Clemson Football has played an FCS opponent for as long as I can remember, and the 2023 season will be no different. This year, the Tigers will host the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in Death Valley.
Clemson will take on CSU on September 9th at 2:15 PM, in what will be a short week for the Tigers following their season opener on Labor Day Monday. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.
Charleston Southern’s football program has a relatively young history, starting as a club team in 1989 before their inaugural season in Division III in 1991. The Bucs moved to the FCS in 1993 to match their other varsity programs. This will be the first-ever meeting between Clemson and CSU.
2023 will be the first season in charge for new head coach Gabe Giardina. Like Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, Giardina is an Alabama alum, kicking for the Crimson Tide from 2000-03. He previously worked at Southern for Jamey Chadwell, who is now at Liberty following a successful stint at Coastal Carolina. Giardina returns to CSU from Albany State, a Division II school in Georgia. Giardina led the 2021 Golden Rams to the Division II Playoffs and followed that campaign with another winning record.
Clemson Football will host their annual FCS opponent in Week 2, only six days after the season opener
The Buccaneers were 2-8 overall in 2022. They finished 2-3 in Big South Conference play. Their FBS opponent last season was NC State, who defeated them 55-3.
Lindy’s projects Charleston Southern to finish seventh in the new Big South-Ohio Valley Conference, which will have ten teams in 2023.
Clemson does have a substantial talent advantage over CSU, and the obvious hope is that the Tigers will have an early opportunity to play some of their second-string and reserves to get them valuable experience. This especially applies to redshirt candidates who are allowed to play in no more than four games during the season, including potential post-season games.