COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Marauders of Central State will try to climb above .500 on Saturday night when the team travels to South Carolina to take on Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent Benedict College.
After dropping the season opener to Alderson-Broaddus, CSU rebounded nicely with a 49-12 thrashing of Clark-Atlanta last weekend to even the 2015 ledger to 1-1. Last weekend’s 49-point performance was the most points scored by a Marauder team since 2012. The win also snapped a nine-game road losing streak which dated back to the 2013 season.
While the offense hopes last week’s momentum carries over into Saturday night’s contest, the defense is looking forward to continuing its dominance. After two weeks, the Marauders are ranked third in the nation in takeaways. The CSU pass defense has come up with seven interceptions led by two picks each from Dashad Tucker and newcomer Clim Robbins. Linebacker Gervell Morgan, who leads the team in tackles with 17, preached preparation heading into this week’s game.
“We watched film right when we got off the bus from Atlanta last Sunday,” Morgan said. “Come game time, we already know exactly what the opponents’ tendencies are and what our unit needs to do in order to come out on top.”
For Benedict, the start to the season has been a struggle. Under new leadership in head coach Mike White, the Tigers dropped their first two contests with lopsided losses to Livingstone and Elizabeth City State. Offensively, the Tigers have scored one touchdown in two games. Defensively, the Tigers are giving up 52 points a game.
The Marauders, who scored seven touchdowns last week against Clark Atlanta, look to maintain consistency and take advantage of a struggling Benedict team.
“We expect great things on the offensive side of the ball,” CSU tight end Zach Thomas said. “We are focused on continuing to improve each week and give our fans and supporters something to be proud of.”
Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting between the two programs which dates back to 1965. CSU holds a slight 2-1 edge in the all-time series. The teams kick off the SIAC action at 6 p.m. at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.
Fans can listen in to the action via KISS 103 Columbia on their website: http://www.kiss-1031.com/ .