COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. BULLDOGS
Gardner-Webb's Spangler Stadium (9,000) -- Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Saturday, November 8, 2008 -- 3:30 p.m.
The Last Three Weeks of the Year: Coming off the open date, the Coastal Carolina football squad will play its final three games of the season, starting with this afternoon's contest at Gardner-Webb. The Chanticleers last played on Oct. 25, dropping a tough 28-24 game against Stony Brook, while the Bulldogs just got a thrilling 34-33 win at Stony Brook last Saturday.
The Coaches: Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett (Presbyterian, ‘84) is in his sixth season at Coastal Carolina with a 43-22 record and 106-39 overall in his 13th year as a head coach. Prior to Coastal 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.
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Steve Patton (Furman, ’77) is in his 12th season as head coach of the Bulldogs with a 77-51 record and in his 16th as the top man overall, posting a 107-75-1 mark.
History with Gardner-Webb:Today’s contest is the sixth meeting between the two Big South Conference rivals, with Coastal Carolina holding a 4-1 advantage. The Chanticleers have won the last four games between the two programs, including both games at Spangler Stadium. In 2004, the Chants got a 31-19 win over the then defending league champion Bulldogs en route to their first Big South crown. Then in 2006, Coastal Carolina dominated the contest from the start in getting a 52-24 win as part of its third straight conference title. Last year was a barnburner, with the Chants getting a slim 17-14 win.
A Rough League Start: For just the second time in their six years of play, the Chanticleers will post a below .500 record in the Big South Conference. The only other time Coastal Carolina was 0-3 in the league to start the season was its inaugural season. That year, the Chants got their first league win on the road in the season finale at Charleston Southern to finish 1-3 in the Big South.
When Its Natural: Coastal Carolina has played 54 of its 65 games in its history on natural grass. The Chanticleers are 39-20 (.661) on natural grass, but just 14-11 (.560) on the road, while going just 4-6 on the fake stuff. This year, the Chants are playing 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: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 five-plus seasons of play.
The Magic Number is 200: The magic answer to the question for Coastal Carolina is 200, as the Chanticleers are now 29-4 (.879) 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.
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.
Winning at Halftime: The Chanticleers are impressive when leading at the half with a 31-7 (.816) mark. Coastal Carolina is now 17-2 at home when taking a lead into the intermission, while posting a 14-4 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, last season's losses at Furman and in overtime to Presbyterian and three times this year (home opener to Colgate, at VMI and versus Stony Brook).
Friendly Confines Describes Brooks Stadium:In the brief history of the program, the Chanticleers are 25-9 (.735) in the friendly confines of Brooks Stadium. Coastal Carolina is playing six home games again this year and has won 23 of its last 29 games at Brooks Stadium/Benton Field. The Chants have also won eight of their last 10 Big South games at home, dating back to the 2003 season.
The Streak Continues: In its brief history of 65 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.
Last Time Out For the Chanticleers: Four fumbles by the Coastal Carolina University football team helped Stony Brook steal a 28-24 victory at the Chanticleers’ Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 25 at Brooks Stadium.
Overcoming a fumble converted into a touchdown to start the game, the Chanticleers battled back to take a 13-7 halftime advantage. The two teams went back and forth, exchanging touchdowns to a 21-21 tie late in the third. Coastal Carolina took a 24-21 lead on James Pallassino's field goal early in the fourth but Stony Brook went ahead the final time on Dayne Hoffman tossed a 61-yard pass to a wide open Dwayne Eley, his third touchdown reception of the game.
Coastal Carolina made a final attempt up the field in the last three minutes of the game, driving down to the 35. On a 3rd-and-10, Zach MacDowall completed a pass to running back Arthur Sitton. However striving for extra yardage, Sitton fumbled the ball and the Seawolves recovered on their own 25-yard line to secure the game with 1:11 remaining.
Coastal Carolina outgained Stony Brook, 505-376 and held a slight possession in time of advantage, holding the ball almost 32 minutes. Beyond the four turnovers, Coastal Carolina was also stopped on both its fourth-down conversion attempts.
MacDowall had a strong outing, going 22-for-35 for 306 yards in the air and two touchdowns, while adding 80 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Jamie Fordham led the Chants with 81 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Sitton was the top receiver with five receptions for 42 yards. (Complete recap on Page 20.)
Last Time Against the Bulldogs: Coastal Carolina's football team battled from behind most of the game but pulled out a 17-14 Big South Conference victory over Gardner-Webb on Senior Night at Brooks Stadium, Nov. 10, 2007.
Trailing 14-3 with 10:43 to play in the third quarter, the Chanticleers found the end zone late in the third quarter, as senior wide receiver Jerome Simpson reeled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback William Richardson. This capped an eight-play, 74-yard drive in just three minutes that trimmed the GWU lead to 14-10 with 4:34 remaining in the third.
The Chants were back in business after a high snap nearly got away from GWU punter Michael Hanna, but he was unable to get away from converted defensive back Santini Washington, giving the Chanticleers the ball at the Bulldogs' 17. The pair of Simpson and Richardson hooked up again for the eventual game winner, this time a leaping Simpson catch from six yards out to put Coastal Carolina up 17-14 with 7:43 remaining.
Gardner-Webb had one last chance after driving the ball on its ensuing possession to Coastal's 27-yard line with just under three minutes remaining. On fourth down, kicker Evan Kay attempted a 45-yard field goal but it was wide left. Coastal Carolina managed to post two first downs and run the clock out for the win.
Coastal Carolina had slightly more yards than Gardner-Webb 305-290, though time of possession was exactly even at 30 minutes each. There were just five penalties in the game, all against the visitors for just 35 yards. Coastal Carolina managed 197 yards on the ground, as compared to just 128 for GWU.
The Chants were led by fullback Mike Tolbert with 16 carries for 100 yards, while Simpson finished with five carries for 91 yards and the two touchdowns. Richardson was 8-for-14 for 108 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Washington, who converted to cornerback during the past week of practice, had four tackles, including one for loss and his first career interception in the game.
David Montgomery led the visiting Dogs with 18 carries for 72 yards and one score, while Dobson Collins finished with six receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Stan Doolittle was 15-for-24 for 162 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the contest. (Complete recap on Page 18.)
Last Meeting In Spangler Stadium: No. 14 Coastal Carolina scored on four straight possessions in the first half and pulled away for a 52-24 Big South Conference win at Gardner-Webb, Nov. 11. The Chanticleers secured at least a share of their third consecutive Big South championship, the first school in league history to accomplish that feat.
After an early GWU touchdown, the Chants, on the strength of three Aundres Perkins' rushing touchdowns, built a 28-7 halftime lead on 363 yards of total offense. Gardner-Webb tried an onside kick to open the second half, but Coastal Carolina came with the ball and great field possession on the GWU 45. Coastal Carolina's Josh Hoke split the uprights from 24 yards out to make it 31-7 Chanticleers with 12:31 remaining in the third and followed by a Tyler Thigpen to Jerome Simpson 61-yard touchdown pass to take a commanding 38-7 lead en route to the victory.
The Chanticleers set a Big South Conference matchup record with 638 yards of total offense, including 332 on the ground and 306 through the air. Coastal Carolina's defense got into the act, tying a school record with five interceptions on the day.
Thigpen set a Big South record with his seventh 300-yard total offense game of the year, finishing with a school-record 425 yards of total offense, including a career-best 119 on the ground. He also was 22-for-27 for 306 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Running back Jamie Fordham had a season-high 84 yards on eight carries, while Mike Tolbert and Perkins had 77 yards and three scores and 46 yards and two touchdowns, respectively. Defensive lineman Sam Harper had a season-high eight tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. (Complete recap on Page 19.)
A Good Road Squad: The Chants have proven to be a good road squad in their first five seasons of play. Overall, Coastal Carolina has a 18-13 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. This year, Coastal Carolina is 2-2 on the road with two road contests remaining.
Seeing the Daylight: The Chanticleers are 19-11 in day games in their six-year history, but just 1-3 this season in games starting during the daylight. Coastal Carolina has won just more than half of their day games on the road, going 10-9 in those contests, including 1-2 in 2008.
Record After a Loss: Coastal Carolina has lost just 22 times in its history. Coming off the 19 previous in-season losses (not including two season-ending losses), the Chanticleers have gone 14-5 in the games following those losses and only had one three-game losing streak in its brief history.
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 that was played Oct. 4 and the upcoming road contest at Gardner-Webb Nov. 8 are slated for the tube. The game with the Bulldogs has been moved to 3:30 p.m. to accommodate television and will be tape delayed on SportSouth at 7 p.m. In its five-plus year history, Coastal Carolina is a solid 13-7 in television appearances all-time, but just 5-5 on the road.
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 two of last four games, earning victories in both instances. 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. However, Coastal Carolina failed to reach the 200-yard benchmark in the losses to Liberty and VMI, but got back on track with 215 rushing yards in the win against North Carolina Central, Oct. 18. In the program’s history, the Chants are now 29-4 when posting at least 200 rushing yards.
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 38 scoring drives, 24 of them have been 60 yards or more, while 23 of them were seven plays or longer. The most plays in a drive was 17 against Liberty, Oct. 4, with the longest drive also occurring against the Flames, a 91-yard march in the fourth quarter.
Sitton Posts A Career-Best Night To Help The Effort: Senior running back Arthur Sitton posted the best game of his Coastal Carolina career in the win over North Carolina Central, Oct. 18. In the victory, the four-year letterwinner had just six carries to post his first career 100-yard rushing game, going for exactly 100 yards and a touchdown. His 42-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, the second longest of his career, sealed the win for the Chanticleers. He currently leads the Chants with 392 rushing yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
Steward Makes His First Career Start A Memorable One: Redshirt freshman linebacker Desmond Steward had his first career start in the win over North Carolina Central, Oct. 18, and made the most of it. Steward recorded a game-high 11 tackles in the win and now has 25 on the year.
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 38.2 yards per punt on the season, which is second the Big South Conference and is almost three yards a punt better than during his freshman campaign. Of his 33 punts, nine have finished inside the 20.
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 27 catches for 410 yards and three touchdowns 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.
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 1,308 yards. He currently ranks 16th in Big South annals, just 66 yards behind Sam Gado of Liberty in 15th.
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 currently has 61 carries for 381 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
MacDowall Sets New Standards: Quarterback Zach MacDowall put his name in the Coastal Carolina record books with his performance against Liberty, Oct. 4. 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 currently ranks third in the Big South (37th in the nation) in passing efficiency with a 139.3 rating and is second in the league at 195.5 passing yards per game.
Game Lengths Shorter In Time Only: In comparison from the 2007 timing rules to this year, the biggest difference has been that Coastal Carolina's games have been shorter in duration, but not fewer in plays. In non-televised games in 2007, the average length was just under three hours at 2:57 with the two teams combining for 132.7 plays on average. This season, the length has dropped to 2:35 with just a reduction to 131.2 plays a contest. The major changes in timing first occurred during the 2006 season and the game times decreased to 2:44 a contest. The number of plays also shrunk from the 2005 season by more than 11 snaps a contest, on average, though some of the difference for the Chants can be attributed to playing six overtimes during the 2005 slate.
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 106-39 (.731) as a head coach.
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 77-27 (74.1 percent) in his last 104 games as a head coach.
This Week's Injury Report: On this week's injury report for the game against Gardner-Webb, Trent Usher is probable, while Dexter Holman, Chase Howe, Ronnie Mason and Vince Starr are questionable. Marrio Norman, Whittmin Reese and Alex Wolfe are out for the game. Dominique Davenport (right elbow), Tommy Fraser (right hamstring), (Myron Rogers (left knee) and Dominique Whiteside (left foot) are out for the year.
Willis Breaks Out On The Wide Side: Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Marquel Willis had a break out game against defending Big South champion Liberty, Oct. 4. In the game, Willis had career-highs of seven catches, 145 yards and two touchdowns against the Flames. The 145 yards ties for the fourth-best single game in school history, while his seven receptions ties for fifth on the single-game chart. It was also the 15th time that a Chanticleer has posted two touchdown receptions in a game.
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 and has started the last two games for the Chiefs with a better than 100 passing rating. 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 seven of his first nine professional games so far.
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.
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.
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 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.
Against Ranked Opponents: Coastal Carolina is 3-4 against FCS ranked opponents in its brief history, but 2-1 at Brooks Stadium. In 2005, the Chanticleers burst on the national scene when they upset No. 1 and defending national champion James Madison, 31-27. The Chants then followed it up with a dramatic 24-23 win at No. 24 South Carolina State the same season. In 2006, Coastal Carolina took on two more ranked squads, losing at No. 24 Georgia Southern, 38-21, before returning home to knock off No. 3 Furman, 29-27, with the difference a blocked point after attempt returned for two points. Then in the 2006 Playoffs, the Chants fell at No. 1 and eventual national champion Appalachian State, 45-28. In 2007, Coastal Carolina was handled 45-10 by No. 8 James Madison, while the most recent was a 43-38 loss to No. 20 Liberty Oct. 4.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 web site, 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. This year, the Chants currently are currently 18th at 95.05% in the first four games.
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.
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.