2013 Record: 10-2, 4-1
Coach: Joe Moglia
Big Wins: 9/7 Furman (35-28), 9/14 at Eastern Kentucky (51-32)
Bad Losses: 11/9 at Charleston Southern (26-31), 11/23 at South Carolina (10-70)
Coastal Carolina is paced on offense by stud running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. The Walter Payton Award Finalist has gained just under 1,500 rushing this season while accounting for 23 touchdowns on the ground. As a unit, the Coastal ground attack averages 283 yards per contest and ranks 3rd nationally in that department.
Quarterback Alex Ross may not be as elusive as last year’s signal caller Aramis Hillary but he seems to be more accurate delivering the ball. Add in the formidable pass catching trio of Matt Hazel, Niccolo Mastromatteo, and DeMario Bennett and it is easy to see why the Chants are 3rd in the nation in scoring offense averaging just over 42 points per game.
Coastal’s defense has been less than stellar (at least statistically) for the duration of the season. CCU’s defense is allowing 435 yards per game to opponents including 210 yards on the ground. What’s difficult to determine is whether or not Coastal’s defensive statistics are an accurate reflection of the unit’s overall talent level or merely a consequence of their opponents having more opportunities considering the frequency at which the Chant offense scores.
Rushing: Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, 1,487 yards
Passing: Alex Ross, QB, 2,450 yards
Receiving: Matt Hazel, WR, 817 yards
Tackles: Quinn Backus, LB, 111
Sacks: Colton Blackburn, LB, 3.0; Roderick Holder, DE, 3.0
Interceptions: Quinn Backus, LB, 3; Johnnie Houston, DB, 3
2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 283.9 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 228.6 (47, 3)
Total Offense: 512.5 (8, 1)
Scoring Offense: 45.5 (3, 1)
Rushing Defense: 198.2 (88, 4)
Pass Defense: 219.8 (61, 5)
Total Defense: 418.0 (83, 4)
Scoring Defense: 25.5 (57, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.7 (17, 3)
Sacks: 1.55 (94, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.36 (30, 4)
2013 Record: 10-2, 7-1
Coach: Brian Jenkins
Big Wins: 9/1 at Tennessee State (12-9), 9/14 Florida International (34-13), 10/26 South Carolina State (14-3)
Bad Losses: 9/21 at Florida State (6-54), 11/9 Norfolk State (24-27)
The Wildcats get things done through the efforts of a dominating defense and a physical running game. Only Florida State scored more than 27 points on the Wildcat defense this season. BCU has held their opponents to 10 points or fewer in seven of their 12 games. Defensive ends LeBrandon Richardson and Dyron Dye are strong against the run and pass. Linebacker Jarkevis Fields is a tackling machine and defensive backs Nick Addison and Tim Burke are ball-hawks.
The Wildcats rank in the top ten nationally in total defense, scoring defense, and rushing offense. Isidore Jackson is the team’s top rusher. Cary White and Anthony Jordan are more physical, downhill runners who both see a ton of action and quarterbacks Quentin Williams and Jackie Wilson are also capable of making plays with their feet.
BCU is the most heavily penalized team in the country averaging 10.50 penalties per contest. Possessions and hidden yards are precious in postseason play meaning the Wildcats will need to find a way to limit un-timely penalties while still maintaining their aggressive style of play if they are to move on in the tournament.
Bethune’s passing game has all of the pieces needed to be successful but the air attack has sputtered at times this season. BCU quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (9) this year and the Wildcats have finished four games with less than 100 yards gained through the air. Ironically, BCU is 4-0 in games in which they pass for under 100 yards.
Rushing: Isidore Jackson, RB, 793 yards
Passing: Quentin Williams, QB, 1,068 yards
Receiving: Eddie Poole, WR, 562 yards
Tackles: Jarkevis Fields, LB, 94
Sacks: Dyron Dye, DL, 6.0
Interceptions: Nick Addison, DB, 5
2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 255.4 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 144.4 (113, 9)
Total Offense: 399.7 (52, 1)
Scoring Offense: 30.2 (39, 2)
Rushing Defense: 99.4 (8, 3)
Pass Defense: 151.5 (3, 2)
Total Defense: 250.8 (2, 2)
Scoring Defense: 15.7 (4, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.4 (34, 2)
Sacks: 2.36 (35, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.55 (84, 7)