(16) CCU football begins Sun Belt Conference play with ULM on Saturday

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CONWAY, S.C. – The No. 16 nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina football team will kick off its 2021 Sun Belt Conference season this Saturday afternoon, as the Chanticleers (4-0) will host the ULM Warhawks (2-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) at 2:30 p.m. ET inside Brooks Stadium. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Fans are encouraged to show up early, be loud, be proud, and be respectful.

NATIONALLY RANKED CHANTICLEERS

• The Chanticleers were ranked in both top 25 national preseason polls to start the season for the first time in program history.

• The Chants were ranked in the Week 4 polls this week, which marks 16-straight polls (weeks) that the men in teal have been ranked since breaking into the polls in October 2020.

Coastal in the Rankings in 2021

Date                AP            Coaches                         CFP

Preseason       22                         24                          N/A

Sept. 7            17                         19                          N/A

Sept. 12          16                         18                          N/A

Sept. 19          17                         17                          N/A

Sept. 26          16                         16                          N/A

• Coastal was ranked in the top-25 in both polls for 11-straight weeks last season.

2020 SUN BELT EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS

• Last season, Coastal Carolina won the program’s first-ever Sun Belt East Division Championship with a 49-14 conference road win at Texas State (Nov. 28).

• The Chanticleers won the Sun Belt East Division title in only the program’s fourth year as a full-time Sun Belt Conference and FBS member.

• Coastal’s Sun Belt Conference championship title defense starts this Saturday in the Chants’ conference opener versus ULM (Oct. 2).

ELITE COMPANY

• Since the start of the 2020 season, the Chanticleers have put themselves in an elite company going 15-1 overall entering this week of play.

Record Since the Start of the 2020 Season

RANK    TEAM                                    RECORD      

1.            Alabama                                    16-0          

2.            Coastal Carolina                     15-1          

3.            BYU *                                         14-1          

*BYU’s loss came to Coastal Carolina

SUN BELT CONFERENCE OPENERS

• Since joining the Sun Belt Conference as a full-time member in 2017, the Chanticleers have gone 2-2 in conference opening contests.

• ULM will serve as the Chanticleers’ opponent in their Sun Belt Conference opener for the second time, as CCU traveled to Monroe, La. for their first-ever Sun Belt Conference game in 2017.

DATE              OPPONENT                           RESULT        

9/30/17            at ULM                                    L, 43-51          

9/22/18            at Louisiana                             W, 30-28        

9/28/19            at Appalachian State             L, 37-56          

10/3/20            Arkansas State                       W, 52-23        

SUN BELT STREAK

• The Chanticleers enter Sun Belt Conference play this week versus ULM (Oct. 2) riding a nine-game winning streak in conference play.

• The Chanticleers won their final conference game in 2019 and went a perfect 8-0 in SBC play last season on their way to the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Championship title.

DATE              OPPONENT               RESULT        

11/30/19          Texas State                W, 24-21        

10/3/20            Arkansas State           W, 52-23        

10/14/20          at #21 Louisiana         W, 30-27        

10/24/20          Georgia Southern       W, 28-14        

10/31/20          at Georgia State         W, 51-0          

11/7/20            South Alabama           W, 23-6          

11/21/20          Appalachian State     W, 34-23        

11/28/20          at Texas State            W, 49-14        

12/12/20          at Troy                        W, 42-38        

SERIES VERSUS ULM

• The Chanticleers are 0-3 all-time versus ULM with the two teams last meeting up in 2019.

• ULM is the only Sun Belt team that the Chanticleers have not beaten since moving up to the FBS and Sun Belt level.

DATE              OPPONENT               RESULT        

9/30/17            at ULM                        L, 43-51          

10/13/18          at Coastal Carolina    L, 20-45          

11/23/19          at ULM                        L, 42-45          

SCOUTING THE ULM WARHAWKS

• Under veteran head coach Terry Bowden, ULM is 2-1 this season and enters play on Saturday having won each of its last two games, including a 29-16 win at home over Troy in SBC play last week (Sept. 25).

• Coach Bowden has brought new life to a ULM program that went 0-10 in 2020 and had lost 11-straight games prior to the start of the 2021 season.

• However, the Warhawks have done it with solid defense and special teams, as the offense is scoring just 17.0 points per game and averaging just 209.0 yards of total offense per contest this season, which ranks last in all of FBS.

• With starting quarterback Rhett Rodriguez more than likely out for this week’s contest due to a severe chest injury suffered in the win over Troy (Sept. 25), the Warhawks will rely on either Colby Suits or Chandler Rogers at quarterback. Combined this year, the duo is 4-for-10 for 57 yards passing and has rushed 28 times for 50 yards on the season.

• The rushing game runs through Andrew Henry who has 169 of the Warhawks’ 233 rushing yards on the season, highlighted by 108 yards and a touchdown last week versus Troy (Sept. 25).

• Boogie Knight leads a talented receiving corps. with a team-high 12 catches and 136 yards, but has yet to find the end zone this year.

• The defense is led upfront, as ULM has allowed just 76.0 rushing yards per game this season and only two rushing touchdowns all year long.

• The duo of Adam Sparks and Traveion Webster leads the defense with 22 and 21 tackles, respectively, as ULM also gets after the quarterback with 10.0 sacks on the season.

HOME WINNING STREAK

• Coastal will head into Saturday’s home contest versus ULM (Oct. 2) on a 10-game home winning streak.

Winning Streak at Home

11/30/19          Texas State                W, 24-21        

9/18/20            Campbell                     W, 43-21        

10/3/20            Arkansas State           W, 52-23        

10/24/20          Georgia Southern       W, 28-14        

11/7/20            South Alabama           W, 23-6          

11/21/20          Appalachian State     W, 34-23        

12/5/20            #8 BYU                       W, 22-17        

9/2/21              The Citadel                 W, 52-14        

9/10/21            Kansas                        W, 49-22        

9/25/21            UMass                         W, 53-3          

YARDS PER PLAY IN 2021

• Coastal’s offense this season is averaging 8.4 yards per play, which is among the nation’s leaders and is the highest average in CCU single-season history.

Highest Avg. Yards Gained/Per Play in NCAA

RK   TEAM                         AVG. YARDS

1.     Ohio State                               8.60     

2.     Coastal Carolina                   8.40     

3.     Western Kentucky                  8.27     

4.     Ole Miss                                  7.65     

5.     Texas Tech                             7.59     

• On the flip side this week, CCU’s opponent in ULM ranks dead last at 130th in all of FBS football in average yards per play at 3.15 on the season.

PUT IT ON THE BOARD

• Coastal’s offense averaged 37.2 points per game last season, which led the Sun Belt and ranked 18th nationally.

• The Chants scored 30 or more points in nine of their 12 games last season.

• Thus far this season in 2021, the Chants have scored 52, 49, 28, and 53 points, respectively, and rank first in the Sun Belt and fifth nationally in scoring at 45.5 points per game.

50 BURGERS

• Coastal has put up 50-plus points five times since head coach Jamey Chadwell took over the reins prior to the 2019 season.

50-Plus Point Games

Date                Game              Points Scored

9/21/19            at UMass                    62       

10/3/20            Arkansas State           52       

10/31/20          at Georgia State         51       

9/2/21              The Citadel                 52       

9/25/21            UMass                         53       

NO-FLY ZONE

• CCU is first in the Sun Belt and sixth nationally in passing yards allowed this season at 130.8 yards per game.

Fewest Avg. Passing Yards Allowed in 2021

Rank   Team                          Avg.   

1.         Arizona State              93.3    

2.         Temple                        107.8  

3.         Georgia                       115.8  

4.         Houston                       116.0  

5.         Texas A&M                119.5  

6.         Coastal Carolina      132.0  

7.         FAU                             137.2  

8.         Arkansas                     144.2  

9.         Miami (Ohio)               146.2  

10.       Troy                             146.8  

• This season, the Chanticleers have not allowed a single passing touchdown over the first four games of the season, one of only two teams in all of FBS to not allow a passing TD.

Fewest TD Passes Allowed in 2021

Rank   Team                          Passing TDs Allowed         

1.         Coastal Carolina                  0                                 

            Arizona State                          0                                 

STOUT AGAINST THE RUN

• Over the last two years under defensive coordinator Chad Staggs, the Chanticleers have held teams under 100 rushing yards eight times, including three times in 2019.

Games with less than 100-yards rushing

Date                Opponent                   Yards 

9/14/19            Norfolk State              42       

11/16/19          at Arkansas State      71       

11/30/19          Texas State                36       

10/3/20            Arkansas State           36       

10/31/20          at Georgia State         76       

11/7/20            South Alabama           93       

12/12/20          at Troy                        89       

9/25/20            UMass                         28       

• This held true last week versus UMass (Sept. 25), as the Chants’ defense held the Minutemen to just 28 rushing yards on 24 carries, an average of just 1.2 yards per rush.

• The 28 rushing yards allowed is not only the fewest allowed by the Coastal defense this season but also the fourth-fewest rushing yards surrendered in a single game in program history and the fewest allowed in a game since becoming a full-time FBS member in 2017.

Fewest Rushing Yards Allowed in a Game

Date                Opponent       Yards 

11/17/16          Liberty             -23      

10/13/07          Chowan           8         

10/20/12          at VMI             16       

9/25/21            UMass            28       

11/8/03            at Davidson     31       

TWO IS GOOD, BUT THREE IS BETTER

• The Chants’ special teams have blocked not one, not two, but three kicks this season.

• Jeffrey Gunter blocked a field goal attempt in the first quarter versus Kansas (Sept. 10), while Alex Spillum blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown in the end zone in the second quarter versus the Jayhawks.

• Redshirt freshman Mason Shelton blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the first quarter of the win versus UMass (Sept. 25).

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Football

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