Coastal Carolina Looks to Defend 2012 Conference Title

The 2012 season was one of, if not the, most productive seasons in the program's 10-year history. Coastal Carolina won its fifth Big South Championship, made its third NCAA playoff appearance and won a game in the NCAA playoff for the first time in school history. In addition, numerous single-game and season records were set offensively while Quinn Backus was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Year. For this, head coach Joe Moglia was named Big South Coach of the Year and was a finalist for two national Coach of the Year awards.

The 2013 promises to be just as exciting. The offense returns four of its five starting linemen with Jamey Cheatwood, Drew Herring and Chad Hamilton named to the preseason all-conference team. Also back is All-American candidate Matt Hazel at wide receiver, who tied a CCU single-season record with 61 receptions last season, as well as Niccolo Mastromatteo and DeMario Bennett, each of whom caught at least 40 passes to rank third and fourth on the CCU single-season list.

Defensively, Coastal returns Backus, who was an All-American last season, as well as fellow linebacker Mike McClure, who was all-conference in 2012. Also, seniors Jeffery Salley and Dominique Whiteside will anchor the defensive line, while veterans Johnnie Houston and LaDarius Hawthorne will lead a young secondary.

Joe Moglia and the Chanticleers

opponents

    Award Candidates

    30 Quinn Backus
    Junior • Linebacker
    5-10 • 205
    Greenwood, SC • Greenwood H.S.
    Preseason Big South Def. Player of the Year
    Preseason All-Big South
    84 Matt Hazel
    Senior • Wide Receiver
    6-3 • 190
    North Augusta, SC • North Augusta H.S.
    Preseason Big South Off. Player of the Year
    Preseason All-Big South
    72 Jamey Cheatwood
    Senior • Offensive Line
    6-5 • 330
    Boiling Springs, SC • Boiling Springs H.S.
    Preseason All-Big South
    73 Chad Hamilton
    Junior • Offensive Line
    6-3 • 305
    Charleston, SC • James Island H.S.
    Preseason All-Big South
    78 Drew Herring
    Senior • Offensive Line
    6-3 • 310
    Myrtle Beach, SC • Carolina Forest H.S.
    Preseason All-Big South
    26 Johnnie Houston
    Senior • Defensive Back
    6-1 • 210
    Greenville, SC • Woodmont H.S.
    Preseason All-Big South
    20 Niccolo Mastromatteo
    Senior • Wide Receiver/Punt Returner
    5-9 • 180
    Ortonville, MI • Phillips Exeter (NH) Academy
    Preseason All-Big South
    10 Mike McClure
    Senior • Linebacker
    6-0 • 215
    Rock Hill, SC • Rock Hill H.S.
    Preseason All-Big South
    15 Lorenzo Taliaferro
    Senior • Running Back
    6-2 • 230
    Virginia Beach, VA • Bruton H.S.
    Preseason All-Big South

    2012 Statistical Leaders

    passing
    name comp-att pct yds td / int effic
    Aramis Hillary 226-352 64.2 2,665 21 / 8 142.9
    rushing
    Name att yds avg td long
    Jeremy Height 166 921 5.5 10 46
    Aramis Hillary 130 567 4.4 4 46
    Marcus Whitener 62 424 6.8 7 61
    Lorenzo Taliaferro 80 357 4.5 5 25
    receiving
    Name rec yds avg td long
    Matt Hazel 61 799 13.1 8 55
    DeMario Bennett 43 599 13.9 7 60
    Niccolo Mastromatteo 47 571 12.1 3 81
    defense
    Name UA-A Tot Sck/TFL INT/PBU FF/FR
    Quinn Backus 69-70 139 2.5 / 8.0 2 / 4 3 / 2
    Mike McClure 33-59 92 2.5 / 8.5 1 / 1 0 / 0
    LaDarius Hawthorne 40-25 65 1.0 / 2.5 3 / 6 1 / 0
    Pernell Williams 35-24 59 1.0 / 3.0 1 / 2 0 / 0
    Dontavais Johnson 40-16 56 0.0 / 4.5 4 / 6 1 / 1
    Quinton Davis 15-28 43 4.5 / 7.5 0 / 0 0 / 1
    kicking
    Name FG-FGA Pct Long PAT-PATA Pts
    Alex Catron 9-12 75.0 45 46-48 73
    punting
    Name No Yds Avg Long I20
    Austin Cain 51 1,859 36.5 55 13
    kick returns
    name No Yds Avg Long TD
    Tre Henderson 22 597 27.1 87 0
    Jeremy Height 22 467 21.2 63 0
    punt returns
    name No Yds Avg Long TD
    Niccolo Mastromatteo 14 159 11.4 87 1