Charleston Southern will open the season at Mississippi State and renew series against South Carolina State, Elon, and Savannah State as the Buccaneers released their 2017 football schedule on Monday.
The Bucs will also host five games at Buccaneer Field in 2017 with matchups against Point, Mississippi Valley State, Savannah State, Monmouth (Homecoming), and Liberty all scheduled for the upcoming season.
"I'm excited it's been finalized, and hopefully we'll have the kickoff times to release soon as well," CSU head football coach Mark Tucker said. "We'll have a full complement of FCS games this season with one Division II and one FBS game, and we're excited about it. We get the opportunity to play in a big venue at the start of the season in Starkville, Miss. and we'll be ready to go."
The Buccaneers are in their first season under new head coach Mark Tucker. He inherits a team that has posted 35 wins over the last four seasons - the most over a four-year stretch in program history. The Bucs have been ranked for 22 consecutive weeks over the last two years after appearing in the national rankings just once in the program's first 22 seasons.
"We established a standard of success during my time here and we've spent each day working on living up to that standard," Tucker said. "Only we can determine what affects us and if we continue to stay motivated, continue with our tempo, physicality, and mindset, and play to those results, everything else will take care of itself.
CSU opens the season on the road traveling to Mississippi State on September 2. The Bucs' opener at the Bulldogs will be the sixth time in program history CSU has taken on an opponent from the Southeastern Conference. The last CSU-SEC matchup came on November 21, 2015, in Tuscaloosa against eventual FBS national champion Alabama. It will be the first time the Bucs have traveled to Starkville, Miss. CSU has previously traveled to Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Georgia.
Following the opening weekend, CSU makes the short trip up the road for a renewal of the rivalry against South Carolina State on September 9. The Bucs-Bulldogs last squared off against each other back in the 1999 season in Orangeburg, S.C. Prior to the 18-year gap, the Bucs and S.C. State had played against each other in eight of the nine years during the 1990s with the Bulldogs victorious in all eight matchups.
The Bucs' third road game of the season pits CSU at Elon on September 16 as the Bucs and Phoenix take on each other for the first time since the 2002 season. CSU and Elon will complete the home-and-home series with the Phoenix making a return trip to Buccaneer Field in 2018.
CSU opens the home portion of the 2017 schedule with back-to-back contests at Buccaneer Field against NCAA Division II Point (Sept. 23) and Southwestern Athletic Conference foe Mississippi Valley State (Sept. 30).
Following the Bucs' open date, CSU begins its defense of their back-to-back Big South Conference championships in Clinton, S.C. against the Presbyterian Blue Hose on October 14.
After an eight-year hiatus, the Buccaneers renew their series against Savannah State with a home contest at Buccaneer Field on October 21. CSU is a perfect 6-0 against the Tigers all-time and has outscored SSU, 123-38, at home in the series.
Homecoming continues the CSU football slate with the Bucs hosting Monmouth on October 28 in their conference home opener. The Bucs have won all three matchups against the Hawks since MU joined the Big South as a football-only member in 2014.
Trips to Gardner-Webb (Nov. 4) and Kennesaw State (Nov. 11) close out the road portion of the 2017 conference season.
CSU will host Liberty in the regular season finale for Senior Day. The Flames are in the process of transitioning to FBS play in 2018 and will play a full Big South slate in 2017.
A complete TV schedule and game times for CSU home games will be announced at a later date. Season tickets will go on sale at a later date.
2017 Charleston Southern Football Schedule
Date Opponent Time
Sept. 2 at Mississippi State TBD
Sept. 9 at S.C. State 6 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Elon TBD
Sept. 23 Point TBD
Sept. 30 Mississippi Valley State TBD
Oct. 7 Open
Oct. 14 at Presbyterian* TBD
Oct. 21 Savannah State TBD
Oct. 28 Monmouth* (Homecoming) TBD
Nov. 4 at Gardner-Webb* TBD
Nov. 11 at Kennesaw State* TBD
Nov. 18 Liberty* (Senior Day) TBD