Coastal Carolina is coming off an UNDEFEATED regular season. You read that right, they went 11-0 (8-0 Sun Belt) in 2020. But it was against the Sun Belt and other non-major conferences and they took an “L” against Liberty in the Cure Bowl.
Looking at the 2021 schedule, we can expect another run at an UNDEFEATED season. The Chanticleers have only one opponent even ranked in the top 100 (#95 Georgia State) on their 2021 schedule.
The WINS hold no weight and their strength of schedule will have them hoping for crap bowl again this year, with no real chance of holding on to their top 25 ranking.
Due to a lack of tough opponents, the Chanticleers found themselves in the top 25 in the nation on the offensive side of the ball. They averaged 37.2 ppg (#18 in the FBS), rushed for 218.3 ypg (#15 in the FBS), passed for 231.5 ypg (#60 in the FBS) and ranked #25 total offense in the FBS. Don’t let that fool you though, a one man football program could look good against the schedule.
Sophmore QB Grayson McCall will being returning at the QB1 position after shocking the Sun Belt East with the year he had in 2020. The Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year will take the Chanticleers’ triple-option threat offense to a new level in year two of being the play caller of this explosive offensive scheme.
McCall was 172 of 250 (68.8%) for 2,488 yards, 26 TDs and 3 INTs in 2020, as a RED SHIRT FRESHMAN. Then, lets sprinkle in 569 rushing yards (5.1 ypc) and seven rushing TDs and call it one hell of a season.
With CJ Marable gone to the draft, Reese White and Sherman Jones were left to pick up the rushing responsibilities for the Chanticleers in 2021. With running the ball being the strongest part of this offense, this backfield tandem and McCall have all of the pressure on their shoulders. We are looking at speed, power and finesse…but will it be enough?
WR Javion Heiligh is hoping to take advantage of his extra year of eligibility and beef up his draft stock value. If so, this will be one heck of a season for Heiligh and McCall for that matter. Heiligh had 65 catches for 998 yards and 10 TDs in 2020. Even if he simply duplicates that, it will do wonders to his value. TE Issiah Likely passed on the 2021 NFL Draft to help the Chanticleers continue this run they are having in the Sun Belt.
The offensive line will be fully intact and ready to protect McCall. RG Trey Carter, a first-team All-Sun Belt selection, will be looking to make his 49th consecutive start. LG Willie Lampkin will be back to protect McCall’s back and will have all three of them back in the talks of All-America notice.
The Chanticleers defense put up a solid performance in 2020. The Chanticleers were ranked 31st in the nation and only allowed opponents to score 20.2 ypg (#19 in the FBS). With 10 of 11 starters returning, this defense will only be better in 2021.
The Chanticleers defense had 77 tackles for a loss, 34 sacks, 46 hurries and 16 INTs in 2020.
NT Jerrod Clark and DT C.J. Brewer return to jam up the middle of the field, giving their first-team All-Sun Belt linebackers and cornerbacks the opportunity to do what they do best and shut down offenses. The transfer of freshman DE Emmanuel Johnson (Georgia Tech) is expected to be an instant impact to this frontline.
OLB Jeffrey Gunter (first-team All-Sun Belt honors), MLB Teddy Gallagher, WLB Silas Kelly and OLB Enock Makonzo will need to focus on containing and shutting down the run game. The Chanticleers were the 47th ranked defense against the run in the nation, this will NOT win a bowl game, no matter how little or pointless the bowl game.
The addition of transfer FS Tre Douglas III (Vanderbilt) to CB D’Jordan Strong (first-team All-Sun Belt honors) and that already solid secondary, will help the Chanticleers slow down the pass came (#32 in the nation).
The Chanticleers are looking real solid on improving over last year, YES…that means an UNDEFEATED season. A weak schedule, returning most of the team and sprinkle of some new redshirts and transfers…makes this just short of a guarantee.
The Chanticleers improved 2.6 yards per pass attempt (offensively) and cut 1.5 yards per pass attempt (defensively), giving them a 4.1 yard improvement in 2020, best in the nation. 2021…I only see that improving even more!!!