CHARLOTTE, N.C. The Coastal Carolina offense and Chanticleers linebacker Jamar Leath (Elon, N.C./Western Alamance) are the Big South football Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week and New Balance Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for games played the second week of the 2005 season, it was announced today by the Conference office. Coastal Carolina placekicker Josh Hoke (Statesville, N.C./West Iredell) was selected as Special Teams Player of the Week.
Coastal Carolinas offense racked up 415 yards of total offense (128 rush, 287 pass) in its 31-27 upset win over No. 1-ranked James Madison Saturday night. The Chanticleers, which came back from a 27-17 deficit, were led by quarterback Tyler Thigpen (Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central), who passed for school records of 287 yards, 24 completions and three touchdowns, as well as gaining 33 yards on the ground for 320 yards of total offense. Thigpen was 24-of-36 (66.7 percent) and posted an efficiency rating of 155.58. The offensive line protected Thigpen all night, allowing just one sack, while the offense averaged 6.0 yards per play. All five scoring drives against the Dukes were 56 yards or more (56, 58, 77, 78, 93), including the final drive of the game that went 93 yards in 11 plays in just 1:44 for the game-winning score. Thigpen was 6-of-10 for 88 yards in the final drive with five passes and 80 yards to receiver Jerome Simpson (Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville) and converted one third and fourth down play on the drive. Eight CCU players had pass receptions, led by Simpsons 10 catches for a school-record 162 yards and two touchdowns.
Leath earns the defensive honor for the second-straight week, as he posted his second consecutive career-high with a school-record 15 tackles (six solo) in Coastals upset win over James Madison. He stepped up in the fourth quarter, when CCU had cut the margin to four at 27-24. In JMUs next-to-last possession, Leath was in on five tackles (including one for loss) in six offensive plays, helping force the Dukes to punt it back to Coastal, which led to the game-winning score. Leath leads Coastal and ranks fifth nationally with 14.5 tackles per game.
Hoke was instrumental in Coastals win over James Madison. On a night where special teams was a difference, Hoke hit all four PAT attempts along with a 32-yard field goal that gave Coastal a 17-14 halftime lead. On his six kickoffs, he had three touchbacks, and the best of other three resulted in field position only at the JMU 28. Overall on the six kickoffs, James Madisons average start was its own 23. A First Team All-Big South selection in 2004, Hoke receives this weekly award for the fifth time in his career.
The Chanticleers are back in action Sat., Sept. 17, traveling to Boone, N.C. to take on Appalachian State. Kickoff at Kidd Brewer Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m.