#9 Coastal Carolina FCS Football 2016 Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Overall Rank: #9
#1 Independent
Coastal Carolina started playing football in 2003 and after years of dominating the Big South, the Chanticleers are making the move to the FBS level. Coastal Carolina did not finish their play in the Big South in dominating fashion though, losing to both Charleston Southern and Liberty in 2015. That was still enough for Coastal Carolina to make their final FCS playoff appearance though, where they lost 41-38 to The Citadel. For now this team is still in a transition period as they head towards the Sun Belt and the FBS.
2015 Record: 9-3, 4-2
2015 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Joe Moglia (41-13 at Coastal Carolina, 41-13 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Patenaude
Defensive Coordinator: Mickey Matthews
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: De’Angelo Henderson, RB, 1,346 yards
Passing: Josh Stilley, QB, 4 yards
Receiving: Bruce Mapp, WR, 769 yards
Tackles: Alex Scearce, LB, 79
Sacks: Shane Johnson, LB, 2.0; Marcus Williamson, DE, 2.0
Interceptions: Kerron Johnson, CB, 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Osharmar Abercrombie, WR Chris Jones, WR Devin Brown, OL Sam Ekwonike, OL Voghens Larrieux, OL Chase Tidwell, DT Jabarai Bothwell, DB C.J. Thompson, DB Kameron Summers, K Ryan Granger
Key Losses: QB Alex Ross, WR Tyrell Blanks, DL Roderick Holder, DB Kelvin Deveaux, LB Devon Brant, DL Calvin Hollenhorst
Despite the loss of quarterback Alex Ross, Coastal Carolina should still have one of the most potent offenses around. Running back De’Angelo Henderson rushed for 1,346 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and he can carry the offense as much as the Chanticleers need him to do so. With Osharmar Abercrombie, who rushed for 502 yards and seven touchdowns, CCU has a dynamic duo in the backfield that will give every team on the schedule a lot of trouble. The new quarterback will be sophomore Josh Stilley. He threw just two passes last season, but is a talented quarterback who will basically have a year to get things going before the team moves into the Sun Belt. Stilley also has plenty of receiving targets to work with this year. Bruce Mapp and Chris Jones are the big play receivers. Mapp caught 50 passes for 769 yards and seven touchdowns, while Jones averaged over 18 yards per catch. Devin Brown is a dangerous receiver too and he is also one of the best return men in the FCS.
For the most part, Coastal Carolina’s defense gave up quite a few yards but did a good job of keeping the opposition out of the end zone. The team ranked seventh in the Big South in total defense, allowing 416.3 yards per game, yet ranked first in scoring defense with 20.1 points per contest. This group should be just as good with most of the major pieces back. One spot Coastal Carolina could run into trouble is on the front line where Roderick Holder, Calvin Hollenhorst and Leroy Cummings need to be replaced. Jabarai Bothwell is a proven tackle, but this team will need to get a pass rush from players like Marcus Williamson and Ed Brown. Linebacker Alex Scearce is the leader of the defense after tallying a team high 79 tackles in 2015. The secondary returns safeties Kerron Johnson and Austin Murillo and cornerbacks Kamron Summers, Ray Lewis, Anthony Chesley and Samson Baldwin. The return of safety Richie Sampson, who missed last year with an injury, adds even more depth and experience to the secondary.
The Bottom Line:
With the transition period, CCU is not eligible for the FCS playoffs since they have more than 63 scholarships. They are also playing an entirely FCS schedule this season. Next year the schedule will be part of the Sun Belt Conference, but in 2016 Coach Joe Moglia and company will see a lot of familiar Big South foes on the slate. Home games against Liberty and Charleston Southern highlight that portion of the schedule. A trip to Jacksonville State on September 17th will be the big game for Coastal Carolina.
Projected Postseason: None (not eligible)
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 189.7 (33rd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 265.3 (26, 1)
Total Offense: 454.9 (17, 1)
Scoring Offense: 35.1 (15, 1)
Rushing Defense: 198.0 (89, 6)
Pass Defense: 218.3 (66, 6)
Total Defense: 416.3 (85, 7)
Scoring Defense: 20.1 (19, 1)
Turnover Margin: -0.08 (67, 6)
Sacks: 1.33 (105, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (33, 3)
Madness 2016 Recruit Rankings:
#9        Avery McCall
#10      Victor Greene
#19      Silas Kelly      
#61      Larry Collins  
#76      Calvin Smith  
#114    Alex James     
#122    Steven Bedosky         
#141    Darrell Malone           
#150    Jonathan Clayton       
#151    Jordan McRae
#162    T'Qele Holmes