CONWAY, S.C. – The 2020 Sun Belt Conference Champions will open up the 2021 season at Brooks Stadium versus in-state foe The Citadel on Thursday night, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. ET.
The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ (subscription) and air on WRNN Hot Talk 99.5 FM.
MAKING PROGRAM HISTORY
• The 2020 Chanticleers matched the program’s best start to a season at 11-0, which was also done back in 2014.
• The Chanticleers posted their first-ever undefeated regular season at 11-0.
NATIONALLY RANKED CHANTICLEERS
• Coastal was ranked in the top-25 in both polls for 11-straight weeks last season.
• CCU was ranked as high as No. 9 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA Today Sports.
Coastal in the Rankings in 2020
Date AP Coaches CFP
Oct. 18 25 24 N/A
Oct. 25 20 21 N/A
Nov. 1 15 16 N/A
Nov. 8 15 17 N/A
Nov. 15 15 18 N/A
Nov. 22 16 17 20
Nov. 29 14 14 18
Dec. 6 11 13 13
Dec. 13 9 12 12
Dec. 20 9 11 12
Final 14 14 –
SUN BELT – HIGHEST CALLING
• The Chanticleers made Sun Belt history several times in 2020 with the last being ranked in the top-10 nationally. CCU’s No. 9 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 11 ranking in the Amway Coaches Poll (USA Today) on Dec. 20 are both conference highs in terms of national rankings.
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.
2020: A SEASON OF FIRSTS
• Coastal’s 2020 season was a season of many first for the young program.
• First-Ever Sun Belt team to start a season at 11-0
• First Time Ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll
• First Time Ever Ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll
• First-Ever Win over an FBS top 25 opponent
• First-Ever Win over Arkansas State
• First-Ever Win over South Alabama
• First-Ever Win over Appalachian State
• First-Ever Win at Texas State
• Hosted ESPN College GameDay (Dec. 5)
• First-Ever Win over an FBS top 10 opponent
• First-Ever Win over BYU
• First-Ever Win in the state of Alabama
• First-Ever Undefeated Regular Season (11-0)
• First SBC Team to have an Undefeated Regular Season
• First-Ever SBC Team to be Ranked in the AP Top 10 • First-Ever Postseason Bowl Appearance
AMERICA’S TEAM RETURNS IN 2021
• In 2020, Coastal became #AmericasTeam as the Chanticleer had a total of 10 of their 12 contests nationally televised, including each of their first eight games of the year.
09/12/20 at Kansas Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
09/18/20 Campbell ESPN
10/03/20 Arkansas State ESPN2
10/14/20 at #21 Louisiana ESPN
10/24/20 Georgia Southern ESPNU
10/31/20 at Georgia State ESPNU
11/07/20 South Alabama ESPNU
11/21/20 Appalachian State ESPN
12/05/20 #8 BYU ESPNU
12/26/20 vs. #23 Liberty ESPN
• This season, the Chanticleers are scheduled to be on national television at least five times.
09/10/21 Kansas ESPN2
09/18/21 at Buffalo ESPN2 or ESPNU
10/07/21 at Arkansas State ESPNU
10/20/21 at Appalachian State ESPN2
10/28/21 Troy ESPNU
ROSTER FULL OF RETURNERS IN 2021
• The Chanticleers have a total of 19 out of 22 starters returning from last season, losing just two offensive starters and one defensive starter from the 2020 championship team.
OFFENSIVE STARTERS RETURNING (9)
Chant 2020 Career
OL – Trey Carter 12 48
OL – Steven Bedosky 12 31
WR – Jaivon Heiligh 12 24
OL – Sam Thompson 12 22
OL – Antwine Loper 10 16
TE – Isaiah Likely 8 14
OL – Willie Lampkin 12 12
QB – Grayson McCall 11 11
RB – Reese White 7 11
DEFENSIVE STARTERS RETURNING (10)
Chant 2020 Career
LB – Silas Kelly 11 33
DT – C.J. Brewer 12 30
LB – Teddy Gallagher……………. 12 27
Bandit – Jeffrey Gunter………….. 12 25
FS – Brayden Matts 12 20
SS – Alex Spillum 12 20
CB – Derick Bush 12 15
Spur – Enock Makonzo…………. 11 13
CB – D’Jordan Strong……………. 12 12
NT – Jerrod Clark 11 11
PRESEASON LOVE FOR THE CHANTS
• Following their historical 2020 season, the Chanticleers made program history again this season as the men in Teal were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll (No. 22) and The USA TODAY Sports AFCA football coaches poll (No. 24) for the first time in program history.
• The 2020 Sun Belt Champions were also picked to finish first in the East Division along with the Appalachian State Mountaineers in the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Football Preseason Coaches poll.
• The Chanticleers matched Appalachian State with 44 total points each but tallied six first-place votes to the Mountaineers’ four.
• Coastal Carolina is 11-7 all-time in season openers in the program’s 18-year history.
• CCU is 4-2 in season openers at home inside Brooks Stadium, including a 21-14 win over Newberry in the program’s inaugural game in 2003.
• The Chants’ 11 season-opening wins also include a season-opening road win at The Citadel on August 30, 2014.
• The Chants are 2-2 in season openers in their brief FBS history with a win over UMass (2017), a loss at South Carolina (2018), a home defeat versus Eastern Michigan (2019), and a road win at Kansas (2020).
DATE OPPONENT RESULT
09/06/03 Newberry W, 21-14
09/04/04 at Morehead State W, 28-7
09/03/05 at Elon W, 17-10
09/03/06 Elon L, 20-23
09/01/07 at Delaware State L, 18-23
08/30/08 at #22 Penn State L, 10-66
09/03/09 at Kent State L, 0-18
09/04/10 at #25 West Virginia L, 0-31
09/03/11 Furman W, 30-23
09/01/12 North Carolina A&T W, 29-13
08/31/13 at South Carolina State W, 27-20
08/30/14 at The Citadel W, 31-16
09/05/15 at Furman W, 38-35
09/03/16 at Lamar W, 38-14
09/02/17 UMass W, 38-28
09/01/18 at South Carolina L, 15-49
08/31/19 Eastern Michigan L, 23-30
09/12/20 at Kansas W, 38-23
SERIES VERSUS THE CITADEL
• Coastal Carolina is 1-1 all-time versus The Citadel with both teams winning on the other team’s home field.
• The two teams met in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015, with the Chanticleers winning on the road in 2014 and the Bulldogs winning in Conway in 2015.
• The Chants’ win came in the season opener in 2014, while the Bulldogs’ victory over CCU came in the first round of the 2015 NCAA FCS Playoffs.
All-Time Series Results
08/30/14 at The Citadel W, 31-16
11/28/15 at Coastal * L, 38-41
* NCAA FCS Playoffs – First Round
SCOUTING THE CITADEL BULLDOGS
• The Citadel Bulldogs enter 2021 looking to bounce back from an unusual 2020 season that saw them go 2-10 overall while playing four games in the fall of 2020 and eight games in the spring of 2021.
• The Bulldogs’ two wins last season came in back-to-back weeks versus Wofford (April 3) and Furman (April 10), as The Citadel closed out the season winning two of its final three games.
• The Bulldogs were picked to finish seventh in the Southern Conference in a preseason vote by the head coaches, while the media tabbed the Bulldogs to finish eighth.
• The Citadel will once again bring the triple-option running attack to the field this season, as the Bulldogs averaged 241.9 rushing yards per game in 2020 and held the ball on average for over 34 minutes in time of possession.
• However, the Bulldogs will look to make improvements on the defensive side of the ball, as they gave up 30 points per game last season and allowed an average of 358.3 yards of offense per game.
• Overall, sixth-year head coach Brent Thompson returns a total of 25 players that started last season for the Bulldogs, including 13 players on offense and 12 on defense.
• Returning to lead the offense again this season is redshirt sophomore quarterback Jaylan Adams. Last year, Adams led the team in carries (179), rushing yards (757), and rushing touchdowns (9), as well as in passing yards and passing touchdowns (3).
• Other key returners on offense for The Citadel in 2021 is graduate student Raleigh Webb who averaged 23.5 yards per catch on 17 catches and 282 yards last season and second-year running backs Nathan Storch (536 yards) and Cooper Wallace (423 yards) who combined to run for 959 yards and three touchdowns in 2020-21.
• Defensively, the Bulldogs return their top six tacklers from last season led by linebacker Anthony Britton Jr. and his team-high 104 tackles last season, which was 35 more than the next Bulldog in Willie Eubanks III and his 69 total stops.
• Eubanks III, who was a unanimous All-American selection following the 2019 season, was tabbed a preseason first-team All-American by both Stats Perform and HERO Sport, as well as being named to the Buck Buchanan Award watch list.
CHADWELL – TOP DOG
• Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell is unbeaten versus The Citadel, having defeated the Bulldogs three times as the head coach at Charleston Southern.
DATE LOCATION RESULT
08/31/13 at The Citadel W, 32-29
09/20/14 at CSU W, 20-18
12/05/15 at CSU * W, 14-6
* NCAA FCS Playoffs – Second Round
• The win over The Citadel in the season opener in 2013 was Chadwell’s first win as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level.
• His last win over the Bulldogs in 2015 came in the second round of the 2015 NCAA FCS Playoffs and the week after The Citadel defeated Coastal Carolina in the first round.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
• In the last meeting between Coastal and The Citadel at Brooks Stadium in 2015 (Nov. 28), the two teams combined for 1,133 total yards of offense in the contest, as the Chants recorded 577 total yards compared to the Bulldogs 556 total yards of offense.
• The combined 1,133 total yards of offense are tied for the most in a single game ever played at Brooks Stadium.
• The combined 1,133 total yards of offense was matched last year in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl as Appalachian State (636) and North Texas (497) combined for that same yardage.
• With the 41-38 loss to the Bulldogs, the 2015 contest marked the last official game for the Chanticleers as a full-time member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Chanticleers began the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2016.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics