KSL UNRIVALED

Getting To Know Coastal Carolina With Chanticleer’s Play-By-Play Announcer

Dec 4, 2020, 2:55 PM | Updated: 2:57 pm

Coastal Carolina - College Football...

Could BYU step in and play Coastal Carolina this Saturday? (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – The last-minute game between BYU and Coastal Carolina has created a lot of excitement – as it is two undefeated teams that are both in the top 20 of the College Football Playoff rankings.

For the Cougars, it is a chance for them to get closer to earning an automatic bid to a New Year’s Six game. Right now, BYU is No. 13 and they need to get to the No. 11 spot.

For the Chanticleers, it will allow them to play a high profile opponent and a win would position them as the Group of Five team to take its New Year’s Six bowl spot if Cincinnatti loses a game.

The last-minute nature of this game means not much is known by BYU fans or members of the media about their upcoming opponent. The undefeated record is well-known as is their season-opening upset win against Kansas.

Coastal Carolina came out of nowhere. They were predicted to finish last in the Sun Belt from the preseason media poll but they turned it around and are in the Sun Belt championship game vs. a ranked Louisiana team on December 19.

Coastal Carolina Is Led By Star Quarterback

This matchup came together within hours so to get to know this Coastal Carolina team KSL’s Unrivaled was joined by the play-by-play voice of the Chanticleers.

“I don’t think there’s any hesitation on our part. I mean the game came about and we have everything to gain out of this being where we are in the College Football Playoff and BYU is ahead of us,” Cashion said. “There is really not much for us to lose. Honestly, we want to get this game in. We wanted to play this weekend.

“If we win this game against BYU that’s going to get noticed all over the country. We already have GameDay in town. They were going to be here anyway. We win this game. There’s everything to gain for Coastal Carolina. So, I mean, I’m excited about it. I know our kids are excited coaches, you know, the 5,000 or so fans that will be able to have in the stands on Saturday.”

As for Coastal Carolina’s star power, it starts with redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall who surprisingly beat out experienced juniors Fred Payton and Bryce Carpenter to claim the starting job. One reason he won the job is due to his familiarity with the current offense Coastal Carolina runs.

“Grayson is so much better in terms of what we have had and now the guys that play quarterback have not been bad, I mean, their guys have got things done for us,” Cashion said. “Grayson has stepped up and really just given us a pocket presence and the ability to get the ball down the field and make all of the right decisions. He’s unflappable back there in the pocket. It might be collapsing on him, but he’ll step up and move around. He won’t just take off at the first sign of trouble.”

The type of offense that Coastal Carolina runs is a two-back run-option attack and is led by a trio of ball carriers with C.J. Marable, Shermari Jones, and Reese White who are averaging a combined 28 carries and 148 yards per game. That ground attack is tied for the lead in the Sun Belt, and 11 nationally, with 23 rushing scores.

What makes the ground game so effective is how McCall runs the plays and makes the right read in either to handoff, pitch or keep it himself. He has five rushing touchdowns and is the second-leading rusher on this team.

How Did Coastal Beat Expectations?

Coastal Carolina had just one player on the preseason first-team All-Sun Belt team and was projected to finish last in the East Division and received the fewest point totals for any team.

Coming out of nowhere to not just be a good team but undefeated, winning its division, and within range, if they catch a few breaks, of going to a New Year’s Six game. This is all for a program that is just in its fourth year at the FBS level.

As with any team that is not at the Power 5 level, it takes a good coach, not getting injured, and players buying into the system. That is what head coach Jamie Chadwell has done in his second year leading his program. He has players who believe in what he is preaching to his team.

“Jamie Chadwell has established a culture that our kids have bought into. You’ve got to have everybody pulling in the same direction. You got to have everybody in that locker room with their heads on straight,” Cashion said. “You can’t have bad guys in the locker room that are pulling against you and he got he kind of weeded some of that stuff out. These kids are on the same sheet of music.

“Our defense has stayed intact. We’ve got some guys on our defensive front, seven that I think will play on Sunday. We got some difference makers in there and they have stayed intact. They’ve been able to stay upright. We can’t go too far down in our two’s and three’s and still have that same level of play.”

Coastal Carolina has not played a team like BYU and vice versa and is what will make this top 20 matchup so great, as these two teams will each be facing its toughest test of the season.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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