CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Malcolm Dixon threw three touchdowns to help Charleston Southern beat VMI 32-14 in a Big South Conference showdown Saturday.
Charleston Southern (2-4, 1-1) scored the only points of the first quarter on two Dixon touchdown passes, one of 15-yards to Zach Frazier and a 31-yard completion to Larry Jones III. Dixon finished 5 of 6 for 88 yards.
VMI (2-4, 1-1) answered quickly, scoring early in the second quarter when Jabari Turner's 3-yard run cut the lead to 13-7. But the Keydets failed to get any closer.
Charleston Southern then scored 19 unanswered points, using an effective rushing attack and a strong second half defense to seal the victory.
The Buccaneers amassed 307 yards rushing on 66 carries, while the defense did not allow any second half points. VMI's only score came late in the fourth quarter when John Washington returned a fumble 70 yards.
South Carolina's loss to The Citadel, coupled with Georgia and Florida struggling in tight victories, was an embarrassment for the conference.
Oklahoma is projected to be in the College Football Playoff after the release of the CFP rankings, while West Virginia joined the bowl-eligible crowd.
Florida's struggles have put its hopes of making a New Year's Six Bowl in danger, with the Egg Bowl winner possibly profiting from the Gators' demise.
A win over Washington State would be the sixth of the season for Washington, giving the Pac-12 a 10th bowl-eligible team.
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A North Carolina team that beats Clemson and wins out to take the ACC would have a strong case for the College Football Playoff.