Football Heads Back on the Road to Take on Towson, Sept. 19

The Chanticleers will look for their first road win of the year against the Tigers


Sept. 16, 2009

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Back to the Road: The Coastal Carolina University football squad will head back on the road tonight, traveling to Towson, Maryland to take on the Towson Tigers in a non-conference tilt.

The Coaches: Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett (Presbyterian, ‘84) is in his seventh season at Coastal Carolina with a 46-24 record and 109-41 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.

Towson Head Coach Rob Ambrose (Towson, ’93) is in his first season as head coach of the Tigers with an 0-1 record at Towson and 3-8 in his second year as a head coach overall.

History With Towson: The Chanticleers and Tigers are meeting for the second time in history tonight. Last season, the Chanticleers posted a solid 31-3 victory over the visiting Tigers. Overall against Colonial Athletic Association, Coastal Carolina is 2-1 in its history, having also split a two-game series with James Madison, with each team winning at home.

Non-Conference Familiar Faces: In its non-conference action this year, Coastal Carolina will play return games with three familiar foes, continuing tonight with Towson. The other return games on this year's slate are Monmouth (home) and North Carolina A&T (home). The two new opponents on the Coastal Carolina schedule are both FBS schools -- Kent State, who the Chants played in the opener, and Clemson.

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 - 1,466; Liberty - 604; Clemson - 524; and Charleston Southern - 200 miles.

The Magic Number is 200: The magic answer to the question for Coastal Carolina is 200, as the Chanticleers are 31-4 (.886) lifetime when rushing for 200 yards or more in a game. The only losses came in 2005’s finale at Charleston Southern and 2007’s losses to Georgia Southern, against Presbyterian and at Liberty. In 2008, the Chants were able to post four games with 200+ yards of rushing and came away with victories in all four contests. The most recent was the win over Monmouth, Sept. 12, where Coastal Carolina put up 207 rushing yards.

I Love the Nightlife: Out of 70 games in its history, Coastal Carolina has played 36 in the night time hours. The Chanticleers are 24-12 in evening tilts, but are just 8-5 away from home in those contests.

Doing It on Both Sides of the Ball: Coastal Carolina rushed for 207 yards and passed for 203 in defeating Monmouth this past Saturday, 24-17. It was the first time since Nov. 11, 2006 that the Chanticleers surpassed 200 yards in both categories. That day, Coastal Carolina rushed for 332 yards and passed for 306 in a 52-24 win at Gardner-Webb. Not to be outdone, the Chanticleer defense held Monmouth below 100 yards rushing and passing, the sixth time in school history Coastal Carolina held its opponent under the century mark in both rushing and passing in the same game.

Last Time Out For the Chanticleers: The Coastal Carolina University football team returned to Brooks Stadium and opened their home slate with a 24-17 victory over the visiting Monmouth Hawks, Sept. 12.

After Monmouth got on the board first, the Chanticleers scored the next 10 points on a Zach MacDowall touchdown strike to Chris Presley early in the second and a 24-yard field goal by Justin Durham in the closing seconds to lead 10-7 at the half. Coastal Carolina then scored on its opening possession to go up 17-7, but the Hawks would not go away, getting a field goal on the next drive to trim the lead to 17-10, but that was as close as it would get.

The Chants dominated the statistics, putting together 410 yards of offense on 73 plays while limiting the Hawks to just 40 offensive plays and 174 total yards. Coastal Carolina was balanced with 207 yards of rushing and 203 of passing and converted 11 of 16 third-down opportunities while holding Monmouth to just 2-of-9 on third downs.

Coastal Carolina’s ground game was paced by Tommy Fraser, with career-high’s of 14 rushes and 74 yards, while Eric O’Neal had 17 carries for 64 yards and a pair of scores. MacDowall was 14-for-19 for 203 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Monmouth’s Sinisi was held to 84 yards on 21 carries and the one score. Frazier and Andrew Mandeville were 8-for-9 for 77 yards and one score through the air.

Last Meeting with the Tigers: The Coastal Carolina University football squad scored 31 unanswered points to post a 31-3 victory over Towson, Sept. 20, 2008 at Brooks Stadium.

The first half was a battle between the 30s as both teams tried to find the end zone but struggled, as the Chanticleers went into the intermission with a 7-3 advantage. However, the second half was all Coastal Carolina, as the hosts scored 24 unanswered points in the final two quarters, spurred on by a blocked field goal by Phillip Oboh on the Tigers' first drive of the second half. Two of the three second-half touchdowns were on plays of 49 yards or more, with the third set up by a 67-yard run.

Towson controlled the ball for almost 35 minutes of the game, but could only manage 186 yards on 69 plays, including just 31 yards of rushing. Coastal Carolina posted 459 yards of total offense on just 56 plays. The Chants put together a season-high 302 yards of rushing on just 38 carries on the night, while converting 7-of-13 third-down opportunities, as compared to 7-of-19 for the Tigers.

Running back Eric O'Neal had a game-high 84 yards and one touchdown on nine rushes, while running back Arthur Sitton posted 69 yards on the ground on just three rushes, including the 67-yard romp. Quarterback Zach MacDowall was 9-of-18 through the air for 157 yards and two scores, while adding 40 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Wide receiver Brandon Whitley led the receivers with three receptions for a career-best 91 yards and one touchdown. Towson's rushing attack was led by Jas Lee Rouson with 54 yards on 22 carries. Sean Schaefer was 20-of-36 for 142 yards but was sacked four times. Marcus Lee had seven receptions for 54 yards, while Steve Holmes had six catches for 36 yards.

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.

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, 2008, with the longest drive also occurring against the Flames, a 91-yard march in the fourth quarter. That same philosophy held true in the Chanticleers' home opener against Monmouth, Sept. 12. Coastal Carolina got four scores on the day, with all four going 70-plus yards and at least seven plays, with three of them 10 plays or more.

When Its Natural: Coastal Carolina has played 59 of its 70 games in its history on natural grass. The Chanticleers are 42-17 (.712) on natural grass, including 26-10 (.722) at home. Coastal Carolina has gone just 4-7 on the fake stuff in its six-plus years of play. In 2008, 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. The Chants dropped their first game on the artificial surface, losing the opener at Kent State, 18-0.

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 19-4 and outscore their opponents by a 724-318 margin, an average of 17.7 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.

Winning at Halftime: The Chanticleers are impressive when leading at the half with a 34-7 (.829) mark. Coastal Carolina is 18-3 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, 2007’s losses at Furman and in overtime to Presbyterian, last year’s home opener to Colgate and last 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 24 times in its history. Coming off the 21 in-season losses (not including three season-ending losses), the Chanticleers have gone 16-5 in the games following those losses and only had one three-game losing streak in its brief history.

The Scoreless Streak Ended: In its brief history of 70 games, the Chanticleers have been shutout twice, suffering their first shutout in history in last year's season finale, losing at home to Charleston Southern, 24-0, followed by the 18-0 loss at Kent State to open the 2009 season. Prior to that, Coastal Carolina's lowest single game point total was in 2005 at Appalachian State, with just a lone field goal. Coastal Carolina snapped its 11-quarter scoreless streak with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Zach MacDowall to Chris Presley early in the second quarter against Monmouth, Sept. 12.

Presley Making an Impact... and A New Record: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Chris Presley made his first collegiate reception a memorable one, grabbing a streak route from Zach MacDowall for a 50-yard touchdown for the Chanticleers. He is the first Chanticleer ever to achieve that milestone. The score also snapped Coastal Carolina’s 11-quarter scoreless streak and tied the game at seven.

Duran Starting To Feel His Way: Redshirt sophomore transfer David Duran showed what he brings to the team after transferring this fall from Michigan State. Duran had three catches for a team-high 82 yards in the win over Monmouth, Sept. 12. His 16-yard catch on 3rd-and-10 prolonged Coastal Carolina's opening scoring drive, while his 47-yard reception got the ball to the Monmouth 5 on the first drive of the second half, setting up the Chants' second touchdown of the game.

Fraser Getting the Job Done: Fullback Tommy Fraser was instrumental in the win over Monmouth, Sept. 12. Fraser had career highs of 14 carries for 74 yards, including a pair of key third-down conversions on the final drive that allowed Coastal Carolina to run out the clock. To put the stats in perspective, Fraser had a total of 24 carries and 81 yards his junior season in 2007 and previous career bests of eight rushes and 35 yards against Savannah State in 2006.

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 second on the all-time charts in pass completions (183), passing yards (2,658), passing touchdowns (17) and total offense (2,434) and third in pass attempts (301). 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. Among the newcomers, 17 Chanticleers saw their first collegiate action at Kent State. That amounted to 27.9 percent (17 of 61) of the Chants that played against the Golden Flashes.

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.

This Week's Injury Report: On this week's injury report for the game at Towson, Ben Collins (head), Zach MacDowall (thigh) and Eric O'Neal (ankle) are probably, while Jeremy Height (ankle) and Josh Thomason (shoulder) are out for th game. Out for the season are Myron Rogers (knee), Raymond Emmerling (knee), Alex Wolfe (shoulder) and Robert Morris (knee).


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.

Brooks Stadium Openers Are Good: Coastal Carolina has had some great, and dramatic, wins in its home openers in the first six years, going 5-2 overall. In the inaugural season, the Chants scored with seven seconds to play to win their first ever game, 21-14 over Newberry. The 2004 home opener was a 31-24 victory over Davidson, but the one in 2005 was a milestone win for the young program. Coastal Carolina hosted defending champion and then No. 1 James Madison, where quarterback Tyler Thigpen connected with wide receiver Perry Parks in the back of the end zone for a touchdown with 30 seconds to go, propelling Coastal Carolina to a 31-27 win over the Dukes. The only losses in a home opener occurred in 2006, as the Chants dropped a heartbreaking 23-20 decision to the Elon Phoenix, and last year's gut-wrenching 23-18 loss on the final play to Colgate. This year, the Chants posted a 24-17 win over Monmouth. All seven of those games have been decided by seven points or less.

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 THIS CALL IS OPEN TO MEDIA ONLY. If you would like information to tune in live and ask questions, please contact either John Martin ( or Mark Simpson ( 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-plus year career, he is now 109-41 (.721) as a head coach.

MacDowall Set New Standards: Quarterback Zach MacDowall put his name in the Coastal Carolina record books with his performance against Liberty, Oct. 4, 2008. 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 in 2008 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.

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, 2008, 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.




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