Football Heads Back On the Road to Take on South Carolina State


Football Heads Back On the Road to Take on South Carolina State

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South Carolina State's Notes



SCSU's Oliver C. Dawson Stadium (22,000) ~ Orangeburg, South Carolina
Saturday, October 1, 2005 ~ 2 p.m.

This MEAC Opponent Is On the Road: Coastal Carolina's football team goes back on the road for its second-consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponent, taking on defending MEAC co-champion No. 17 South Carolina State. This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams and second MEAC opponent for the Chanticleers, having defeated Delaware State at home last week.

The Leaders: David Bennett (Presbyterian, '84) is in his third season at Coastal Carolina with a 19-7 record at CCU and 82-24 overall in nine-plus 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.

South Carolina State Head Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough (South Carolina State, '75) is in his fourth season as head coach of the Bulldogs, posting a 27-11 mark at SCSU and overall. Pough led the Bulldogs to a share of the MEAC title last season with a 6-1 league mark.

Having Fun in the Daytime: Out of 26 games in its history, Coastal Carolina has played 11 in the day light hours. Coastal is 7-4 in day games, but the numbers improve on the road, as CCU is 5-3 in day games away from Conway.At night, the Chanticleers are an impressive 12-3, including a 9-2 mark at Brooks Stadium.

Making The First Strike Is Important for the Chanticleers: Coastal has been a stellar team when scoring first, holding a 16-1 mark going into this weekend's game at South Carolina State. The Chants were 8-0 in 2004 when scoring first, including a perfect 6-0 when scoring first on the road. CCU is also impressive when leading at the half with an 18-1 mark. Coastal is 8-1 when leading at the half on the road, with the only loss coming at Liberty in 2003 after leading 14-7 at the intermission.

At Home on the Grass: Coastal has played 23 of its 26 games in its history on natural grass. CCU is 18-5 on natural grass, with its only games on artificial turf at Liberty in 2003 in a tough loss, the 2004 season opening win at Morehead State, and an early season loss at Appalachian State.

New Looks for the Chanticleers: As seen in the opener at Elon, the Chants have replaced their road jerseys in the third season, including changing the numbers on the road jerseys from teal to black. In the home opener against James Madison, Coastal Carolina revealed a new set of black home jerseys that match the road jerseys. CCU only had teal home jerseys during the first two seasons.

This Schedule Looks Very Different: The 2005 slate for the Chanticleers is very different, as compared to the first two years. Coastal played the same teams in each of the first two seasons, but this year, only Savannah State remains from the non-conference opponents last season. Among the six new teams on the schedule are defending national champion James Madison out of the Atlantic 10, Appalachian State and Elon from the Southern Conference, South Carolina State and Delaware State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Mansfield (PA) out of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).

In The Third Year: Coastal, in its third season of I-AA play, returns 21 starters, including nine on offense, eight on defense, and four special teams players.

Last Time Out: Coastal Carolina fought through a tough battle with visiting Delaware State for a 24-6 victory at Brooks Stadium, Sept. 24. The win was the ninth-consecutive win at home for the Chanticleers, as CCU was 7-0 during the 2004 season and is now 2-0 at home in 2005.

In the game, DSU forced five Coastal turnovers, but the CCU defense was a difference maker. The Hornets were limited to just six points and 190 yards of total offense, while CCU churned out 297 total yards, 213 of them on the ground. Coastal is now 15-0 when rushing for more than 200 yards in a game. The game was also marred by penalties, as DSU was penalized 17 times for 144 yards and Coastal had seven penalties for 68 yards.

Coastal was led by running back Jamie Fordham, who posted his first collegiate 100-yard rushing game with 109 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen had nine carries for 50 yards, while going 7-for-17 for 84 yards through the air. (Complete recap is available on page 16).

Hoke Earns Big South Weekly Honors: Coastal Carolina placekicker Josh Hoke was selected as Special Teams Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 25, the league office announced today. This is the second time this season that Hoke has earned the award, as he was also honored for his performance against James Madison. He has now won the award six times in his career.

Hoke earned his second weekly honor in three weeks following his three field goal, 10-point performance in Coastal’s 24-6 win over Delaware State. The junior booted a 49-yarder in the first quarter, the longest in school history and third-longest in Big South history, added a 26-yard field goal in the second stanza, and kicked a 46-yard field goal (third-longest in school history) in the third quarter. His only miss came on the last play of the first half, when he attempted the longest field goal in Conference history at 57 yards. Hoke scored 10 points Saturday against Delaware State, his sixth career game with scoring at least 10 points. Hoke also was solid on kickoffs, posting four touchbacks on six kickoffs, with Delaware State’s average start at its own 12-yard line on the remaining two kicks.

Fordham Makes the Most of His Opportunity: Running back Jamie Fordham made the most of his playing time in the home win over Delaware State, Sept. 24. The redshirt freshman only had 12 carries for 32 yards coming into the game, but posted his first collegiate 100-yard game with 109 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries. The 22 carries are the fourth most in Coastal history, while the 109 yards rank ninth. This was also the first 100-yard rushing game of the season for the Chanticleers and sixth this season in the Big South.

Running Game Still a Staple: The Chanticleers had a very effective ground assault on their opponents in 2004, averaging a league best and fifth in the nation 278.0 rushing yards per contest. Coastal broken the Big South single-season rushing total with 3,058 rushing yards, surpassing Liberty's 2,614 yards last season.The magic number for Coastal is 200, as the Chanticleers are now 15-0 lifetime (9-0 in 2004) when rushing for 200 yards or more in a game.

Home Sweet Home: Coastal has been solid at Brooks Stadium in the first two seasons overall, posting a 11-3 mark in Conway. Last season, the Chanticleers were a perfect 7-0 at home, including winning two Big South Conference games to capture the league title. Coastal now has a nine-game home winning streak.

More About the Home Front: Coastal Carolina won its ninth-straight home game Saturday with its 24-6 win over Delaware State. In that span, the Chanticleers have scored 377 points, for an average of 41.9 per game. They have held their opponents to 148 points, or 16.4 per contest during the streak. The Big South record for consecutive home wins is 11, set by Gardner-Webb from August 31, 2002 to Nov. 15, 2003.

Chants Continue to Climb the Charts: Running back Patrick Hall is continuing to move up the Big South career rushing charts. Currently, the senior has 1,764 career rushing yards to rank fourth, just five yards behind Eugene Goodman of Liberty in third. Dre Barnes, also from Liberty, is the Big South career rushing leader with 3,409 yards. Aundres Perkins is currently seventh on the chart with 1,491 yards, just 53 yards behind Jermaine Boston of Gardner-Webb in sixth.

Passing the 2,000-Yard Mark: With his 287-yard passing output against then No.1 James Madison, junior quarterback Tyler Thigpen became the first passer in CCU history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in his career, a mark that is currently at 2,303 yards. His 287 yards were also a personal best and school record for a single game and are the second most in the Big South this season.

Simpson Sets A New Standard: Sophomore wide receiver Jerome Simpson has made an impact on the Coastal program in his first 13 collegiate games. Against No.1 James Madison, the Reidsville, N.C. native tied a school record with 10 receptions and set a new mark with 162 receiving yards. He also had two touchdown receptions, but his most memorable catch was an acrobatic, one-hand 27-yard catch that put CCU at the JMU 13 and led to the game-winning score.

Simpson has already taken over on the CCU career charts as well. With his 162 yards against JMU, he moved into the top spot and now leads with 622 career receiving yards. Against JMU, he also took over the lead in receptions with 40. He already was the career leader in touchdown receptions, a mark that currently stands at 10.

Red Zone Execution Always a Key to Success: The Chants were 44-for-52 (84.6 percent) in the red zone in the 2004 season, scoring 36 touchdowns (31 rushing and five passing) and eight field goals. That continued a trend set in 2003's inaugural season when CCU made it count when it got the opportunity, cashing in on 31 of 37 times inside their opponents' 20-yard line. Of those 31 scores, 28 were touchdowns.

In contrast, CCU's defense limited opponents to just 28 chances in the red zone and only 20 scores (18 TDs, two field goals) for a 71.4 percent conversion.

The first four games in 2005 have continued the trend, as Coastal was 10-for-12 (83.3 percent) in the red zone (six touchdowns, four field goals) while opponents have been limited to just 73.3 percent (11-for-15).

Bennett Continues Winning Ways: CCU Head Coach David Bennett continued where he left off at Catawba, with a victory in the team's inaugural game last season against Newberry. Bennett had gone 34-5 his final three seasons at Catawba, making him now 53-12 in his last 65 games as a head coach.

Packing the House: Coastal has been one of the standouts in I-AA in attendance based on capacity in its first two 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. CCU then followed it up with the second-largest crowd in school history, as 8,267 watched Coastal defeat Delaware State, Sept. 24. CCU currently ranks fourth in I-AA in attendance based on capacity at 131.09 percent.

This Week in the Big South: All five Big South Conference teams are in action again this weekend. Gardner-Webb is at No. 8 Furman, VMI travels to Liberty to open league play, and Charleston Southern hosts Howard.

Developing the Aerial Assault: Through the first two seasons, the running game was the staple of the Chanticleers, including ranking fifth in the nation in rushing offense in 2004. However in 2005, the passing game has stepped up. CCU is averaging 157.5 yards through the air, including a school-record 287 yards in the home win over defending national champion James Madison. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen has completed 54.6 percent (60-of-114) of his pass attempts on the year.

The Streak Finally Ends: Coastal Carolina had a program and league-best 10-game winning streak snapped with the loss at Appalachian State, Sept. 17. The 10-game win streak was the second longest active streak in I-AA when it ended. During the streak, the Chanticleers had created 31 turnovers while giving up just 13 of their own, while 12 Chants had 25 tackles or more during the 10 games. The Chanticleers had also jumped out early on teams, outscoring their opponents 83-46 in the opening stanza and 194-76 in the first half. Overall, Coastal has won 14 of its last 16 games, dating back to the inaugural season finale in 2003.

Number 1 Play... According to the Authority On Sports: Coastal Carolina continued to make national headlines with its victory over James Madison, Sept. 10. On the Sept. 13 night broadcast of ESPN Sportscenter, the 27-yard, one-handed completion from Tyler Thigpen to Jerome Simpson was named the No. 1 play on the Top 10 Plays list, another first for the school and the Big South Conference in football. It was also featured during ESPN's "First and 10" and on Chris Berman's "Top 10 Plays of the Week".

This Week’s Injury Report: For this week’s game at South Carolina State, Anthony Featherstone (left knee), Brad Poston (left shoulder), Whittmin Reese (concussion), Les Rice (low back) and Robbie Wright (left hand) are probable.Russ Clardy (left shoulder) and D'Mario Kelley (left shoulder) are questionable, while Ben Hampton (high ankle sprain), Dewitt Myers (lower leg), Josh Bauer (right lower leg), and Tony Williams (shoulder separation) are doubtful. Out for the season are Jermaine Clemons (left knee), Keith Cox (left knee), Sean Lundy (right knee), Allen Parker (right foot) and James Sims (right knee).

Coastal Earning National Recognition: Coming off a stunning 31-27 victory over defending national champion James Madison, Sept. 10, the Coastal Carolina University football program was ranked in the top 20 in all five national polls, the highest rankings in the program’s brief history. The Chanticleers also picked up their first-ever first-place vote in any poll, getting one in The Sports Network voting.

Currently, the Chanticleers are receiving votes just outside the top 25 in four polls and are ranked 16th in the College Sports Report.

The week of Sept. 12, Coastal’s highest ranking was in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, where the Chanticleers enter at No. 15, making the biggest leap by moving up from receiving votes in the preseason poll that would have ranked the team 35th. College Sports Report has the Chanticleers ranked 16th, while CCU enters The Sports Network Top 25 at No. 17 with 919 points and one first-place vote. CCU was 18th according to Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette and 20th in the Given Saturday poll after not receiving enough votes to be listed last week. CCU’s win over then No. 1 James Madison was also named the Most Significant Win of the week by the Given Saturday pollsters.

Starting the 2005 season, Coastal was ranked 24th by Street and Smith's and 29th in Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette's Top 40, while receiving votes in The Sports Network (extended to 32nd).

In just its second year of play in 2004, the Coastal Carolina football team, with its 10-1 overall mark, made a national impact. Coastal cracked the top 25 for the first time in history, Nov. 8, entering The Sports Network poll at 24th. Coastal was ranked in the top 25 in three polls and receiving votes in a fourth. CCU finished the year ranked 24th in The Sports Network poll and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, 25th in the National Weekly Football Gazette's Top 40 and receiving votes (27th) in the Any Given Saturday/ poll. This was the sixth week CCU at least received votes in one of the polls.

Individually, linebacker Jamar Leath ranks seventh in the nation in tackles at 12.25 per game.

National Honors: Coastal Carolina’s football program continues to get national recognition after the thrilling 31-27 victory Sept. 10 over defending national champion James Madison. Junior quarterback Tyler Thigpen was named one of the I-AA National Weekly All-Stars by, while linebacker Jamar Leath has been named The Sports Network’s National Defensive Player of the Week, Sept. 12. These are the second and third individual national honor ever won by a Coastal player, as placekicker Josh Hoke earned National Special Teams Player of the Week during the 2004 season from Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette. The squad was also named National Team of the Week by College Sports Report for its win over JMU.

Thigpen helped engineer CCU’s 31-27 upset of No. 1 ranked James Madison on Saturday night in Conway. Thigpen passed for a career-high 287 yards, hitting 24-of-36 passes for three touchdowns, two of them in the fourth quarter with the Chanticleers trailing. His eight-yard touchdown pass to Perry Parks with 30 seconds left gave the Chanticleers the lead, completing an 11-play, 93-yard drive in the final 2:15. Part of Coastal’s offense that was named Big South Offensive Player of the Week, he also had 33 yards rushing to finish with 320 yards of total offense. Thigpen was 6-of-10 for 88 yards on the final drive, converting one third-down and one fourth-down pass. With CCU trailing 27-17 and under six minutes to play, Thigpen completed 10-of-14 passes for 146 yards to guide two TD drives. He had also had a pass efficiency rating of 155.58.

Leath, who also was named the New Balance/Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week, posted his second consecutive career-high with a school-record 15 tackles (six solo) in Coastal’s upset win over James Madison. He stepped up in the fourth quarter, when CCU had cut the margin to four at 27-24. In JMU’s 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.

Defense Earns Schools First-Ever Top National Rankings: Coastal Carolina's defense was solid during the 2004 season and it showed on the national rankings, as the Chanticleers were the top team in I-AA in pass efficiency defense and turnover margin. Combining several factors for the rating, CCU had a rating of 86.79. One factor was interceptions, where Coastal has surpassed last year’s total of 17 by picking off 27 passes, including a Chanticleer-record five interceptions in the win over Savannah State, Nov. 6. Coastal also had a +2.0 turnover margin, recording 38 turnovers while only giving up 16.

This season, the CCU defense started slow but has moved up this week from 52nd to 14th in the nation in pass efficiency defense with a rating of 95.24 and is also 22nd in pass defense at 158.50 yards per game.

Coastal Takes Three Big South Weekly Awards: The Coastal Carolina offense and Chanticleers linebacker Jamar Leath 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 was selected as Special Teams Player of the Week.

Coastal Carolina’s 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, 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 – and converted one third and fourth down play on the drive. Eight CCU players had pass receptions, led by Simpson’s 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 Coastal’s upset win over James Madison. He stepped up in the fourth quarter, when CCU had cut the margin to four at 27-24. In JMU’s 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 Coastal’s 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 Madison’s 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.

Leath Named Big South Defensive Player of the Week: Junior linebacker Jamar Leath was named Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week, Sept. 5. Leath was a major impact player for Coastal in the win over Elon, recording a career-best 14 tackles including one tackle for loss. Leath recoverd a fumble in the fourth quarter, returning it 18 yards to the Elon 12 to set up the game-winning score. He also had four tackles in the decisive fourth quarter.

Making Marks In the History Books: Coastal Carolina made history during the 2004 season. The Chanticleers were the first league team to win 10 games in a season, one of 36 Big South Conference records broken or tied during the historical championship season.



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