Nov. 11, 2009
Returning to Brooks Stadium: The Coastal Carolina University football squad will wrap up the home portion of its 2009 schedule today by hosting Presbyterian. The Chanticleers will honor their 2009 seniors prior to today's game.
The Coaches: Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett (Presbyterian, `84) is in his seventh season at Coastal Carolina with a 49-28 record and 112-45 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.
Presbyterian Head Coach Harold Nichols (Presbyterian, '89) is in his first season as head coach of the Blue Hose and overall, with an 0-9 record.
History With Presbyterian: Today's contest is the third meeting between the Chanticleers and the Blue Hose. The two teams have split the previous meetings, with each victory coming on the road. This will also be the first time that the game with the Blue Hose will count in the Big South Conference standings.
Date Game/Location Result
* 10/20/2007 at Coastal L, 34-41
* 11/15/2008 at Presbyterian W, 21-13
Shooting for The Perfect Home Season: Coastal Carolina will be trying to win its fifth and final home game of the year today against Presbyterian and finish off a perfect home slate. That has happened two other times in history, with the Chants achieving the feat in 2004 (7-0) and 2005 (5-0). Lifetime, Coastal is 29-10 (.744) in the friendly confines of Brooks Stadium.
Last Time Before the New Look: Today will be the last time the Chanticleers play in front of the current seating arrangement. When the 2010 season opens, Adkins Fieldhouse will be the new home of the football program and the athletic administration. In addition, the estimated 1,600 seats will raise the new seating capacity of Brooks Stadium to almost 9,000 spectators, almost 2,600 more than the original capacity of 6,408 in 2003.
Norman "Picking" Apart the Record Book: Sophomore cornerback Josh Norman has made a name for himself in the Big South Conference and nationally for his ability to pick off opposing quarterbacks. Norman tied a league record with three interceptions in the home win over Gardner-Webb, Nov. 7, earning him The Sports Network National, College Sporting News National and Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. The three picks increased his interception total to seven on the year, setting a new league record for a single season. It also moved his career total to nine, ranking him fourth on Coastal's career chart.
Norman's first interception ended a Gardner-Webb scoring threat deep in Coastal territory and set up the first Chant touchdown of the second half, putting them ahead 17-14. The second ended GWU's next to last scoring drive on its first play, with the final one sealing the Coastal victory as Norman picked it off in the end zone with less than 30 seconds to play.
Scoring on the First Drive: Coastal scored a touchdown on its first possession of the Gardner-Webb victory, just the second time that has happened this season, with the other sparking the home win over VMI. However, this was the first time Coastal has had the ball first and scored a touchdown to grab the first lead. In fact, it is the first time it has happened since the Chants played and defeated North Carolina Central Oct. 18, 2008.
Airing It Out: In last week's home win over Gardner-Webb, the Chants got effective play through the air. Coastal quarterback Zach MacDowall was 25-for-42 in the contest, with the 25 completions the most for a game in school history, the 322 passing yards ranking third and the 42 attempts were fourth most. That success was also shown in the third-down conversion stats, as Coastal Carolina was 12-of-18 in those situations against the Bulldogs.
In addition, the 30 first downs and 473 yards of total offense were both season bests for the Chants.
Friendly Confines Describes Brooks Stadium: In the brief history of the program, the Chanticleers are 29-10 (.744) in the friendly confines of Brooks Stadium. Coastal Carolina is playing five home games again this year and has posted victories in the four played so far. In Big South action all-time, Coastal is 10-5 at home.
Record After a Loss: Coastal Carolina has lost just 28 times in its history. Coming off the 25 in-season losses entering this game (not including three season-ending losses), the Chanticleers have gone 18-7 in the games following those losses and only had two three-game losing streaks in its brief history, including the recently-snapped three-game skid.
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 17 of 27 scoring drives of 55 yards or more and 20 that went at least six plays.
Defense Stepping Up: Coastal Carolina led the Big South in pass defense efficiency from 2004-07 and is near the top in the League in the category again this season. The Chanticleers have a pass defense efficiency rating of 111.94, which is currently the best in the Big South. Coastal is tied for the league lead with 17 interceptions, and has allowed just 11 touchdown passes this year.
In the national rankings, Coastal is in the top 40 in four categories. This week, the Chants are sixth in pass defense at 144.56 yards per game, 26th in passing efficiency defense with a 111.94 rating, 36th in total defense at 309.78 yards per game and tied for 39th in sacks at 2.11 per contest.
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 and Big South and ranks second in the nation with seven interceptions on the season. His seven interceptions already has set a new Big South Conference single-season mark as well as a new school record in the program's brief history. Currently, Norman has nine career picks, which ranks fourth 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.
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 31-4 (.886) mark in six-plus seasons of play.
When Its Natural: Coastal Carolina has played 63 of its 77 games in its history on natural grass. The Chanticleers are 45-18 (.714) on natural grass, including 29-10 (.744) 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 were four games on artificial surfaces, with Kent State, Towson, Liberty and Stony Brook all playing on FieldTurf, with the Chants having lost all four.
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.
All-Time Versus the Big South: Coastal Carolina has had solid success in its six-plus seasons against Big South opponents. Overall, the Chants are 18-12 against the league in history, including going 10-5 in Brooks Stadium. Coastal will play two of its final three Big South games of the 2009 season at home.
Overall Home Road
Big South 18-12 10-5 8-7
Charleston Southern 4-2 2-1 2-1
Gardner-Webb 6-1 3-1 3-0
Liberty 3-4 2-1 1-3
Stony Brook 0-2 0-1 0-2
VMI 5-2 3-1 2-1
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 77 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.
Fraser Getting the Job Done: Fullback Tommy Fraser was instrumental in the win over Monmouth, Sept. 12. Fraser had then-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.
In his most recent outing, Fraser had a career-high 112 yards of total offense (his first career 100+ total offense game) in helping lead the Chanticleers to the come-from-behind home win over Gardner-Webb. Fraser had a career-high 23 rushes for 90 yards and one touchdown, while adding one reception for 22 yards. His lone touchdown of the game was the game-winner, as he burst through the line from four yards out with just over four minutes to play, capping off a 12-play scoring drive. Fraser leads the Chanticleers and ranks 10th in the league in rushing at 48.3 yards per game.
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 1,107 yards on his career. For the year, he has 377 rushing yards, averaging 4.2 yards a carry and 47.1 yards a game.
Daytime Can Be a Fun Time: Out of 77 games in its history, Coastal Carolina has played 37 in the night time hours. The Chanticleers are 23-15 in day tilts, including going an even more impressive 10-3 at home. Coastal's final three games of the season will be during the day.
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.
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 second-best individual performance in the Big South Conference this season. Currently, Steward leads the Chanticleers and is tied for 13th in the league at 6.0 tackles per contest, including 21 solos.
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 15 catches for 226 yards and one touchdown.
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 14.3 yards per reception, Whitley currently ranks fifth in the Big South in yards per catch.
Wesley Shows His Efficiency In Making Catches Count: 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. He then surpassed that standard with his second collegiate reception, also a touchdown, when he hauled in a dramatic 25-yard scoring grab on the opening drive of the win over Gardner-Webb, Nov. 7.
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 (257), passing yards (3,368), passing touchdowns (22), total offense (3,666) and pass attempts (432).
Junior kicker Justin Durham moved up to fourth in all-time scoring with 165 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 172 and fifth with 109 career solo tackles.
Last Time Versus the Blue Hose: The Coastal Carolina University football team scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter and made them stand for a 21-13 victory at Presbyterian, Nov. 15.
After a scoreless first quarter, Presbyterian got on the scoreboard first, but the Chanticleers answered on their next three possessions, including one running and one passing touchdown by quarterback Zach MacDowall along with a rushing score by fullback Racheed Gause.
After PC cut the margin to eight at 21-13, the teams exchanged several possessions in the fourth quarter, with the Blue Hose having the ball and a late opportunity at their own 30 with 1:02 to play. However on the second play of the drive, Brandon Miley headed back to pass and scrambled, but was stripped by defensive lineman Ronnie Mason and linebacker D.J. Rice recovered the fumble to seal the victory for the Chants.
Coastal Carolina outgained PC, 374-328, including 246 yards on the ground by the Chanticleers. Turnovers were also a big part of the game, as the Chants forced three Blue Hose miscues while giving up none. Of those three, one ended a PC threat deep in Chanticleer territory and the second set up the third Chant touchdown in addition to the final one by Rice. The Chanticleers also posted five sacks in the contest while giving up just three.
Running back Jamie Fordham led the ground game with 91 yards on 19 carries, while Arthur Sitton had 69 yards on just eight carries to help the Chants' cause. MacDowall was 14-for-22 through the air for 128 yards and a score. Seven different Coastal Carolina receivers had receptions, with Marquel Willis and Jon Greene each with three receptions. (Complete recap on Page 20.)
Last Time Out For the Chanticleers: The Coastal Carolina University football team locked up in another classic battle with Big South Conference rival Gardner-Webb and came away with a thrilling 26-21 Homecoming victory over the visiting Bulldogs, Nov. 7. It was the Chanticleers fourth home win of the year and sixth straight win in the series.
The Chants trailed 21-20 with just over 12 minutes to play in the game when Gardner-Webb got possession but was forced to punt on a 3-and-out series. Coastal Carolina got the ball on its own 35 and started a time-eating drive down the field, using up 5:29 of the less than 10 minutes on the clock. The Chants punched the ball in the end zone on the 12th play, as fullback Tommy Fraser bulled his way in from four yards out to put Coastal up 26-21 with 4:17 to play. Coastal went for the two-point conversion to try and make it a seven-point game, but the ball went off the receivers' hands to leave the margin at five.
The teams traded possessions, including Norman's second interception of the game, before the Bulldogs got it back 2:59 remaining in the contest. GWU got down to the Coastal 23 and eventually faced 4th-and-15 at the Chants' 28. Doolittle attempted to hit Perry in the right corner of the end zone, but Norman recorded his Big South record-tying third interception to seal the Coastal victory.
Coastal controlled the field, outgaining GWU 473-239 and holding on to the ball more than 10 minutes more than the visitors. The 473 yards of offense was a season high for Coastal, including a season-best 332 yards of passing. The Chants were also 12-of-18 on third-down conversions while holding the Bulldogs to just 5-of-11.
Fraser led the Coastal ground game with a team season-high 23 carries for 90 yards and the game-winning touchdown while also having one catch for 22 yards. MacDowall was 25-for-42 for 322 yards, two touchdowns and one interception through the air. Brandon Whitley had a game high five receptions for 45 yards, while Whitener and Marquel Wills had four receptions each. Norman had three interceptions and a pass breakup on the day, while linebacker E.J. Brown had eight tackles, including six solos and two solo sacks for 20 yards of loss. (Complete recap on Page 21.)
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.
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.
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 20-17 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 with one opportunity remaining.
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 over 14 points per game and averaging 292.2 yards of total offense. In the last three contests prior to the Gardner-Webb game, Coastal had a combined 29 points and just 522 yards of offense. The group also has not posted more than 28 points in a single game this year, with five of the eight with 17 or less.
However, the offense came out firing in the win over Gardner-Webb, posting a season-high 473 yards of offense, including a season-best 322 yards of passing on a team-record 25 receptions.
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 was on the tube for the second time this season when played in New York for its first game at Stony Brook . The Chanticleers made their first televised appearance Oct. 17 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.
This Week's Injury Report: Out for the season are Myron Rogers (knee), Matt Johnson (arm), Raymond Emmerling (knee), Jamie Perkinson (shoulder), 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 90.44 percent for its first four games, placing it 17th in the nation in attendance based on capacity. This includes a sellout Sept. 26 when the Chants hosted North Carolina A&T.
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 112-45 (.713) 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.
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.
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, www.BigSouthSports.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Simpson (email@example.com) for the dial-in phone number and code.
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.
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.