Trio of Bucs honored as Big South announces weekly football award winners

Trio of Bucs honored as Big South announces weekly football award winners
3 Charleston Southern players earn Big South honors after their win over Gardner-Webb (Source: CSU Athletics)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) - A trio of Buccaneers were recognized among the Big South Football weekly award winners as Nick Salley (Defensive), Cody Cline (Freshman), and Ethan Ray (co-Special Teams) were honored by the conference office on Monday afternoon.

The trio of Bucs join placekicker Alex Usry (twice) among the CSU players to earn the conference's weekly honor as all three played key roles in Saturday's 30-27 win over Gardner-Webb.

Nick Salley continues to apply pressure in the backfield as the Big South's leader in tackles for loss added three more to his totals, while adding two sacks and a pair of forced fumbles on Saturday against Gardner-Webb.

Salley's first sack came on a blindside hit that forced a fumble and led to a CSU field goal to put the Bucs ahead 10-0 in the first quarter. He added another half-tackle for loss late in the first quarter. In the second quarter, his 17-yard sack and forced fumble moved Gardner-Webb out of scoring position and forced a punt. His final tackle for loss came in the third quarter on a swing pass that set up a GWU fourth-and-long situation. Salley leads the Big South with 14.0 tackles for loss on the season.

Cody Cline entered Saturday as the conference's leading freshman tackler and he lived up to his billing on his way to recording his second consecutive double-digit tackling effort and added his first interception to boot in CSU's win over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Cline had 11 tackles (seven solo) and added an athletic play on a third quarter interception where he leaped over the receiver to pick the ball off the turf. Cline leads all freshmen by 27 total tackles and is 10th in the Big South with 7.0 tackles per game.

Often referred to as the unsung hero of the CSU special teams unit, Ethan Ray made his presence felt on the field on Saturday. Ray recovered a pair of fumbles on GWU muffed punts and also downed all three of CSU's punts inside the GWU 20-yard line to cap a successful day for the Bucs. He was also perfect on all 14 of his snaps on Saturday.

The Bucs continue conference play this weekend with a key matchup against Hampton University on Saturday, November 9 at Buccaneer Field. The game will serve as North Charleston Appreciation Day and Military Appreciation Day with kickoff set for 6:05 p.m. on ESPN3.