, 12-7. The Bucs defense forced four interceptions in the game with Allen recording three in the win over the Camels.
A complete TV schedule and kickoff times for home games will be announced at a later date. Season tickets will also go on sale at a later date.