Sept. 1, 2009
Opening the 2009 Campaign: The Coastal Carolina University football squad will start its seventh season of play by heading on the road to Ohio to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes of the Mid-American Conference.
The Coaches: Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett (Presbyterian, `84) is in his seventh season at Coastal Carolina with a 45-23 record and 108-40 overall in his 14th year as a head coach. Prior to Coastal Carolina in seven seasons at Catawba, he led the Indians to three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs, including a run into the national semifinal round in 2001.
Kent State Head Coach Doug Martin (Kentucky, '85) is in his sixth season as head coach of the Golden Flashes with a 19-39 record at Kent State and as a head coach overall.
History With Kent State: The Chanticleers and Golden Flashes are meeting for the first time this evening, as well as being the first Mid-American Conference opponent for Coastal Carolina.
Chants Against the Football Subdivision: This is only the second Football Bowl Subdivision opponent that the Chants will have played, but it won't be the last this year. Coastal Carolina will make the trek across the state on Halloween to Death Valley to Play Clemson. Last season, Coastal Carolina played their first-ever FBS opponent at the then-largest stadium in NCAA football when it opened at then No. 20 Penn State.
There are several FBS opponents on future schedules, including West Virginia (2010), Georgia (2011) and a return trip to Clemson (2014).
Season Openers: Coastal Carolina is just 3-3 in season openers heading into tonight's game. The Chanticleers have dropped their last three season openers however, losing to Elon in 2006, at Delaware State in 2007 and at Penn State last season.
Road Openers: Coastal Carolina has opened the season on the road four times in its history and won two of the contests, defeating Morehead State (2004) and Elon (2005) before 2007's loss at eventual playoff squad Delaware State and last year at Penn State. In the first road game of the year, the Chanticleers are 3-3 overall in their six-year history.
Non-Conference Familiar Faces: In its non-conference action this year, tonight's foe is one of two new opponents on the Coastal Carolina schedule, with the other being Clemson. The return games on this year's slate are Monmouth (home), Towson (road) and North Carolina A&T (home).
Some Obscure Ties to Kent State and the MAC: While there is not a single player or coach with Kent State or Mid-American Conference ties on the trip, there are three ties within the travel group for the Chanticleers. Associate Media Relations Director Kent Reichert earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Kent State while working during both degrees in the Sports Information Department. Assistant AD for Media Relations John A. Martin worked at MAC-rival Eastern Michigan, while Senior Associate AD Bruce Gregory was on the football coaching staff and later in the athletic administration at Eastern Michigan.
Returning This Season: The Chanticleers return 53 letterwinners and 21 starters (eight offense, eight defense, five special teams) to the squad this year. Of the returners, one significant group could be the offensive line as four of the five starters on the line, along with two other significant players from last season, has returned for the 2009 campaign.
Coastal Carolina Picked Third in Preseason Poll: Coastal Carolina was picked to finish third in the 2009 Big South Conference Preseason Poll, announced at the League's annual Media Day in Charlotte, N.C. After tying for fifth in the 2008 season, Coastal Carolina was picked to finish third behind two-time defending champion Liberty and second-year associate member Stony Brook. The Chanticleers received one first place vote and 83 points overall, following the Flames (10 first place votes, 109 points) and Seawolves (4 votes, 87 points). Gardner-Webb followed in fourth with one first place vote and 77 points, with Charleston Southern (1 vote, 56 points) and VMI (39 points) rounding out the poll. Presbyterian will count towards the league standings but is not eligible for the conference crown until 2011 as the Blue Hose continue their transition from Division II.
Four Chanticleers Earn Preseason All-Big South Honors: The Chanticleers had four players honored on the Preseason All-Big South team, with redshirt junior Zach MacDowall and senior offensive lineman Ryan Boehm selected on the offense, senior defensive end Phillip Oboh picked on the defense and punter Ben Erdman honored on the special teams. Their 2008 accomplishments are below.
Zach MacDowall (R-Jr, QB): Played in 11 games, earning the start in nine of them, to garner his first collegiate letter... Was 157-for-256 for 2,064 yards, 16 touchdowns and just six interceptions through the air... Also ran the ball 80 times for 238 yards and five scores... Ranked second in the Big South Conference in passing yardage at 187.6 yards per game and passing efficiency with a 144.99 rating... Set a school record with 382 yards passing against Liberty, going 24-for-44 with two touchdowns and two interceptions... Had two 300-plus yard passing games, with the other a 22-for-33 for 306 yards, two touchdowns and no picks versus Stony Brook... Named Big South Offensive Player of the Week twice during the season... Picked up his first weekly award after going 17-for-26 for 233 yards and one touchdown in the road win at Monmouth... Followed it up the next week in a home win over Towson wth 197 yards of total offense and three touchdowns to earn his second award... Rushed for a season-high 80 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries against Stony Brook... Threw at least one touchdown pass in nine of 11 games and scored a rushing touchdown in five of them.
Ryan Boehm (Sr., OL): Started all 12 games on the offensive line, splitting time between guard and center due to injuries on the line... Graded out as Coastal Carolina's second-best offensive lineman on the year... Had one tackle at VMI.
Phillip Oboh (Sr., DE): Started six of the 12 games he played in, earning his third letter... Earned First Team All-Big South honors after posting 33 solo tackles, 53 total tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss for 37 yards, 5.0 sacks for 31 yards, one forced fumble and one blocked kick... Was fourth on the team and 36th in the Big South in total tackles, while ranking fifth in the league in sacks and ninth in tackles for loss... Posted a season-best eight tackles, including four solos, 3.0 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks, in the road win at North Carolina A&T... Had five solo tackles, including 2.0 sacks, in the victory at Presbyterian... Had three tackles, with 1.5 tackles for loss, and a blocked kick in the win over Towson... Earned seven tackles against Liberty and six against Stony Brook... Recorded at least two tackles in all 12 games and five tackles or more in six of them... 2008 Preseason All-Big South selection at defensive end.
Ben Erdman (Jr., P): Was Coastal Carolina's punter in all 12 games, garnering his second letter... Punted 48 times for an average of 38.0 yards per punt, leading the Big South Conference and earning him First Team All-Big South honors... Earned Big South Special Teams Player of the Week after he was a key part in the Chanticleers' victory at Gardner-Webb... Averaged 40.3 yards per kick,including a 48-yarder, and pinned the Bulldogs inside the 20 three times and allowed only one punt return on the day... Had a season-long 54-yard boot at Penn State, part of his career-best single game 43.0 yard average in eight punts... Pinned opponents inside their 20 on 13 occasions.
Coaching Staff Continuity: The Coastal Carolina football coaching staff is a rarity in the world of college football. In the eight years as a program, the coaching staff has not had a single full-time coach leave the program and has added two over the years in the process of building to a full staff, with the addition of Gary Smallen (tight ends) in 2006 and Grant Cain (outside linebackers) in 2007. Four of them (Head Coach David Bennett, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Kevin Brown, Defensive Coordinator Curtis Walker and Offensive Line Coach Jamie Snider) have been together for the last 12 years dating back to their time at Division II Catawba.
Four in the Show: With just three graduating classes in two years, the Chanticleers have shown they have some quality talent, with four players currently on National Football League rosters. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen was the first-ever draft pick out of the Big South Conference by the Minnesota Vikings in 2007, and started 11 games for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. Defensive back Quinton Teal is starting his third year with the Carolina Panthers after playing in 28 games his first two years in Charlotte. Wide receiver Jerome Simpson was a second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2008 NFL Draft while fullback Mike Tolbert was a 2008 free agent signee of the San Diego Chargers and started seven of his 13 games played in his rookie season.
Racking Up the Travel Miles and Seeing New Land: The Chanticleers will play six of their 11 games this season away from home. Of the six games, three will be played in a new state for the squad -- Kent State (Ohio), Towson (Maryland) and Stony Brook (New York). In the six road games, Coastal Carolina will have traveled more than 5,000 combined miles in its six round trips, with the longest the trip to new Big South foe Stony Brook at 1,466 miles. By trip, the breakdown is Kent State 1,300 miles; Towson - 966; Stony Brook - 1466; Liberty - 604; Clemson - 524; and Charleston Southern - 200 miles.
When Its Natural: Coastal Carolina has played 58 of its 68 games in its history on natural grass. The Chanticleers are 41-17 (.719) on natural grass, including 25-10 (.729) at home. Coastal Carolina has gone just 4-6 on the fake stuff in its six years of play. In 2009, the Chants played 11 of their 12 games on natural grass, with the only exception in Week Three as Coastal Carolina got a 26-7 victory on Field Turf at Monmouth. This season, there will be four games on artificial surfaces, with Kent State, Towson, Liberty and Stony Brook all playing on FieldTurf.
Time To Prepare Is Time To Succeed For Bennett: For Head Coach David Bennett and his coaching staffs throughout their careers, they have shown the ability to prepare effectively when given more than just a week. In games where they have had more than 10 days to get ready against same or lower level opponents, Bennett's teams are 18-4 and outscore their opponents by a 700-301 margin, an average of 18.1 points per game more than their opponents.
Winning When Scoring First: Coaches say a good start is essential and the Chanticleers have proven that in their history. Coastal Carolina has been a stellar team when scoring first, holding a 29-4 (.879) mark in six seasons of play.
The Magic Number is 200: The magic answer to the question for Coastal Carolina is 200, as the Chanticleers are 30-4 (.882) lifetime when rushing for 200 yards or more in a game. The only losses came in 2005's finale at Charleston Southern and last year's losses to Georgia Southern, against Presbyterian and at Liberty. The most recent game in this category was last season's Week 11 victory at Presbyterian, where the Chants rushed for 246 yards and two touchdowns on 50 carries.
Winning at Halftime: The Chanticleers are impressive when leading at the half with a 33-7 (.825) mark. Coastal Carolina is 17-3 at home when taking a lead into the intermission, while posting a 16-4 mark when leading at the half on the road. The only losses have occurred in 2003 at Liberty, 2005's double-overtime thriller at Charleston Southern, last season's losses at Furman and in overtime to Presbyterian, this year's home opener to Colgate and this year's game at VMI.
A Good Road Squad: The Chants have proven to be a good road squad in their first six seasons of play. Overall, Coastal Carolina has a 20-13 road mark. Last year, Coastal Carolina was an impressive 4-2 on the road.
Record After a Loss: Coastal Carolina has lost just 23 times in its history. Coming off the 20 in-season losses (not including three season-ending losses), the Chanticleers have gone 15-5 in the games following those losses and only had one three-game losing streak in its brief history.
The Streak Ended: In its brief history of 68 games, the Chanticleers suffered their first shutout in history in last year's season finale, losing at home to Charleston Southern, 24-0. Prior to that, Coastal Carolina's lowest single game point total was in 2005 at Appalachian State, with just a lone field goal.
Last Time Out For the Chanticleers: In one of the coldest games in program history, the Coastal Carolina University football team struggled to find the end-zone and dropped a 24-0 decision in the regular season finale against in-state rival Charleston Southern, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Brooks Stadium. This was the Chanticleers' first-ever shutout loss.
The first half was a scoreless affair, with the Chanticleers having the best opportunities and dominating the time of possession, holding the ball more than 20 minutes. However, Coastal Carolina missed a pair of field goal attempts, the last with just over a minute to go in the second quarter.
Charleston Southern put all 24 points on the board in the second half, scoring on its first drive after getting the ball on its own 16 on the opening kickoff. The Bucs marched 84 yards in just six plays, capped off by quarterback Tribble Reese hitting tight end Tyrese Harris with a 17-yard touchdown pass. The point after attempt was muffed, leaving the score 6-0 with 11:16 remaining in the third.
Six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions) were significant for the Chants, as well as the lack of offense in the second half without quarterback Zach MacDowall, who was injured in the first half. The Chants managed just 95 yards of offense in the second half, including five of the six turnovers. Coastal Carolina still held the advantage in yards gained, 276-235, but the Bucs held the ball for over 20 minutes of the second half. (Complete recap on Page 18.)
I Love the Nightlife: Out of 68 games in its history, Coastal Carolina has played 34 in the night time hours. The Chanticleers are 23-11 in evening tilts, including 8-4 away from home.
Ground Warfare Successful for the Chants: Getting 200 yards on the ground is normally a good sign for the Chanticleers. In the program's history, the Chants are now 30-4 when posting at least 200 rushing yards. Against Towson in 2008, the Chanticleers posted a season-high 302 yards on just 38 attempts and followed it up with 243 yards on 43 carries in the rain at North Carolina A&T. In 2008, the Chants were able to post four games with 200+ yards of rushing and came away with victories in all four contests.
Going Long and Far: Coastal Carolina was not afraid to chew up the yardage en route to putting points on the scoreboard in 2008. Of the 45 scoring drives, 27 of them were 60 yards or more, while 27 of them were seven plays or longer. The most plays in a drive was 17 against Liberty, Oct. 4, with the longest drive also occurring against the Flames, a 91-yard march in the fourth quarter.
MacDowall Sets New Standards: Quarterback Zach MacDowall put his name in the Coastal Carolina record books with his performance against Liberty, Oct. 4. Against the Flames, MacDowall threw for school records of 44 times for 382 yards and tied the school mark with 24 completions. The previous records were all held by current Kansas City Chief quarterback Tyler Thigpen as he had 24 completions and 351 yards in the Division I Playoff game at Appalachian State in 2006 and 43 pass attempts in the season opener that year at Elon.
MacDowall ranked second in the Big South in total offense yards per game at 209.27 (48th in the nation) while also ranking second in the conference (18th in the nation) in passing efficiency with a 144.99 rating.
Looking at the Record Books: Several Chanticleers are looking to continue their move up the Coastal Carolina record books this season. Redshirt-junior quarterback Zach MacDowall is currently third on the all-time charts in pass attempts (256), pass completions (157) and passing yards (2,064) and fourth in total offense (2,302). He needs just 58 yards of total offense to move into second while needing 114 yards of passing and 26 completions to also move up into second place in the respective categories.
Junior kicker Justin Durham starts the season ranked fifth in all-time scoring with 118 points. He is just 18 points behind current San Diego Charger Mike Tolbert in fourth at 134.
Defensively, senior defensive end Phillip Oboh is putting his stamp on the career list. He is currently third in career sacks with 10.5 and fourth in tackles for loss at 19.5. He needs 6.0 sacks this season to reach Adrain Grady's Coastal Carolina career record of 16.5 sacks. Redshirt-junior Dominique Davenport is eighth on the career tackles chart with 135 and tied for seventh with 81 career solo tackles.
This Week's Injury Report: On this week's injury report for the game at Kent State, Ben Collins (head), Tre Henderson (knee), Tarvorris Jolly (groin), Eric O'Neal (ankle) and Dominique Whiteside (foot) are probable while Josh Thomason (shoulder) is doubtful. Out for the season are Myron Rogers (knee), Raymond Emmerling (knee) and Alex Wolfe (shoulder).
Coastal Carolina Football On TV: Coastal Carolina's football team has a pair of television appearances slated for the 2009 campaign. The Chanticleers will make their first televised appearance on Oct. 17 on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network when they travel to two-time defending champion Liberty. Coastal Carolina will also be on the tube when it heads to New York for their first game at Stony Brook, Oct. 24. Coastal Carolina is a solid 14-7 in television appearances all-time, but just 6-5 on the road.
Weekly Big South Teleconference: Each Tuesday during the 2009 season, all seven Big South head coaches will participate in a teleconference call, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET. Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett is on from 11:20-11:30 a.m. each Tuesday. Each call will be recorded and available for playback beginning Tuesday afternoons on the Conference's website, www.Big SouthSports.com. THIS CALL IS OPEN TO MEDIA ONLY. If you would like information to tune in live and ask questions, please contact either John Martin (email@example.com) or Mark Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the dial-in phone number and code.
Bennett Hits The Century Mark: Head Coach David Bennett isn't one to keep an eye on his statistics, but he just reached a major coaching milestone. With the 42-35 win against VMI, Oct. 27, 2007, Bennett picked up his membership in the illustrious career 100-win club. For his 12-year career, he is now 108-40 (.729) as a head coach.
Davenport Earns National, Conference Weekly Awards: Junior safety Dominique Davenport was named The Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision National Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Colgate, Sept. 7, the publication announced. Davenport had been earlier named the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Defensive Player of the Week. He is the first Chanticleer to earn a weekly league honor this season and the first Coastal Carolina player to earn a national award since defensive back Marrio Norman garnered the Sports Network Defensive Player of the Week award for his play in the regular season finale against Charleston Southern in 2006.
In earning his first-ever weekly league or national award, Davenport set a school record with 20 tackles Sunday against Colgate (breaking the old record by five), with 11 solo shots against the Raiders. He had two drive-ending stops in the game, as well as one tackle-for-loss. His 20 tackles ties for the fourth-most in a single game in Big South history and second-most ever by a defensive back. Davenport's 11 solo tackles were also a school record for a single game.
Among The National Leaders in Attendance: Coastal Carolina has been one of the standouts in I-AA in attendance based on capacity in its first five seasons. Ranking in the top seven in the nation in each of the first two years, the Chanticleers set a new Brooks Stadium record in the home opening win over No. 1 James Madison, packing 8,533 fans into a stadium that seats 6,408. Coastal finished the season as the top I-AA team in attendance based on capacity at 114.3 percent.
The Chants continued that tradition in 2006, including setting a new Brooks Stadium record with 9,287 fans in the home win over South Carolina State, Sept. 23. The Chanticleers then surpassed it with 10,013 fans in the home win over then No. 3 Furman. The Chanticleers had 8,169 fans in the first contest at Elon and ranked fourth in I-AA in attendance based on percentage of capacity at 112.52 percent. In 2007, Coastal Carolina ranked 12th in the nation, again averaging over capacity at 102.65 percent in six games played. Last season, the Chants were 15th nationally at 92.07 percent.
The Playoff System Opens Up: In 2010, the NCAA Football Division I Championships will expand from 16 to 20 teams, with the Big South Conference (Coastal Carolina's league) and the Northeast Conference slated to get automatic bids for their champions. For the next two years (2008 and 2009), a guaranteed at-large position shall be awarded in which a conference champion team representing a non-automatic qualifying conference meets all of the following conditions:
1). Team wins a minimum of eight (8) Division I games during the season;
2). Team wins a minimum of two (2) non-conference games against Division I teams representing a conference that has earned an automatic qualifying bid (AQ) in that year; and
3). Team finishes the season ranked 16th or higher in an average of the last regular season media, coaches and/or computer polls (which will be determined by the committee on an annual basis).
This criteria is not intended to be a permanent solution for interested and eligible conferences without an AQ. Rather, the criteria should only be used to bridge the time between such conferences applying for an AQ and the time need to formally approve and fund necessary bracket expansion - not more than two years. The committee believes it important to continuing adhering to Cabinet policy limiting the number of AQ conferences to not more than 50% of the championship bracket.
Stadium Expansion: Sept. 2, 2006 marked the first game with the new seating capacity of Coastal Carolina University's Brooks Stadium. The school added 914 seats to the facility to bring seating capacity up to 7,322 for the 2006 season. Coastal Carolina is currently building the new Adkins Fieldhouse, which will have offices and meeting rooms for the football program, athletic administration offices, football locker room and equipment room and a weight room for the entire Athletic Department. In addition, there will be an estimated 1,600 seats in front of the new building, bringing the capacity of Brooks Stadium to almost 9,000.
It Was The First (But Not the Last) Time: Coastal Carolina made its first appearance in the Division I Football Championship (formerly known as the I-AA playoffs) in its brief five-year history when it took on eventual two-time National Champion Appalachian State in the opening round in 2006. This was the first time that a Big South Conference school earned a berth in the postseason and only the second school from a non-automatic bid conference to earn a berth (Cal Poly - 2005) in the last 10 years.
Back-To-Back-To-Back: The Chanticleers were the first Big South school to capture three league titles in the brief history of the conference. Gardner-Webb won the first two championships, while Coastal Carolina won the 2004 crown, shared the 2005 title with Charleston Southern and won the 2006 title outright with a 4-0 mark.