The transition to FBS has been tough for Coastal Carolina. Head coach Joe Moglia (who was formerly the CEO of TD Ameritrade, which is a story for another day) dealt with health issues in year one and the Chants ended up going 3-9 with interim coach Jeremy Chadwell at the helm. Moglia returned last year, sort of. The Chants went 5-7 which was a pretty good result given they were #129 out of 130 teams in the country by the end of the season in the CSD Prime rankings, which do have a bias for recent results given they are made to project games rather than look back.
This year Moglia officially hands control of the program over to Chadwell, formerly head coach at Charleston Southern. Chadwell will bring in Newland Island (former RB coach at CSo and CCU) and Willy Korn (former WR coach at CSo and CCU) to captain the offense. Marvin Sanders will remain defensive coordinator.
A good bit remains from the 5-7 squad so we’ll see how Chadwell does in his first year as the true head man.
The offense was pretty decent last year despite rotating in three different quarterbacks. The top passer, Kilton Anderson is gone, but Fred Payton and Bryce Carpenter remain and will battle for the starting job. Both are dual threat options that were really efficient through the year (160+ QB rating) and will likely split time again.
The #2 and #3 are gone among running backs, but CJ Marable returns for the Chanticleers after 719 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground last year (6.1 YPA). Kentucky grad transfer Sihiem King will get added to the mix and should see serious playing time.
Everyone is back in the receiving corps outside of #1 Malcolm Williams, including five guys with over 100 yards last year and they add VT transfer Samuel Denmark. Ky’Jon Taylor is the top returner at 397 yards and 15.3 YPC.
Four guys with starting experience return on the line and the unit should be improved as the depth gets better and better with time at the FBS level, but they were one of the worst groups in the nation last year so improving is relative.
There is a question mark at quarterback, and I’d like to see the Chants choose someone and stick with them there, but there is enough on this offense to say that they should improve.
Year one under DC Marvin Sanders was tough. The Chants allowed an atrocious 7.3 YPP, but what can you expect when most of your guys are either FCS-caliber or young, that can be expected while you’re transitioning. The defense should be a lot more experienced though, eight of the top ten tacklers are back.
End Jeffery Gunter (five sacks, nine TFL) is gone but junior Tarron Jackson was almost as productive in pass rush (three sacks, eight TFL) and was better against the run, he should be the new star of the defense.
The secondary loses some depth but the top three corners are back and the group should improve with some added experience.
The Chants struggled against the run last year but the NT and DT are back, along with both starters on the second level.
The defense should improve with experience, a whole lot of underclassmen started last year, and there will probably only be about three in the lineup this year. The transition to the FBS can be tough, but this defense has potential.
In a vacuum, this team should be pretty good given what they’re getting back. The problem is the talent just isn’t there to begin with so the added experience might not matter. The Chants had just one player score above a 73.5/100 according to PFF last year (Jackson).
This team is still too young to compete with Sun Belt powers, but the schedule isn’t that bad. Eight of 12 games are against sub-90 or FCS teams, so opportunities for wins are there.
The truth is, the Chants played much more like a 3-9 team last year than a 5-7 team, so they could be better and still take a step back when it comes to the record. I don’t want to say a bowl berth is impossible, but I do think it’s unlikely.
|Date||Opponent||OPP. RANK||Proj. Margin|
|28-Sep||at Appalachian State||52||-22.0|
|19-Oct||at Georgia Southern||93||-16.2|
|16-Nov||at Arkansas State||76||-18.7|
Average Projected Record: 3.5 wins, 8.5 losses (1.8 wins, 6.2 losses)