Chants Head West for Cross-Divisional Battle at Arkansas State

by CCU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina football team will hit the road for a Sun Belt Conference cross-divisional matchup with the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. ET.


Series Versus Arkansas State

• Coastal Carolina is 0-2 all-time versus the Arkansas State Red Wolves on the gridiron with both losses coming by 28 points or more.


Date                Location                     Result

10-14-17          at Arkansas State      L, 51-17

11-10-18          at Coastal Carolina    L, 44-16


Scouting the Red Wolves


• The Arkansas State Red Wolves are 5-4 overall and 3-2 in Sun Belt play entering Saturday afternoon’s contest at home versus the Chanticleers.

• Picked to finish second in the West Division in the 2019 Sun Belt Coaches preseason poll, the Red Wolves bounced back from two-straight losses to Georgia State (Oct. 5) and Louisiana (Oct. 17) to record back-to-back wins over Texas State (Oct. 26) and ULM (Nov. 2).

• A-State has one of the best offensive passing attacks in the nation this season, as A-State leads the Sun Belt and ranks 42nd nationally in passing yards per completion (13.03). A-State also ranks first in the conference in team passing efficiency (153.93) and second in passing offense yards per game (296.8), which both rank 22nd in all of FBS.

• With Logan Bonner (91-154-1, 1,052 yards, 10 TDs) going down to injury after the fourth game of the season, Alabama transfer Layne Hatcher has stepped up under center for the Red Wolves having completed 111-of-162 pass attempts for 1,560 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions over six games.

• Hatcher and A-State’s success is in large part from arguably the best wide receiver in the conference in Omar Bayless. Bayless leads the nation with 13 receiving touchdowns and is second nationally in receiving yards with 1,168 this year. He also leads the Sun Belt in yards per reception (17.7), receptions per game (7.3) and receiving yards per game (129.8) which is also tops in the nation.

• Behind Bayless is Kirk Merritt with 46 catches for 531 yards and eight touchdowns, Jonathan Adams with 43 catches for 495 yards and two scores, and Brandon Bowling with 23 grabs for 174 yards and one score.

• On the ground, it has been Marcel Murray as he leads the team with 114 carries for 647 yards and six touchdowns.

• The defense has been the Achilles heel for the Red Wolves this season, as they are allowing 36.0 points and 487.3 total yards of offense per game this season.

• On special teams, the Red Wolves lead the league in field goals made and field goal percentage as Blake Grupe is 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) on the season.


Road Woes

• Coastal Carolina opened up the 2019 season with back-to-back road wins at Kansas (Sept. 7) and UMass (Sept. 21).

• However, over their last two road contests, the Chants have gone 0-2 with losses at Appalachian State (Sept. 28) and at Georgia Southern (Oct. 19).


Looking to Finish Strong

• With just three games remaining in the 2019 season, the Chanticleers will look to close out the year in a strong way, similar to in 2017 under then-interim head coach Jamey Chadwell.

• Entering the final two weeks of the season at 1-9 overall and on a nine-game losing streak in 2017, Chadwell led the Chants to back-to-back wins, both of which came in Sun Belt Conference play.

• The Chants picked up their first-ever Sun Belt Conference win with a 13-7 win on the road at Idaho on Nov. 18, 2017, and then finished the season with a 28-17 home win on Senior Day versus Georgia Southern on Dec. 2, 2017.


Fourth Down Success

• CCU was solid on fourth downs in 2018, as the offense ranked first in the Sun Belt and 10th nationally in fourth-down conversions at 11-of-16 (69 percent).

• The success has continued in the 2019 season thus far, as the Chants are 14-of-16 (87.5 percent) on fourth-down attempts this year, which is second in both the Sun Belt and nationally.


Chants Time

• The Chants led the Sun Belt and ranked 15th nationally in time of possession at 32:48 minutes per game last year in 2018.

• This year, Coastal has possessed the ball on average 31:47 minutes per game which is second in the Sun Belt and 28th nationally.

• At Kansas (Sept. 7), the CCU offensive unit possessed the ball a total of 34:26 minutes of the game compared to 25:34 for the KU offense, which included holding the ball a total of 12:40 in the fourth quarter.

• Coastal topped that the following week versus NSU (Sept. 14), holding the ball a total of 39:10, including 12:42 minutes in the first quarter and 10:22 in the fourth.

• However, in back-to-back games versus Georgia State (Oct. 12) and at Georgia Southern (Oct. 19), the Chants’ opponents had the ball longer on offense than the men in teal.

• In their four wins this season, the Chants have not only won the time of possession battle but have won it by a margin of over eight minutes in each game.


Three at No. 3 in Sun Belt Rankings

• The Chanticleers’ injury-riddled defense has struggled over the last three games but still ranks in the top-three in the Sun Belt in three statistical categories.


STAT                                                  SUN BELT

First Downs Defense             182                  3rd

Interceptions                           7                      3rd

Total Defense (YPG)             371.4               3rd


• The CCU defense also ranks fourth in the Sun Belt in passing defense, allowing 193.7 passing yards per game, and fifth in scoring defense at 30.2 points allowed per contest.


Torched Passed from Howard to Carter

• CCU’s longest consecutive starts streak ended last time out versus Louisiana (Nov. 7), but it was passed from one offensive lineman to another in doing so.

• Returning starter Ethan Howard had his consecutive starts streak come to an end at 34-straight games last week, as he missed the game versus Louisiana (Nov. 7) due to an injury.

• Howard, who had started every game since the end of the 2016 season, passed the torch to fellow lineman Trey Carter who now has the highest-consecutive starts streak at 33-straight games.

• However, Howard still has the most career starts of any current Chant on the 2019 roster at 35 starts.


Speaking of Starts

• The Chanticleers have started 40 different players on offense and defense combined this season which is tied for the 11th-most in FBS this year.


Records Watch

• Redshirt senior wide receiver Ky’Jon Tyler is on the cusp of becoming just the 11th Chant player to record 1,000 career receiving yards in CCU history.

• Tyler has amassed 859 receiving yards on 67 pass receptions in his CCU career and is only 141 reception yards away from 1,000 for his career.

• Not counting his Big South-leading 1,038 rushing yards at Presbyterian College as a true freshman in 2017, CJ Marable has rushed for 1,369 career yards over the last two seasons as a Chanticleer which is just 59 yards away from etching his name in the top-10 career rushing yards list in CCU history (10th - Jamie Fordham, 1,428 yards).


Final Home Game

• The Chanticleers’ final home game of the 2019 season will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30, versus Texas State at Brooks Stadium. Game time will be announced at a later date.

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