COASTALCAROLINA UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. FLAMESCoastal Carolina's Brooks Stadium (7,322) -- Conway, South Carolina Saturday, October 4, 2008 -- 7 p.m.
Opening Conference Play: The Coastal Carolina football squad will play the third of its six regular season home games when it hosts defending Big South Conference champion Liberty in the league opener for both teams. The Chanticleers come into tonight’s game after a 20-7 victory in the rain at North Carolina A&T, Sept. 27, while the Flames enter the contest following a dramatic, last-second 31-28 win at Youngstown State last Saturday.
The Coaches:Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett (Presbyterian, ‘84) is in his sixth season at Coastal Carolina with a 42-19 record and 105-36 overall in his 13th year as a head coach. 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.
Liberty Head Coach Danny Rocco (Wake Forest, ’84) is in his third season as head coach of the Flames and as the top man overall, posting an 18-8 mark, including 6-2 in Big South play.
History with Liberty: Tonight’s contest is the sixth meeting in history between the two teams, with the Chanticleers holding a 3-2 advantage, including 2-0 at Brooks Stadium. The Flames took last year’s contest in Lynchburg, 37-24, and went on to claim their first Big South Conference title.
The Clash of Champions: Tonight’s game matches the Big South Conference champions from the last four years. Liberty took last year’s title for the first time in school history, with Coastal Carolina finishing as runner-up after winning three straight league crowns in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The Chanticleers Picked to Finish Second in Big South: Coastal Carolina was picked to finish second at the Big South Conference’s Annual Football Media Day in Charlotte, N.C., as voted on by the league’s coaches and media members. Liberty was picked to repeat as Big South champions, with Gardner-Webb, Stony Brook, Charleston Southern and VMI following Coastal Carolina in the poll.
Coastal Carolina Still a Force in the Big South: Coastal Carolina is still showing it has to be reckoned with in the Big South Conference. Despite having a losing season in 2007, the Chanticleers posted a winning record in the league for the fourth straight year and have won 15 of their last 17 league games. In its five-year history, Coastal Carolina is 15-5 (.750) overall, the best record among all league schools in that time period. Liberty and Gardner-Webb are next each at 12-8, while Charleston Southern is 7-13 and VMI is 4-16.
Friendly Confines Describes Brooks Stadium:In the brief history of the program, the Chanticleers are 24-7 (.774) in the friendly confines of Brooks Stadium. Coastal Carolina is playing six home games again this year and has won 22 of its last 26 games at Brooks Stadium/Benton Field. The Chants have also won their last eight Big South games at home, dating back to the 2003 season.
Defense Standing Up to the Task: Over the last six games against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, the Coastal Carolina defense has been a force. In those six games dating back to the last two games of 2007, the Chanticleer defense, taking away points from special teams or offensive miscues, has given up just 41 total points (6.8 points a game).This season, the defense has also limited FCS opponents to just 249.0 yards a game of total offense, but will face a daunting task tonight against a team that is averaging almost 36 points and more than 420 yards per game of offense.
Ground Warfare Successful for the Chants: After not breaking the 200-yard barrier in rushing over the first three games, Coastal Carolina has surpassed that mark in the last two games, earning victories in both. Against Towson, 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 the program’s history, the Chants are now 28-4 when posting at least 200 rushing yards.
Last Time Out For the Chanticleers: The Coastal Carolina University football squad worked the ground game and the defense was strong enough to overcome several miscues and a rainy evening for a 20-7 victory at North Carolina A&T, Sept. 27.
The Chanticleers built a 10-0 halftime advantage, utilizing a Keon Cunningham interception to lead to a William Richardson 1-yard run and another drive for a 31-yard field goal by Justin Durham.
North Carolina A&T trimmed the lead to 10-7 early in the third quarter on an interception for a touchdown. However, the Chanticleer defense clamped down and the offense produced another 10 points, including sealing the game with a 23-yard quarterback draw by Richardson to make it 20-7.
Coastal Carolina amassed 351 yards of total offense, with 243 of them coming on the ground. North Carolina A&T was held to just 146 yards on 64 plays, with the Chants recording a school-record seven sacks for 54 yards of loss as part of the total.
Richardson had both touchdowns on the ground, rushing for 44 yards on six carries, while going 8-of-14 for 108 yards and two interceptions through the air. Running back Arthur Sitton led all carriers with 13 rushes for 77 yards while senior running back Jamie Fordham had eight carries for 69 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Whitley had four carries for 40 yards. Junior Phillip Oboh led the Chants' defense with eight tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss.
The Aggies were led by Dione McNair with 71 yards on 23 carries, while quarterback Herb Miller was just 9-of-19 for 69 yards and two interceptions while being sacked seven times.(Complete recap on Page 19.)
Last Year's Meeting With the Flames: Coastal Carolina's football team was unable to withstand a balanced Liberty offense as the Chanticleers lost to the host Flames 37-24 at Arthur L. Williams Stadium Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007.
Liberty took a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter off a 70-yard scoring drive. However, the Chanticleers continued to battled but could get no closer than a 13-point deficit the remainder of the game, as the Flames had an answer each time Coastal Carolina tried to close the gap.
Coastal Carolina controlled possession of the ball 31:37 to Liberty's 28:23, but the Chants were limited to just 213 rushing yards off 51 rushes and 102 passing yards. However, Liberty totaled 262 rushing yards off 43 rushes and had 265 passing yards for 527 yards of total offense to just 315 for the Chanticleers.
Fullback Mike Tolbert had 13 carries for a team-best 82 yards for Coastal Carolina, while senior wide receiver Jerome Simpson made six catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Liberty's Rashad Jennings dominated the running game, rushing for 172 yards and three touchdowns off 21 carries. Brock Smith went 11-for-15 and threw for 265 yards with one interception for the Flames. (Complete recap on Page 18.)
I Love the Nightlife: Out of 61 games in its history, Coastal Carolina has played 32 in the night time hours. The Chanticleers are 23-9 in evening tilts, and a more stellar 15-5 at Brooks Stadium.
When Its Natural: Coastal Carolina has played 51 of its 61 games in its history on natural grass. The Chanticleers are 38-13 (.745) on natural grass, including 21-6 at home, while going just 3-6 on the fake stuff. This year, the Chants will play 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.
Winning When Scoring First: Coastal Carolina has been a stellar team when scoring first, holding a 28-4 (.875) mark in five-plus seasons of play.
Winning at Halftime: The Chanticleers are impressive when leading at the half with a 30-5 (.865) mark. Coastal Carolina is now 16-2 at home when taking a lead into the intermission, while posting a 14-3 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 and this year's home opener to Colgate.
The Magic Number is 200: The magic answer to the question for Coastal Carolina is 200, as the Chanticleers are now 28-4 (.875) 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 Streak Continues: In its brief history of 61 games, the Chanticleers have yet to be shutout on the scoreboard, the longest current streak in the Big South Conference. In fact, Coastal Carolina's lowest single game point total was in 2005 at Appalachian State, with just a lone field goal.
Going Long and Far: Coastal Carolina was not afraid to chew up the yardage en route to putting points on the scoreboard in 2007. Of the 43 scoring drives, 29 were 60 yards or more with 23 of them going seven plays or longer.
In 2008, of the 21 scoring drives, 11 of them have been 60 yards or more, while 12 of them were seven plays or longer. The most plays in a drive was 13 in the win at Monmouth, Sept. 13, while the longest was 80 yards over just six plays in the third quarter against Towson, Sept. 20, and 80 yards in seven plays in the fourth quarter at North Carolina A&T, Sept. 27.
Coastal Carolina Football On TV:Coastal Carolina's football team will have three appearances on television this year. The Chanticleers were on the Big Ten Network to start the season when they played nationally-renowned Penn State, Aug. 30. The other two televised contests are part of the Big South Conference package, as the home contest against defending champion Liberty (Oct. 4) and the road contest at Gardner-Webb (Nov. 8) are slated for the tube, with the GWU game moved to 3:30 p.m. to accomodate television. The Liberty game will be broadcast live in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area on SportSouth, while the game at Gardner-Webb will be tape delayed on SportSouth at 7 p.m. In its five-plus year history, Coastal Carolina is a stellar 13-6 in television appearances all-time, including 8-1 at Brooks Stadium.
Busting Big Plays: The Coastal Carolina offense has also gotten into the act over the last three games, as the five longest plays from scrimmage have occurred against Towson and Monmouth. In fact, last week's Towson contest had the top three, including a 63-yard touchdown pass from Zach MacDowall to Brandon Whitley and Eric O'Neal's tackle-breaking 49-yard touchdown run. The 63-yard touchdown pass was the fourth-longest completion in Coastal Carolina history, while running back Arthur Sitton's 67-yard scamper was the ninth longest rush ever for the program. Additionally, Coastal Carolina had six offensive plays for 20 yards or more in the rain at North Carolina A&T.
Fordham Hits the 1,000-Yard Milestone: After receiving a waiver from the NCAA that reinstated his eligibility, redshirt senior Jamie Fordham has made the most of it. In the game against Towson Sept. 20, Fordham became the fifth player at Coastal Carolina and 20th in Big South Conference history to eclipse the 1,000-yard career rushing mark, entering this week's action with 1,089 yards. He currently ranks 21st in Big South annals, just 19 yards behind Nat Jackson of VMI in 20th.
Fordham returned to the field for his first action of the year at Monmouth. In his first drive of the season, which started the third quarter, Fordham had six of the 10 touches on the drive, rushing four times for 28 yards, including the touchdown, and grabbing two catches for 10 yards. He finished the game with six carries for 39 yards and the score on the ground, along with his two receptions. He then rushed for 69 yards on eight carries at North Carolina A&T.
Usher Making All the Grabs: Redshirt senior Trent Usher has asserted himself as one of primary receivers for the Chanticleers this season. Usher has team highs of 14 catches for 225 yards and one touchdown on the year. In the win at Monmouth, Sept. 13, Usher posted career bests of five receptions for 80 yards. This is solid for a player who has shown his “team first” attitude by playing three positions (also defensive back and quarterback) in his time at Coastal Carolina. Usher was sidelined for the North Carolina A&T game with an ankle injury but should see action in the Liberty contest.
Getting a Foot (Or 50 Yards) On the Ball: Sophomore punter Ben Erdman had one of the best games in Coastal Carolina history for his position. Erdman averaged 43.0 yards per punt at Penn State, Aug. 30, the second-best single-game average in program history. In addition, he became the first Chanticleer to have two punts of 50 yards or more in a single game, hitting 54- and 50-yard punts in the first half. The 54-yarder tied for the fifth longest punt in school history while the 50-yard boot tied for 10th.
Currently, Erdman is averaging 40.7 yards per punt on the season, which leads the Big South Conference by more than two yards a kick and is more than six yards a punt better than during his freshman campaign. Of his 21 punts, six have finished inside the 20.
Davenport Among the League Leaders:Junior safety Dominique Davenport was named The Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision National and Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Colgate, Sept. 7. Davenport currently leads the team and ranks second in the league in tackles per game at 9.8 (39 total), including a school-record 20 tackles against Colgate and 10 tackles at Penn State. However, the junior suffered a season-ending elbow injury in the home win over Towson, Sept. 20.
Four in the Show: With just three graduating classes in two years, the Chanticleers have shown they have some quality talent, with four players on 53-man National Football League rosters for Opening Day. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen was the first-ever draft pick out of the Big South Conference by the Minnesota Vikings in 2007, and got his first career start in week three for the Kansas City Chiefs. Defensive back Quinton Teal is starting his second year with the Carolina Panthers after playing in 15 games as a rookie. Wide receiver Jerome Simpson was a second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2008 NFL Draft while fullback Mike Tolbert was a free agent signee of the San Diego Chargers this past offseason and started his first four professional games so far.
The Leader of the Pack: Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett has continued where he left off at Catawba with his winning ways now at Coastal Carolina. Bennett had gone 34-5 his final three seasons at Catawba, making him now 76-24 (76.0 percent) in his last 100 games as a head coach.
This Week's Injury Report: On this week's injury report for the game against Liberty, Andre Ford (left knee). Zach MacDowall (ankle), Matt Manning (head) and Seth Smalls (right ankle) are probable while and Eric O'Neal (ankle) and Trent Usher (ankle) are questionable. Marlon Campbell (left knee), Tommy Fraser (right hamstring), Kirk Leach (right hamstring) and Marrio Norman (ankle) out for the game. Dominique Davenport (right elbow), Myron Rogers (left knee) and Dominique Whiteside (left foot) are out for the year.
Coaching Staff Continuity: The Coastal Carolina football coaching staff is a rarity in the world of college football. In the seven 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 Co-Offensive Coordinator Gary Smallen in 2006 and Linebackers Coach Grant Cain in 2007. Four of them (Head Coach David Bennett, Co-Offensive Coordinator Jamie Snider, Defensive Coordinator Curtis Walker and Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Kevin Brown) have been together for the last 11 years dating back to their time at Division II Catawba.
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 103-36 (.741) as a head coach.
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 the entire starting unit, along with two other significant players from last season, has returned for the 2008 campaign.
Pair of Players Picks Up Big South Honors In Week Four: Coastal Carolina quarterback Zach MacDowall and linebacker D.J. Rice were named the Big South football Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week and New Balance Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for games played in week four of the 2008 season, it was announced Sept. 22 by the Conference office.
MacDowall amassed 197 yards of total offense (40 rush, 157 pass) and was responsible for three of the Chanticleers’ four touchdowns in Coastal Carolina’s 31-3 win over Towson. He scored on a 9-yard touchdown run with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter to give the Chanticleers a 7-3 lead. He also threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, including a 63-yarder to Brandon Whitley, to help put the game away. MacDowall directed the Coastal Carolina offense to a season-high 459 yards on just 56 plays – an average of 8.2 yards per play.
Rice totaled a career-high 11 tackles – his first career double-digit tackle game, and had one tackle for loss in the Chanticleers’ 31-3 win over Towson. He helped lead the Chanticleer defense in holding the Tigers to more than 130 yards below their season average on offense, including 120 yards fewer through the air for a quarterback with more than 9,000 career passing yards. The defense also held Towson to 44 rushing yards and to 11 fewer points than No. 2 Richmond the week before.
Non-Conference New Faces: In its non-conference action this year, all six opponents are new to the Coastal Carolina schedule. The slate also has a distinct Northeast flavor to it, as four of the six non-conference squads are from that region of the country. In all, seven new opponents, including Big South Conference newcomer Stony Brook, are on the 2008 agenda.
A Good Road Squad: The Chants have proven to be a good road squad in their first five-plus seasons of play. Overall, Coastal Carolina has a 18-12 road mark, but posted its first road losing record last year, going just 1-4 away from Brooks Stadium with its only road win in the season finale at in-state rival Charleston Southern.
Week Three Jinx Ends This Year: Not only did Coastal Carolina snap its two-game losing skid to start the season with the victory at Monmouth, it ended the Week Three jinx it had in the first five years. In the previous five years, the Chanticleers had not won their third game of the season in any of them. The closest was during the inaugural season, when the Chants dropped a 14-9 decision at Jacksonville. Of the Week Three games in history, five of the six have been played on the road.
MacDowall Gets It Done: Redshirt sophomore Zach MacDowall earned his first Big South Conference Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week honors for his play at Monmouth. MacDowall was solid in his second career start, leading the Chanticleers to a win at Monmouth. MacDowall was 17-for-26 for 233 yards, one touchdown and one interception through the air and added seven rushes for 21 yards on the ground.
A Game With Firsts: The win at Monmouth had several firsts for the Chanticleers, beyond their first game in New Jersey. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Brandon Whitley had his first collegiate touchdown reception, while running back Jamie Fordham and fullback Vince Starr posted their first rushing touchdowns of the year.
Slow Start Not a Reason for Concern: This is the fourth time in six seasons that Coastal Carolina has started the season with a 1-2 mark. However, two of the three previous times the Chanticleers have rallied for winning records, including the 2006 campaign that resulted in the program’s and league’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championships.
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.
Overall this season, Davenport has set career bests in back-to-back games, starting the season with a team-high 10 tackles at Penn State. He currently leads the Chanticleers and is second in the Big South Conference with 9.8 tackles per contest.
O'Neal Hits the Century Mark: Sophomore running back Eric O’Neal posted his best game as a Chanticleer Sept. 6 vs. Colgate, as he rushed 17 times for a career-best 115 yards and one touchdown. It was his first career 100-yard rushing game. He also tied his career high in carries and posted the 21st 100-yard rushing game in Coastal Carolina history, with his 115 yards ranking 13th all-time.
MacDowall Gets First Start: Redshirt sophomore Zach MacDowall got his first collegiate start against Colgate, Sept. 7. In the contest, MacDowall was 11-for-19 for 120 yards through the air, while adding 32 yards of rushing on six carries.
Making the Grab a Historic One: Coastal Carolina's first points of the 2008 season were ones that senior wide receiver Trent Usher will remember. Usher took a short slant route over the middle and sprinted to the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown at Penn State, Aug. 30. The touchdown was the second of Usher's collegiate career and his first on the receiving end. He also became the first Coastal Carolina player in his career to score a touchdown as both a receiver and a quarterback, as he got in the end zone as a quarterback off the bench in a home win over Savannah State in 2006.
More Than the 2007 Season Combined: The announced crowd of 106,577 that watched the Coastal Carolina-Penn State game at Beaver Stadium, Aug. 30, is more than the attendance combined at all 11 games on Coastal Carolina's 2007 schedule (93,231). As a matter of fact, the largest crowd that the Chanticleers had played in front of previously was at eventual national champion Appalachian State in 2005, when a then Kidd Brewer Stadium record 23,267 watched the Mountaineers get a 30-3 win.
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 needed 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.
Time To Prepare Is Time To Succeed For Bennett: Throughout their careers, head coach David Bennett and his coaching staffs 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, Bennett's teams are 17-5 and outscore their opponents by a 687-349 margin, an average of 15.4 points per game more than their opponents.
Four Earn Preseason All-Big South Honors: Coastal Carolina University's football program had four players honored as Preseason All-Big South Conference selections, as announced at the league's annual Football Media Day at the Renaissance Suites in Charlotte, N.C., July 25. The group was voted on by the league's head coaches and selected media members. Selected to the Preseason All-Big South squad on the offensive side was senior offensive lineman Britt Leggett. Picked from the defense were senior defensive back Marrio Norman, senior linebacker D.J. Rice and junior defensive end Phillip Oboh. This is the first time that any of the four have been picked for the preseason accolade.
Weekly Big South Teleconference: Each Tuesday during the 2008 season, all seven Big South head coaches will participate in a teleconference call, beginning at 10:30am 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.
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. Last season, Coastal Carolina ranked 12th in the nation, again averaging over capacity at 102.65% in six games played.
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. Now Coastal Carolina has completed ground work in preparation for full construction to start right after Christmas on the new Adkins Fieldhouse.
Simpson Makes History: Senior wide receiver Jerome Simpson made history in his final season at Coastal Carolina. He started the accolades against Presbyterian on Oct. 20, 2007, becoming the Big South Conference’s all-time leading receiver, a record that currently stands at 2,720 yards, surpassing Maurice Price of Charleston Southern 2,429. The Big South’s career leader and ranking fourth in FCS career touchdown receptions, he became the first receiver in league history with more than 40 career touchdown receptions with a pair at Liberty, Nov. 3, pushing his total to 44. He became the first Big South player ever to record 10 touchdown receptions in two separate seasons (16-2006, 10-2007) with his two touchdown catches against Gardner-Webb.
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.
The Class of 2006's Impact Still Being Felt: Coastal Carolina graduated more players than any Division I football program in the country in 2006, losing 36 seniors, including 31 letterwinners. Among the 36 seniors on the roster, 32 of them were in at least their third year with the program. This group, comprised of the first two football recruiting classes at Coastal Carolina, led the Chanticleers to a 34-11 mark in four years, along with at least a share of three consecutive Big South Conference titles and the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championships. Two of those players in that class, quarterback Tyler Thigpen and safety Quinton Teal, are on National Football League rosters for the second straight year.