#12 Coastal Carolina FCS Football 2014 Preview

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Overall Rank: #12
#1 Big South

Coastal Carolina Team Page#12 Coastal Carolina FCS Football 2014 PreviewBuy Coastal Carolina Football Tickets

Coastal Carolina won their first nine games in 2013, which included victories over quality opponents like South Carolina State, Furman and Eastern Kentucky. A couple losses to Charleston Southern and South Carolina dropped the Chanticleers out of position to get a bye in the playoffs, but once again it was another successful regular season for Coach Joe Moglia and company. His team beat Bethune-Cookman in the first round of the playoffs and upset Montana in round two. Then the Chants ran into North Dakota State and they could not keep up with the Bison.

2013 Record: 12-3, 4-1
2013 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Joe Moglia (20-8 at Coastal Carolina, 20-8 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Patenaude
Defensive Coordinator: Clayton Carlin

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: De’Angelo Henderson, RB, 599 yards
Passing: Alex Ross, QB, 3,093 yards
Receiving: Tyrell Blanks, WR, 353 yards
Tackles: Quinn Backus, LB, 144
Sacks: Colton Blackburn, LB, 3.0; Roderick Holder, DE, 3.0; Richie Sampson, DB, 3.0
Interceptions: Quinn Backus, LB, 4

Other Key Returnees: WR Bruce Mapp, WR Devin Brown, OL Chad Hamilton, DB Sampson Baldwin, DB Pernell Williams, DB Denzel Rice, DB Kamron Summers, DE Calvin Hollenhorst, K/P Alex Catron

Key Losses: RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, WR Matt Hazel, WR DeMario Bennett, WR Niccolo Mastromatteo, OL Jamey Cheatwood, OL Drew Herring, LB Mike McClure, DB LaDarius Hawthorne

Coastal Carolina almost always has a potent offense and this year will be no different, although the focus of the team will move from departed running back Lorenzo Taliaferro to quarterback Alex Ross. Ross threw for 3,093 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2013 and added 540 yards and six more scores on the ground. Ross needs to find new targets at wide receiver and somebody who can run the ball, but behind a talented offensive line, led by tackle Chad Hamilton, the Coastal Carolina offense should be able to fill in those gaps. At running back, De’Angelo Henderson rushed for a CCU record 7.3 yards per carry. On just 82 carries, he totaled 599 yards and six touchdowns. The torch has been passed at wide receiver where Matt Hazel, DeMario Bennett and Niccolo Mastromatteo need to be replaced. Bruce Mapp had a promising freshman campaign and players like Tyrell Blanks and John Israel have been waiting to step into a bigger role. This may not be the fifth best scoring offense in the country again in 2014, but they will remain the best in the Big South.

The defense will build around linebacker Quinn Backus. He recorded 144 tackles in 2013 and picked off a team high four passes. Senior Brett Johnson figures to step into a full-time starting role beside Backus with Mike McClure gone. In their usual 4-2-5 formation, Coastal Carolina asks a lot from their linebackers and Backus is always up for the challenge. Johnson is ready for a bigger role too and Colton Blackburn is another option with some experience. The front four returns end Calvin Hollenhorst and tackle Marcus Crowder. This is not a team that has been particularly potent when it comes to getting to the quarterback so they will need to get more production out of Hollenhorst and Roderick Holder. The secondary is the most experienced defensive unit, returning four starters, including cornerback Denzel Rice and free safety Richie Sampson.

The Bottom Line:
The Coastal Carolina offense may take a step back, but the defense should be able to cover for any deficiencies that appear. After ranking 5th in the FCS in total offense and 105th in total defense, the Chanticleers should be more balanced this time around. This is a team that could very well be favored in every game they play. Non-conference games against South Carolina State and Furman will test this team early, but both are winnable. And the toughest conference foes, Liberty and Charleston Southern, both have to travel to Conway, South Carolina.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 252.1 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 225.3 (51, 3)
Total Offense: 477.5 (11, 1)
Scoring Offense: 41.0 (5, 1)
Rushing Defense: 218.1 (104, 5)
Pass Defense: 239.7 (90, 5)
Total Defense: 457.8 (105, 6)
Scoring Defense: 30.5 (81, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.30 (40, 3)
Sacks: 1.60 (91, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.33 (26, 4)


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