CONWAY, S.C. – In front of the largest crowd ever in Brooks Stadium history at 17,697 fans, the No. 17/19 nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina football team improved to 2-0 on the season and 3-0 all-time versus Kansas and the Big 12 Conference with a 49-22 home win over the Jayhawks on Friday night.
CCU used a 21-point run in both the first and second halves in the double-digit win.
The Chanticleers rolled up 460 yards of total offense, was 8-of-9 on third downs, and was a perfect 5-of-5 in touchdowns in the redzone, while the defense recorded 11.0 tackles-for-loss, 6.0 sacks, and blocked an extra-point and a punt in the double-digit win.
The 6.0 sacks were tied for the third-most all-time in CCU history and the most since the CCU defense tallied 6.0 in the road win at UMass in 2018, while the 11.0 tackles-for-loss was tied for the eighth-most in single-game history.
Freshman defensive end Josaiah Stewart set a new single-game record in sacks with 3.5 on the night and tied the CCU single-game record in tackles-for-loss with 3.5 in only his second collegiate game. He also finished with seven total tackles.
Redshirt senior Brayden Matts led the defense with a career-high nine total tackles and a pass breakup, while fellow veteran safety Alex Spillum finished with six tackles, two pass breakups, and a blocked punt for a touchdown.
The offense was led by a career night by running back Reese White, as the third-year back rushed for a career-high 102 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries. The 100-yard rushing game was the first of his collegiate career.
Senior wideout Jaivon Heiligh recorded his fourth-straight game with 100 receiving yards with six catches for 122 yards and a score, while redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall was 17-for-21 for 245 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Kansas was led offensively by quarterback Jason Bean, as the transfer was 12-for-23 for 189 yards in the passing game and ran for 102 yards on 13 carries and two scores on the ground.
Defensively, safety Kenny Logan Jr. led the way with eight tackles, while fellow Jayhawks Kyron Johnson and Ricky Thomas added seven stops each.
Overall, CCU held a 460 to 412 advantage in total yards, including 215 to 174 in rushing yards and 246 to 238 in passing yards.
The teams opened up the contest with scoring drives, as the Jayhawks drove 40 yards on eight plays until a four-yard sack by super senior linebacker Teddy Gallagher on a third-and-3 halted the KU drive and forced a 46-yard field goal by Jacob Borcila to put the visitors on top at 3-0 with 10:07 to go in the opening quarter.
The Chants’ offense quickly responded with a five-play, 75-yard drive that was highlighted by a 27-yard rush from Braydon Bennett and a 33-yard pass across the middle to Heiligh that found pay dirt to put the home team on top at 7-3 with 8:13 to go in the opening frame.
The Jayhawks answered with a long scoring drive, as the visitors in blue took advantage of an overturned interception by senior cornerback D’Jordan Strong by the replay booth and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Chants to go 66 yards on 11 plays and retake the lead on a Devin Neal two-yard push up the middle to take a 9-7 lead.
However, the Chants’ Jeffrey Gunter blocked the extra-point attempt by the Jayhawks to keep the score at 9-7 with 1:40 left to play in the opening quarter.
The back-and-forth scoring trend continued, as the Chants’ offense nickeled and dimed their way down the field, going 75-yards on 12 plays to retake the lead at 14-9 on a McCall two-yard rush with 11:02 to go in the second quarter.
It would be the defense that would score next, as the “Black Swarm” picked up a sack from Stewart on a third-and-9 to force a Kansas punt, the first of the game.
CCU’s Spillium broke through to block the punt attempt and fall on the blocked ball in the endzone to give the Chants a touchdown and push their lead to 21-9 with 8:23 to go before the halftime break.
The defenses took over the rest of the quarter, as the CCU defense forced Kansas into back-to-back punts to sandwich a Coastal fumble to keep the score at 21-9 with 4:24 left in the opening half.
After stopping the Kansas offense on fourth-and-1 with a huge tackle by Silas Kelly, the Chants’ offense bounced back from the fumble on its previous possession to get 27 consecutive yards from White before a pass interference penalty on the KU defense set White up from two yards out to rush for his first score of the game and extend the home team’s lead to 28-9 in the second quarter.
The quick four-play, 35-yard scoring drive left too much time on the clock for the Jayhawks, as Bean connected with Kwamie Lassiter II for a 22-yard pass and catch, and then a nine-yard pass between the duo before Bean broke through on a 34-yard rush to the endzone to cut the Chants’ lead to 38-15 with 1:36 left before the halftime break.
Kansas’ two-point conversion attempt was no good, as neither team would score over their final offensive possessions of the opening half to keep the Chants on top 38-15 after 30 minutes of play.
The Jayhawks scored first in the third quarter on a 46-yard touchdown run by Bean down the sideline to cap a three-play, 65-yard drive to close the gap to 28-22 with 11:36 to go in the third quarter.
With the lead down to one score, the Chants’ responded on their ensuing offensive drive, as White found the endzone for the second time on the night, running away from the Kansas defense for a 19-yard touchdown to push the home team back in front by double-digits at 35-22 with 8:37 on the game clock in the third frame.
After the “Black Swarm” appeared to have blocked a 56-yard field goal attempt by the Jayhawks, only to have an offsides call negate the play, the defense came up with a fourth-and-1 stop to give the ball back to the offense at the Coastal 28-yard line.
The offense took the ball and ran with it, as after a 19-yard completion to Isaiah Likely started the drive, the Chants rushed six out of the next eight plays until a sack put Coastal at second-and-goal from the six-yard line.
Back-to-back three-yard gains by White put the running back in the endzone for a third time on the night and blew the game open at 42-22 following a Massimo Biscardi PAT.
Coastal added a pair of fourth-down stops to turnover over the Jayhawks on downs twice in the fourth quarter and added an 11-yard touchdown pass and catch with McCall and Kameron Brown to put the final score at 49-22.
The Chanticleers (2-0) will hit the road for the first time in 2021, as CCU will head north to take on the Buffalo Bulls (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 18, at noon ET. The game will be nationally televised live on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.
- Coastal is off to a 2-0 start to the season for the second-straight year and the 10th time in program history.
- The win extends the Chants’ winning streak to 10 consecutive home games, which dates back to the end of the 2019 season.
- With the win, the Chants improve to 3-0 all-time versus Kansas and the Big 12 Conference.
- Coastal improves to 3-7 all-time against Power 5 opponents, including each of the last three meetings.
- The win pushed CCU’s current winning streak over non-conference opponents in regular-season play to seven straight wins.
- CCU freshman Josaiah Stewart had a career-high seven tackles and set a new CCU single-game record in sacks with 3.5 in the win.
- Junior running back Reese White rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and 102 yards in the win.
- Redshirt senior Brayden Matts recorded a career-high nine total tackles for the Chants in the win.
- Senior wideout Jaivon Heiligh went over 100-receiving yards for the fourth-straight game dating back to last year, tallying 122 yards on just six receptions.
- The 6.0 sacks by CCU was tied for the third-most all-time in CCU history and the most since the CCU defense tallied 6.0 in the road win at UMass in 2018.
- CCU’s 11.0 tackles-for-loss were tied for the eighth-most in single-game history.
- The last time the Chants blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown was at VMI on Oct. 20, 2012.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics