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Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)
Charleston Southern's football team will get a taste of the Big Ten this season after adding a game against Indiana.
The Buccaneers will play at Indiana on Oct. 7.
Charleston Southern's game at South Carolina State scheduled for last weekend was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, so CSU was hoping to pick up another game this season. Indiana's game against Florida International also was cancelled because of the hurricane.
Both CSU (0-1) and Indiana (1-1) have an open date on Oct. 7, allowing for the two schools to negotiate an agreement to play. This will be CSU's second visit to a Big Ten school. The Bucs lost at Illinois in 2012.
"It worked out where we both had an open date and it's a great opportunity for our program," CSU athletic director Hank Small said Tuesday. "Any time you get an opportunity to play against a quality Big Ten opponent like Indiana, you have to be excited to get them on your schedule."
This is the second time in recent years that CSU has been able to add a game after the season started. The Buccaneers picked up a game against Colorado during the 2013 season. The Bucs lost, 47-10, at Colorado.
"We're only guaranteed 11 opportunities in a season and with Hurricane Irma striking the east coast, that prevented us from playing one of those games," CSU head coach Mark Tucker said. "We've been blessed to have another opportunity with our open date to compete against a Big Ten team in Indiana. It's always exciting for our kids to go into big-time venues and have the opportunity to compete."
Small said a makeup date with South Carolina State is not likely this season but he is hopeful the Buccaneers can travel to Orangeburg in 2019 for a game. South Carolina State is scheduled to visit CSU next season as part of the two-year contract.
"We are looking strongly at the possibility of us returning the game in 2019, something we very much want to do," Small said. "We were excited to renew this rivalry with South Carolina State and hopefully we can continue to find ways to play every year."
At CSU, Small said every effort was made to keep the football team together during the hurricane, but with 23 players from Florida and 18 from Georgia, many players expressed a desire to be with family.
Other fall sports teams, such as volleyball, cross country, women's soccer and golf, were able to leave the area as a team to continue their workouts while campus was closed.
CSU's football team returned to campus Tuesday and planned to practice Tuesday night. Saturday's game at Elon will kickoff at 6 p.m. Elon (1-1) picked up its first win of the season last weekend, beating Furman, 34-31.
The Buccaneers last played on Sept. 2, a 49-0 loss at Mississippi State. CSU is 0-4 all-time against Elon but the programs have not met since 2002.
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