Football Heads To Clemson for Halloween Matchup

Chanticleers to play their first in-state FB opponent against the Tigers


Oct. 28, 2009

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Staying On the Road: The Coastal Carolina University football squad will remain on the road for the final of three straight contests for today's game at Clemson. The swing started with a loss at two-time defending Big South Conference champion Liberty. Oct. 17, followed by a tough 16-10 loss at Stony Brook, Oct. 24.

Today's game is on Halloween, so the two teams are being festive, with Coastal decked out in all black uniforms and Clemson in all orange.

The Coaches: Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett (Presbyterian, `84) is in his seventh season at Coastal Carolina with a 48-27 record and 111-44 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.

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney (Alabama, '93) is in his second season as head coach with the Tigers and overall, sporting an 8-6 record.

History With Clemson: The Chanticleers and Tigers will meet for the first time in history today, but it definitely won't be the last. The two teams also have a contract to play on Sept. 6, 2014 in Death Valley.

 However, there is a significant tie already between the two programs. Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett was a graduate assistant coach in 1985 and 1986 at Clemson under Danny Ford. Bennett earned his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Clemson in 1986, where he worked with the running backs on the Tigers' 1986 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship squad. While at Clemson, he coached in the Independence and Gator Bowls.

Racking Up the Travel Miles and Seeing New Land: The Chanticleers are playing six of their 11 games this season away from home. Of the six games, three are being 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.

Coastal Carolina Football On TV: Coastal Carolina's football team has a pair of television appearances slated for the 2009 campaign. Coastal is on the tube for the second time this season when it heads to New York for their first game at Stony Brook . The Chanticleers made their first televised appearance last Saturday on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network when they traveled to two-time defending champion Liberty. Coastal Carolina is a solid 14-9 in television appearances all-time, but just 6-7 on the road. 

 Coastal will get additional coverage via the internet this week at Clemson, as the game will be broadcast live on

Against the FBS: This will be the Chanticleers' third game against a Football Subdivision Opponent. The first occurred last year at Penn State, a 66-10 loss, and the second was the opener this year at Kent State, ending in an 18-0 defeat.

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 before being traded to the Miami Dolphins earlier this year. 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.

The Scoreless Streak Ended: In its brief history of 75 games, the Chanticleers have been shutout just 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.

O'Neal Reaches the Elite 1,000: Junior running back Eric O'Neal rushed for 78 yards in the home win over VMI, Oct. 10, putting him in the elite 1,000-yard rushing club for his career. He became the sixth Chanticleer and 25th Big South player in history to reach the milestone, as O'Neal now has 1,097 yards on his career. For the year, he has 367 rushing yards, averaging 4.3 yards a carry and 52.4 yards a game, ranking sixth in the Big South.

Record After a Loss: Coastal Carolina has lost just 27 times in its history. Coming off the 23 in-season losses entering this game (not including three season-ending losses), the Chanticleers have gone 17-6 in the games following those losses and only had one three-game losing streak in its brief history.

Defense Stepping Up: Coastal Carolina, which led the Big South in pass defense efficiency from 2004-07, is atop the League in the category after the first month of the season. The Chanticleers have a pass efficiency rating of 113.2, which is currently the second lowest in the Big South. Coastal is leading the League with 12 interceptions, and has allowed just seven touchdown passes this year.
 In the national rankings, Coastal is in the top 35 in four categories. This week, the Chants are 11th in pass defense at 150.00 yards per game, 31st in passing efficiency defense with a 113.2 rating, 31st in sacks at 2.28 per contest and 35th in scoring defense at 20.4 points per game.

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 (231), passing yards (3,037), passing touchdowns (20) and total offense (3,326) and third in pass attempts (385). 

 Junior kicker Justin Durham moved up to fourth in all-time scoring with 154 points, passing current San Diego Charger Mike Tolbert at 134.

 Defensively, senior defensive end Phillip Oboh is putting his stamp on the career list. He is currently second in career sacks with 15.0, adding two against North Carolina A&T to pass Maurice Simpkins (2003-05) at 14.0. He is also third in career  tackles for loss at 25.0. He needs 1.5 sacks this season to reach Adrain Grady's Coastal Carolina career record of 16.5 sacks. Redshirt-junior Dominique Davenport is sixth on the career tackles chart with 167 and fifth with 106 career solo tackles.

Last Time Out For the Chanticleers: The Coastal Carolina University football team battled the wind and rain, as well as Stony Brook, and came up on the short end of a 16-10 decision on Long Island, Oct. 24. 

 Stony Brook built a 10-0 lead early in the second half, but the Chanticleers came back with 10 unanswered points of their own.

 The game winner came on the next possession, as SBU took the ball 80 yards on seven plays. Michael Coulter hit running back Conte Cuttino for a 28-yard touchdown catch-and-run to make it 16-10 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. The Chants had one last chance, getting the ball on their own three with almost three minutes to go but a turnover ended the hopes.

 Stony Brook outgained Coastal 259-177, including 144-96 through the air. Each team had two turnovers, with the Chants giving up two fumbles and SBU throwing a pair of interceptions. The Seawolves also had five sacks to two for the Chants. (Complete recap on Page 20.)

The Magic Number is 200: The magic answer to the question for Coastal Carolina is 200, as the Chanticleers are 32-4 (.889) 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 North Carolina A&T, Sept. 26, where Coastal Carolina put up 304 rushing yards. Currently Coastal is 2-0 in 2009 when posting 200 or more rushing yards.

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 20-4 and outscore their opponents by a 744-324 margin, an average of 17.5 points per game more than their opponents.

I Love the Nightlife: Out of 75 games in its history, Coastal Carolina has played 39 in the night time hours. The Chanticleers are 26-13 in evening tilts, including going an even more impressive 18-7 at home.

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.

 For the 2009 season, they have 12 of 21 scoring drives of 55 yards or more and 14 that went at least six plays.

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 30-4 (.882) mark in six-plus seasons of play.

When Its Natural: Coastal Carolina has played 61 of its 75 games in its history on natural grass. The Chanticleers are 44-17 (.721) on natural grass, including 28-10 (.737) at home. Coastal Carolina has gone just 4-10 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 three games on the artificial surface in 2009, losing at Kent State, Towson and Liberty.

Winning at Halftime: The Chanticleers are impressive when leading at the half with a 36-7 (.837) mark. Coastal Carolina is 19-3 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-plus seasons of play. Overall, Coastal Carolina has a 20-16 road mark. Last year, Coastal Carolina was an impressive 4-2 on the road but is still looking for its first road victory in 2009.

Offensive Struggles: The Chants have had their struggles on the offensive side of the ball in 2009, both in yards and scoring. The Chanticleers are scoring just 16.0 points per game and averaging 309.7 yards of total offense. In the last two contests, Coastal has a combined 26 points and just 352 yards of offense. The group also has not posted more than 28 points in a single game this year, with four of the seven with 17 or less.

Whitley A Target On the Wide Side: Redshirt sophomore Brandon Whitley has shown the maturity of being in his third year with the program. Whitley had five catches for a career-high 94 yards in the win over VMI, Oct. 10.  Averaging 15.6 yards per reception, Whitley currently ranks ninth in the Big South in receiving yards at 44.7 per game.

Norman "Picking" Up the Family Tradition: Sophomore cornerback Josh Norman is proving that the history of interceptions follows through his family. Norman currently leads the Chanticleers with three interceptions on the season, leading the Big South. His three interceptions already ties for the seventh-best single-season mark in the program's brief history. Currently, Norman has five career picks, which ties for fifth all-time at Coastal and he is tracking older brother Marrio Norman (2004, 2006-08), who ranks second all-time for the Chants with 11 interceptions.

Steward Making the Stops: Linebacker Desmond Steward had a standout game at Towson, Sept. 19.  The redshirt sophomore recorded a game-high 16 stops, including six solos and a 0.5 tackle for loss. The 16 tackles are the second-highest total for a game in Coastal Carolina history and the top individual performance in the Big South Conference this season. Currently, Steward leads the Chanticleers and is 15th in the league at 5.7 tackles per contest, including 12 solos.

Wesley Gets His First Grab... And It Was For Six: Redshirt-freshman Akeem Wesley made his first collegiate grab at Liberty, Oct. 17, and made it count, as it was for Coastal Carolina's lone touchdown in the contest. He became the second Chanticleer to make his first collegiate catch a touchdown, match teammate Chris Presley, who did it earlier this season.

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.
 He then followed it up with six catches for 88 yards and a score at Towson. He is currently the Chants' third-leading receiver at 11 catches for 192 yards and one touchdown.

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.

Big South Conference Openers:  In its brief six-plus year history in the Big South, Coastal Carolina is 5-2 in league openers.  Of those, four of them have occurred at Brooks Stadium, with the Chanticleers sporting just a 2-2 mark. The Chants had dropped their first league game to Gardner-Webb at home during the 2003 season, won the next four and then lost last year's league starter to then No. 20 Liberty, 43-38. However, Coastal and VMI have met four times on opening day for the Chants, with Coastal Carolina taking all four meetings, including this season's 20-6 win at Brooks Stadium.

Trio Earns Big South Honors For Play In Win over VMI: Quarterback Zach MacDowall has been named the Big South football Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week, and teammate Derrick Frasier has been named the Defensive Player of the Week for games played during Week 6 of the 2009 regular-season.  In addition, Coastal Carolina kicker Justin Durham is the Special Teams Player of the Week.

 MacDowall was solid in the Chanticleers' 20-6 win over VMI, going 14-for-20  for 207 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions, plus four rushes of four yards or more.  On Coastal's opening drive, MacDowall scrambled around and eventually found wide receiver Adrian Sullivan for a 41-yard strike that gave the Chants the lead for good.  MacDowall also led the offense to conversions on 8-of-13 third-down opportunities on the night, keeping the ball out of VMI's hands in the final three quarters with a 26:43 to 18:17 advantage, more than eight minutes difference.  Seven of the third-down conversions were directly attributable to MacDowall, with six through the air, including four of longer than nine yards needed (two of more than 18 yards needed), including five of 14 or more yards gained, and one on the ground.

Frasier, a junior, was a key cog on the defense for the Chanticleers in shutting down the Keydets' offense, recording seven tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery in the victory.  He ended the Keydets' opening drive of the second half by tipping a pass over the middle and then coming down with it for an interception at Coastal's 21.  Frasier's fumble recovery came late in the fourth quarter and helped seal the victory.  His effort was a part of the defense that kept VMI off the scoreboard after the opening drive and limited the Keydets to just 168 rushing yards overall -- more than 40 yards below its season average entering the game.  Coastal held VMI to just 2-of-14 on third down following VMI's opening scoring drive.

 Durham, a redshirt-junior, was perfect for the Chanticleers Saturday in the win over VMI, hitting both extra points and a pair of field goals of 33 and 37 yards.  The 33-yarder added to the Chanticleers' lead, as it was on the opening drive of the second half, while the 37-yarder in the fourth quarter pushed Coastal's margin to seven points.  Durham has now hit his last six field goal attempts in a row, a school record.

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 111-44 (.716) as a head coach.

Doing It on Both Sides of the Ball: Coastal Carolina rushed for 207 yards and passed for 203 in defeating Monmouth, 24-17, Sept. 12.  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.

Brown Earns League's Weekly Defensive Honor: Linebacker E.J. Brown was named the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week for games played during Week 4 of the 2009 regular season.
 Brown recorded a career-best five tackles in Coastal Carolina's 28-7 win over North Carolina A&T, including a pair of solo stops, a half-sack for minus-9 yards and his first career interception.  Brown's 29-yard interception return in the second quarter set up the Chanticleers' second score of the contest, one of two plays he made that ended A&T drives.

Making 300 A Yearly Ritual: Coastal Carolina rushed for 304 yards vs. North Carolina A&T Sept. 26, its first game over 300 rushing yards since gaining 302 against Towson last season.  The Chanticleers have gained 300 yards on the ground 13 times in their history, tied with VMI for the most in Big South history, and are 13-0 in those games.  Coastal Carolina has posted at least one 300-yard rushing game in every season since its inception in 2003.

O'Neal Busting Out: Junior running back Eric O'Neal rushed for a career-high 130 yards against North Carolina A&T Sept. 26. It was his second career 100-yard rushing game, and the most yards rushing by a Chanticleer since current San Diego Charger Mike Tolbert rushed for 244 yards against VMI on Oct. 27, 2007. His 23 carries tied the most by a Coastal Carolina rusher in Brooks Stadium, while his 130 rushing yards was the ninth-best single-game performance in school history.

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.

This Week's Injury Report: Out for the season are Myron Rogers (knee), Matt Johnson (arm), Raymond Emmerling (knee), Josh Thomason (shoulder), Alex Wolfe (shoulder) and Robert Morris (knee).

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 six 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.

 This season, Coastal has averaged a capacity of 94.19 percent for its first three games, placing it 14th in the nation in attendance based on capacity. This includes a sellout Sept. 26 when the Chants hosted North Carolina A&T.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 with 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.

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 web site, or Mark Simpson ( for the dial-in phone number and THIS CALL IS OPEN TO MEDIA ONLY. If you would like information to tune in live and ask questions, please contact either John Martin (

Brooks Stadium Openers Are Good:  Coastal Carolina has had some great, and dramatic, wins in its home openers in the first seven 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.

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 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.




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