HALF: GWU leads No. 12 Charleston Southern, 20-0
For the last two games, it was fumbles and penalties that plagued Gardner-Webb.
Saturday, the Runnin' Bulldogs scored 20 points in the first half thanks to a pair of special teams mistakes and an interception coupled with five Charleston Southern penalties to lead 20-0 at halftime.
The Buccaneers (10-1, 3-0 Big South) couldn't generate much offense with their triple option attack, getting just 8 yards on the ground on 22 carries.
The mistakes started on the third play of the game.
Chad Geter got into the mix early after Buccaneer quarterback Daniel Croghan attempted a pass on third down.
Preston Pemasa tipped the pass right into the hands of Geter who fell ahead to the Charleston Southern 15.
Two plays later, running back Juanne Blount skirted the right side for an 8-yard touchdown, putting the Runnin' Bulldogs up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
The Runnin' Bulldogs had another opportunity after a miscue by Charleston Southern punter Truett Burns' punt hit a Buccaneer defender in the helmet and netted 6 yards, giving GWU the ball at their own 44.
Quarterback Lucas Beatty started slow, throwing two incomplete passes in a row in the drive before hitting Kenny Cook in double-coverage for a first down.
After sputtering, kicker Jordan Day bounced in a 34-yard field goal that hit off the left crossbar to put the Runnin' Bulldogs up 10-0 with 3 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Buccaneers continued to struggle on their third drive after Croghan fumbled a pitch to Zac Frazier. Frazier was able to fall on the ball for a 3-yard loss.
Croghan recovered by hitting Larry Jones III on a slant pattern for a 28-yard pick up and a first down on the next play.
However, the GWU defense contained the option attack and forced Charleston Southern to punt for the second time in the game.
The GWU offense got creative on their third drive.
After Cook caught a 31-yard reception over the middle, Beatty handed off to Blount who flicked the ball back to Beatty. Beatty then hit tight end Seth Cranfill at the Buccaneer 11.
Two plays later, Beatty hit Cook on a 4-yard touchdown pass, extending the Runnin' Bulldog lead to 17-0.
GWU was the beneficiary of good field position following another special teams mistake by Charleston Southern. Burns mishandled a punt snap and was wrapped up by Justin Miller at the CHS 16.
A 27-yard field goal by Day moved the GWU lead to 20-0 with 3:31 left in the half.
Gardner-Webb had 169 yards of total offense led by Cook's 75 yards receiving.