When : Week 3. Sept., 16, 2017
Who : Coastal Carolina
Where : Leigon Field: Birmingham, Alabama
Continuing with our “One Year Early” previews for football matchups we come to Week 3 versus the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina, as of July 1st, 2016, is a Division 1 athletics program in the Sun Belt except for football. The Football team is currently transitioning from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). They will complete this transition going into the 2017 season.
Coastal started playing football in 2003 and have been making some major waves at the FCS level. They have beaten FCS powers James Madison (they were ranked No. 1 at the time),Furman, and Woffard. They have also won 7 (!) conference championships in their 13 years as a program.
The Chanticleers are 2-0 this season so far with victories over Lamar and Florida A&M. Through these two games they have outscored their opponents 87 to 24. They will face the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State this weekend in what should be a really good game because JSU is loaded with talent, as is Coastal.
A look at some stats for Coastal Carolina.
Osharmar Abercrombie, a junior running back, rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries for 1 TD. That’s an average of 5.1 YPC, which is pretty good. Their QB Josh Stilley, who is a sophomore, so we will definitely have to deal with him next season, ran for 40 yards on 6 carries. Clearly they aren’t afraid to rush their QB when needed and can do so effectively.
As for the passing attack, Stilley was 10-of-22 for 138 yards 0 TDs and 0 INTs. He also was sacked 0 times. Two of their top thre receivers this game were juniors, so we may have to cover them. The second best receiver was Osharmar the running back. He caught 2 passes for 33 yards. The third best receiver was junior wide out Chris Jones who caught 2 passes for 22 yards.
Against Florida A&M:
The rushing game was led by the same senior as the Lamar game, but since we won’t see him on the field in 2017 I won’t talk about him. Osharmar had 6 carries for 39 yards and 0 TDs for an average of 6.5 YPC. Quarterback Josh Stilley had 9 carries for 37 yards and a TD. Again it seems like Coastal is not afraid of running their QB if needed.
The passing game was pretty successful, too. Stilley was 16-of-22 for 157 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. He improved his completion rate, but did throw a pick. The two leading receivers were Chris Jones, a junior, and Omar Black, a sophomore.They combined for 6 catches for 61 yards.
Defensively, Coastal has quite a few play makers that are underclassmen.
Freshamn linebacker Laqavious Paul had 9 tackles (4 solo) against Florida A&M. That is a lot of tackles, and that leads me to believe he is a starter. Sophomore linebacker Sedrick Palmer had 4 tackles (3 solo) and a sack against Florida A&M. Sophomore defensive-back Anthony Chesley had 6 solo tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and an INT in their win over Florida A&M. These three guys will be a major force, I believe, defensively when we play in 2017.
General team synopsis.
Overall, Coastal is not a pushover in any way. They are a young and talented program that has quite a few FBS victories in state. They lead a pretty balanced attack offensively, but rely on punching the ball in on short distance situations. The O-line has not given up a sack yet this year and their QBs are capable of scrambling and picking up good yardage. They do not turn the ball over much, 2 turnovers through two games, and are able to force several on defense.
The Chanticleers should not be taken lightly and I can’t wait to play them in 2017!
The game against Jacksonville State will be played in Jacksonville, Ala. at Burgess-Snow Field at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. Make sure to keep an eye on this one, or hope in the car, get on I-20 and travel a little ways towards Atlanta to watch the game in Jacksonville.