Coastal Carolina at Bethune-Cookman FCS Playoffs Game Breakdown

Coastal Carolina at Bethune-Cookman FCS Playoffs Game Breakdown


Coastal Carolina at Bethune-Cookman

The winner of Coastal Carolina and Bethune-Cookman heads to Norfolk to attempt to send Old Dominion out of the FCS in style. But for now the Chanticleers, who earned the automatic bid from the Big South, are headed to Daytona Beach. Coastal Carolina has a very balanced and effective offense that has averaged over 46 points per game during their regular season ending five game winning streak. Quarterback Aramis Hillary leads the way. He threw for 2,133 yards and 17 touchdowns during the regular season and added 484 rushing yards. More impressive than his numbers is the fact that he threw just five interceptions all season long. Coastal Carolina does not make many mistakes and that makes them difficult to beat. When Hillary is not making plays, the Chanticleers will call on running back Jeremy Height.

How Bethune-Cookman matches up to that offense will be very interesting to watch. Bethune-Cookman has a very, very good defense, ranking in the top 15 in the nation in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. This is also a Wildcats squad that creates a slew of turnovers, whether it is the big hitting ability of linebacker Jarkevis Fields or the secondary poaching passes. Hillary should get time in the pocket from his offensive line, but cornerbacks Nick Addison and Dion Hanks will make him work. On the other side of the ball the advantage is clearly in Bethune-Cookman’s favor. The Coastal Carolina defense has struggled all year long and the running back duo of Isidore Jackson and Rodney Scott could be in for a big day. The likely success for the Wildcats on the ground should lead to some opportunities for quarterback Quentin Williams through the air. Williams is still developing into a passer, but he is a smart quarterback who will avoid mistakes.

Mistakes, or avoiding them, are what this game could come down to in the end. While Coastal Carolina has the passing potency to come back from an early deficit, Bethune-Cookman does not. If the Wildcats fall behind early, they need to stick with the game plan and work their offense through the ground game. If Bethune-Cookman starts to panic and throw more than they really want to, Coastal Carolina could pull off the road win. But Bethune-Cookman may not allow it to come to that. The Wildcats should be able to control the clock with Jackson and Scott and keep the ball out of the hands of the potent Coastal Carolina offense. That would lead to Bethune-Cookman’s first FCS playoff victory.


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