#42 Coastal Carolina FCS Football 2012 Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

2012 Overall Rank: #42
#2 Big South
Coastal Carolina FCS College Football 2012 Team Preview
Coastal Carolina Team Page


Coastal Carolina picked up a new coach in Joe Moglia. Coach Moglia spent over two decades working with Merrill Lynch and TD Ameritrade, but he was never far away from football. Prior to his business career, Coach Moglia was an assistant at Lafayette and Dartmouth. After spending a couple years as an Executive Advisor for the football coach at Nebraska, Coach Moglia took a head coaching job in the UFL last year. Then he got the opportunity at Coastal Carolina. Say what you will about the lack of a coaching background, but Coach Moglia knows his football and is more than dedicated to the players and the building of a program at Coastal Carolina. He does need to win though, because the fans at Coastal Carolina expect nothing less.

2011 Record: (7-4, 3-3)
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Joe Moglia (First year at Coastal Carolina, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Patenaude
Defensive Coordinator: Clayton Carlin

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Travis Small, RB, 432 yards
Passing: Aramis Hillary, QB, 1,749 yards
Receiving: Matt Hazel, WR, 488 yards
Tackles: Johnnie Houston, S, 49
Sacks: Chris Thomas, DE, 3.5
Interceptions: Johnnie Houston, S, 2

Other Key Returnees: OT Jamey Cheatwood, DE Jamel Davis, DE Quinton Davis, G Kaleb Dees, S Philip George, G Chad Hamilton, DT Johnny Hartsfield, LB Andrae Jacobs, DT Jeffery Salley, C Pat Williams

Key Losses: OT Ryan Brooks, G Tim Franklin, LB Derrick Frasier, LB Marcus Lott, S John Norman, LB Desmond Steward

Coastal Carolina was pretty balanced on both sides of the ball. If there was a major weakness last season it was in their run defense. However, that should be less of an issue this year with the return of plenty of talented players to the defensive side of the ball. The front line returns ends Chris Thomas, Quinton Davis and Jamel Davis. Thomas is the team’s returning sack leader at 3.5 per game. He also led the squad with four quarterback hurries. Thomas only started four games last season, but he was on the field just as much as any other defensive end. The important thing here is quality depth. Coach Moglia likes to get pressure on the opposing quarterback and he will need to rely on the ends to do much of that work. Johnny Hartsfield and Jeffery Salley are back to help man the middle of the line and those two will need to improve if the rush defense is going to improve. The linebackers lose a lot of talent with the departures of Derrick Frasier, Marcus Lott and Desmond Steward. However, Andrae Jacobs is one of the best linebackers in the conference and the Chanticleers can build around him. As long as they can find some new linebackers to help get to the quarterback, Jacobs will help out the run defense. The secondary returns safeties Johnnie Houston, who will do plenty of tackling himself, and Philip George. CCU went through quite a few corners last year, but look for senior Dontavais Johnson to be the leader of the unit.

It is tough to call the offense a weakness when they ranked third in the conference in total offense and scoring, while returning their quarterback and just about every running back and receiver on the roster. However, quarterback Aramis Hillary is an experienced senior now and he needs to start playing like a consistent senior. In 2011 he did a fine job of keeping the interceptions down and using his ability to scramble instead of forcing bad passes, but sometimes he was a little too quick to tuck and run. His scrambling ability is a great asset to the team, but this offense has to be more than Hillary. Running backs Travis Small and Marcus Whitener return to lead what will likely be another running back by committee approach. CCU totaled just 13 rushing touchdowns in 2011 and seven of them were by Hillary. They need to find a feature back or at least get more productivity out of the group. The addition of junior college transfer Lorenzo Tallaferro is yet another option. When Hillary does pass, he will have plenty of targets. Matt Hasel caught 32 passes for 488 yards and six touchdowns in 2011. Not counting Akeem Wesley who moved to safety, Coastal Carolina return four players who caught at least ten passes in Chris Presley, Jeremy Height, DeMario Bennett and Adrian Sullivan. The big problem for the offense will be their depth on the line. Tackle Jamey Cheatwood is a superb player and center Pat Williams returns along with guards Chad Hamilton and Kaleb Dees, but the experience, and bodies, after those four is lacking.

The Bottom Line:
Hillary has the athleticism to make things happen when the line breaks down, but this is not a team that is going to have much luck establishing a running game that does not involve Hillary if the line struggles. That was a problem last year when the line was deeper. The defense will be better if a couple new linebackers are ready to step up and that puts the pressure back on Hillary. The schedule is brutal, which will not help the Chanticleers overall record, but they do get Stony Brook and Liberty at home this year and that could prove to be huge in deciding the Big South champion.

Projected Postseason: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 137.27 (74th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 186.45 (70, 4)
Total Offense: 323.73 (90, 3)
Scoring Offense: 24.64 (67, 3)
Rushing Defense: 167.18 (79, 4)
Pass Defense: 188.18 (28, 1)
Total Defense: 355.36 (57, 3)
Scoring Defense: 27.91 (74, 3)
Turnover Margin: -.18 (65, 3)
Sacks: 2.00 (56, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.00 (13, 1)