Q&A with Coastal Carolina Blog/Fan Forum: CoastalFans.com

6935005So we caught up with Randy from the CoastalFans.com blog/forum for a Q&A session on this weekend’s 1st round matchup between Bethune-Cookman and Coastal Carolina.   A big thank you to Chanticleer super-fan Randy for his time and effort.

Q1) After securing the first playoff win in school history a season ago, how have expectations changed this season for Coastal Carolina? Would Chanticleer fans consider this year a disappointment if CCU did not win a playoff game?

A: Expectations were hopeful after last season, with many fans predicting CCU would finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-3 heading into the postseason. I don’t think it would be fair to the hard work & effort our players have put in this year to brand their entire season – a 10-2 effort which has set a ton of all-time program records – as a “disappointment” just because of one loss.

Q2) Head Coach Joe Moglia has hit the ground rolling in Conway leading CCU to back to back Big South titles and playoff appearances in his first two seasons. What has made Coach Moglia so successful so quickly? Is he not long for the office in Conway or do you expect him to stick around with the hopes of building CCU into a FCS powerhouse?

A: Coach Moglia has consistently said that it would take a “dream job”-type scenario to pull him away from Conway. Specifically, he says it would have to be a job where both CCU’s AD & President tell him that he has to take it. Moglia’s not going anywhere for the likes of Toledo, Buffalo or UConn. He will be here for the foreseeable future unless that “dream job” comes along. Personally, I’m more worried about us retaining OC Dave Patenaude if our offense continues to put up the numbers it has been putting up since he came on board.

Q3) Any concerns about the mood/health of the team after losing to SEC power South Carolina 70-10 in your last outing and 2 of the last 3 games overall?

A: There is absolutely no concern about the team’s health after playing South Carolina. We came out of that game with no new injuries to any of our players. As far as the “mood” of the team, I don’t think losing a game to a top-10 FBS team is really cause for much concern. Besides – if I recall correctly, Bethune-Cookman got blown out by ACC powerhouse Florida State by a score of 54-6 & went on to win their next five games by an average margin of 19.4 points.

The loss to CSU, a five point loss on the road against a top-20 FCS school, did indeed sting. But I think it refocused our players on their ultimate goal, which is to still be playing football in January.

Q4) Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is a Walter Payton Award Finalist, linebacker Quinn Backus is a Buck Buchanan Finalist, Matt Hazel has had a stellar career there, but who are some of the lesser known guys who have made significant contributions this season?

A: Other players to look out for include RB DeAngelo “Hop” Henderson, WR DeMario Bennett and KR Devin Brown. Hop has consistently shown himself to be our future starter at RB, rushing for 536 yds on the season. Bennet, a Senior transfer from South Carolina, has been our #2 receiver all year and is just as dangerous as Hazel. Brown, a RS Freshman, has been explosive on special teams for us this year. Brown set a program record with a 95 yd kickoff return for a touchdown against VMI.

Q5) Prediction on Saturday’s 1st round contest?

A: Bethune-Cookman is certainly no pushover, with one of the top defenses in the FCS. However, CCU has already squared off against several of the top-10 defenses at our level & done very well. We are winning games by an average of 22.6 PPG, and while BCU is only giving up an average of 12 PPG against FCS competition – I don’t think they’ve faced an offense quite like ours this season.

The Wildcats also consistently hurt themselves with penalties, having been flagged a total of 115 times for 944 penalty yards on the season. While the “energetic” coaching style of Brian Jenkins may indeed inspire his players, it unfortunately causes his team to make too many mistakes on which I think the Chanticleers will capitalize.

I do expect this to be a hard-fought game, and I do expect BCU to come out with a chip on their shoulder as they seem to feel they need to avenge their loss to the Chanticleers in last year’s FCS playoffs. The Wildcats obviously have a stellar defense, and it will be interesting to see how they contain RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (who has only lost 11 yards all season) and how they respond to our threats at WR. All that said – I think the Chants take this contest at home, 31-20.


Missed Opportunities cost BCU chance to secure 1st playoff victory

You can use two words to sum up Bethune-Cookman’s 24-14 first round playoff defeat to Coastal Carolina: MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. 

On BCU’s first two (2) possessions of Saturday’s matchup against the Chanticleers, quarterback Quentin Williams overshot passes to Jhomo Gordon, KJ Stroud, and Eddie Poole that would have been surefire touchdowns.  

Daytona Beach native DJ Howard had an opportunity to return a pick six from inside the CCU 15 yard line on the Chants opening offensive possession, however, the Spruce Creek product was unable to hold on to the interception.  So instead of the Wildcats leading by 2 or 3 scores early in the contest, they found themselves trailing 17-0 heading into halftime.

“In the playoffs you’ve got to seize opportunities.  If you don’t, the opportunity will go right pass you” quarterback Quentin Williams stated.  He went on to state “in the playoffs it’s not about who’s better or who’s worse, it is about who takes advantage of the opportunities”.

While BCU missed on its chances, CCU took full advantage of the Wildcats’ miscues and scored 10 points off of 2 BCU turnovers in the second quarter.

Coastal Carolina opened the game’s scoring on a 6 play 75 yard drive with 13:50 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter.  The drive was capped by a 14 yard option run by Marcus Whitener.  The Wildcats initially defended the play well but senior quarterback Aramis Hillary pitched the ball late allowing Whitener to run untouched for the opening score.

The Chants doubled their lead when All Big South 1st team receiver Matt Hazel outleaped Tim Burke in the left corner of the endzone to cap a 9 play 58 yard drive with 7:23 left in the 2nd quarter.

“I told coach to call that play” Hazel stated.  (They were) “in man coverage across the board.  Aramis threw a great ball and I saw it at the last minute and just went and got it”.

Controversy struck on BCU’s next possession.  Trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Williams hit tight end Jordan Murphy for a short gain.  Murphy was originally ruled down on the play but a booth review overturned the call. 

Coach Brian Jenkins went ballistic when the game’s head official announced the decision to overturn the call. 

“(Jordan) did fumble.  We had a couple of players in the area but (when the official blew the play dead) they stopped.  Their player recovered the ball but if you blow the play dead, I don’t understand how you go back and review it.  My argument was you blew the play dead so it negates anything else” Jenkins stated.

Quentin Williams echoed his coach’s sentiments: “when Murph (Jordan Murphy) caught the ball, I heard the official blow the whistle.  That’s why I stopped.”

Coastal took over possession at the BCU 43 yard line as a result of the play.  5 plays later, Apopka High School product, Alex Catron, pushed CCU’s lead to 17-0 on a 35 yard FG conversion.  The score remained unchanged heading into intermission.

Early in the 3rd quarter, redshirt freshmen Nick Addison picked off an Aramis Hillary pass in the endzone to help breathe life into the Wildcats.  But the Chanticleer defense kept BCU off the scoreboard on the ensuing possession.

Brodrick Waters entered the contest for an ineffective Quentin Williams on the Wildcats second possession in the 3rd quarter.  Waters broke on a 57 yard run on his first drive under center.  BCU got the ball as deep as the CCU 4 yard line on the drive but a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the CCU 11 yard line. 

Coach Jenkins suffered his second visible meltdown of the game and had to be physically restrained by BCU administrators and coaches after the false start penalty was called against his squad.

“We had our guys go from a 2 point stand to a 3 point stand and they called us for a false start.  None of our guys jumped.  Two officials called offsides and one called illegal shift.  When I asked for an explanation I got three different answers”. 

Jenkins’ was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his reaction to the call and cost his team an opportunity for a chip shot field goal.  The result of the play put the ball on the 26 yard line but instead of attempting a 43 yard FG, Jenkins decided to go for it on 4th and 26.

Waters found KJ Stroud in the back of the endzone on the 4th and 26 play and BCU seemed to be back in business. But it wasn’t meant to be.  The television replay showed Stroud’s hand landed out of bounds before his foot landed in the endzone.  The overturned touchdown call embodied BCU’s afternoon of missed opportunities.

Coastal Carolina safety, Johnnie Houston put the game out of reach when he returned a Brodrick Waters’ interception 68 yards to put Coastal ahead 24-0.  Houston’s return was the 2nd longest interception return in school history.

A 74 yard touchdown pass from Quentin Williams to David Blackwell with 6:44 left in the game gave Bethune its first points of the afternoon.   Williams connected with KJ Stroud in the back of the endzone on the 2 point conversion attempt to cut the lead into a two possession contest (24-8).

Isidore Jackson’s 10 yard touchdown run capped off the game’s scoring.  Jackson, who needed just 8 yards rushing to reach 1,000 on the season, finished the contest with 77 yards on the ground and 1,069 on the year.  Jackson’s 1,069 yards represents the 3rd best rushing season in BCU history.

Quentin Williams threw for 215 yards and 1 touchdown.  It was the first time he surpassed the 200 yard passing mark in his career.

Jarkevis Fields led the Wildcats defense with 15 tackles.  Nick Addison pitched in with 10 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and an interception.

The MEAC is now 0 for its last 17 as a conference in the FCS playoffs. 

Redshirt freshmen, Nick Addison and Quentin Williams, vowed to take this bad feeling and get better in the offseason.  Both players stated that Bethune-Cookman will win a playoff game before their eligibility expires in three years.

The Wildcats are now 0-4 in the FCS playoffs. 

The win secured Coastal Carolina’s first ever playoff victory.  The Chanticleers will travel to Norfolk, Virgina next week to take on #4 ranked Old Dominion.

Live Chat – BCU vs. CCU 1st Round FCS Playoffs

or   Click Here

The Live Chat will provide posters with a highly interactive platform in which they can discuss and follow the game as it is happening live. The Live Chat interfaces with Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

@BCUAthletics, @BCUExaminer, and @HailWildcats Twitter feeds will interface with the Live Chat. This will allow the posters to interact with the men and women who are dedicated to bringing you the most in-depth coverage of Bethune-Cookman football.  The Chat will also allow users to access the most up to date gameday information from one centralized location.

You can participate in the Live Chat by posting your opinions/feedback/questions or by simply following along. All are encouraged to participate.

The Live Chat Link will become active at approximately 1:45 p.m. on gameday.

BCU/Coastal Carolina Game Preview

If Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins and Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia ever decided to talk football over a cup of coffee (or quality adult beverage), the two men are likely to share very similar coaching stories.    

Moglia, who is in his first season at CCU, guided the Chanticleers to a three-way share of the Big South conference title and earned the league’s FCS playoff automatic qualifier bid.  Jenkins led his Fighting Wildcats to a three-way share of the MEAC crown and the conference’s AQ in his first season at Bethune in 2010.

Jenkins and Moglia have both been named as 2012 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award finalist; both coaches are disciples of the spread offense; and they both preach the gospel of ‘developing young men’.

When the two faceoff on Saturday at 2:00 P.M. at Daytona Beach’s Municipal Stadium, both will look to secure the first ever FCS playoff victory for their respective programs.  (BCU is 0-3 in the FCS playoff play while Coastal is 0-2 in the postseason tournament.)

When Coastal has the ball

The Chants are led on offense by Big South All-Conference 1st team selectee, Aramis Hillary.  The University of South Carolina transfer ranked tops in the Big South and 23rd nationally in total offense (261.7 ypg).  Hillary is a dual threat player who can hurt you with his legs and his arm.  But coach Moglia cites a different primary reason for Hillary’s success:

“One of his biggest strengths is that he makes good decisions. We give him progressions on all of his reads, whether it be through the option run or through the pass and he’s been great at that. He’s been effective when he’s had to run and throw the ball and that’s primarily due to the fact that he’s been able to make good decisions.”

Hillary’s favorite target this season has been fellow Big South 1st team selectee Matt Hazel.  The 6-3, 190 pound junior receiver has caught 49 passes for 615 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Hazel was described by his coach as a precise route runner who understands coverages and has great hands. 

Offensive Center Pat Williams and slot receiver/punt returner Niccolo Mastromatteo are also Big South first team performers.  It was Williams and Mastromatteo that jumped off the film for coach Brian Jenkins.

“#20 (Mastromatteo) is very exciting.  I really like watching him on film.  I have this thing for little guys and I don’t know why”.  Coach Jenkins went on to state: “the Center (Williams) is a very physical, nasty player, and I mean nasty in a good way, not in a cheap shot way.  He plays the game like an old-school football player and I love that”.

Our take

The Chanticleers boost an explosive offense whose greatest strength lie in its balance.  On the season, CCU has rushed for 2200 yards while gaining 2569 through the air.  Quarterback Aramis Hillary has the ability to break contain and extend plays with his feet.  Wide out Matt Hazel was one of the Big South’s best possession receivers this season while fellow wide-out Niccolo Mastromatteo proved to be one of the most explosive players in the conference. 

The Wildcat defense has been good all year applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks and will need to do so on Saturday to help slow down the Coastal offensive attack.  The defensive front and particularly the defensive ends will need to remain discipline in their pass rush responsibilities and keep their containment assignments.  On the back end, BCU’s secondary has been outstanding this year at limiting big plays through the air and taking the ball away.  They will need to turn in another top flight effort on Saturday in hopes of keeping the CCU offense contained.

Here is a look at the Chants’ relevant offensive statistics:

Rushing offense:          200.00 ypg
Passing offense:          233.55 ypg
Total offense:            433.55 ypg 
Scoring offense:          35.18 ypg

 Notable: WR/PR Niccolo Mastromatteo is responsible for the 2nd and 3rd longest scoring plays in CCU football history (a 91 yard punt return against Charleston Southern in 2010 and an 81 yard punt return against Presbyterian earlier this season).

 When Coastal is on defense

From a statistical standpoint, the Chanticleers defense has been less than stellar throughout the course of the season.  CCU ranks in the bottom third in most of the important national defensive statistical categories.  The Chants give up an average of 26.55 points per game, 181 yards rushing per contest, and over 400 yards of total offense.

Playoff bound opponent Appalachian State racked up 684 yards of offense on CCU while 3-8 Gardner-Webb piled up 547 yards of offense on the Chants. 

Despite the statistics, coach Jenkins sees a defense on film who is “a well-coached football team.  The defensive front is very aggressive, their linebackers run to the ball well, and the defensive secondary don’t get beat deep much”.

Sophomore linebacker Quinn Backus is an All-American candidate and was named the Big South Defensive Player of the year this season.  Backus set the CCU single-season mark with 123 tackles and ranks 10th nationally averaging 11.2 tackles per contest.  He was also responsible for forcing 3 fumbles and picking off 2 passes this season.

Our take

Coach Moglia stated in his weekly teleconference that the Wildcats will move the ball on his squad but his team must limit the big plays.  With that in mind, BCU’s offense must take advantage of a CCU defensive unit that has been poorest at spots throughout the season.  The Wildcat offense can ill-afford to help the CCU defense by putting themselves in adverse situations and piling up reckless penalties. 

CCU’s base defense is a 4-2-5.  BCU must use their size advantage up front to establish the running game. You would also like to see the Wildcats not struggle to the slow start that has plagued them at times this season.  If the Wildcats protect the ball and execute to their normal standard, they should find great success against the Chanticleer defense.


Chanticleer (SHON-ti-cleer) comes from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  A Chanticleer is a rooster who rules the barnyard with cunning and wit. His competitiveness never wanes as he battles to the end, using his brains to come out on top.

Quick Facts:

~ Junior running back, Isidore Jackson, needs just 8 more yards to reach 1,000 yards on the season.  Jackson would be just the 6th BCU player in the modern era to reach the 1,000 yard milestone and the first to do so since quarterback Allen Suber ran for 1,035 in 2002.

~ Assuming Quentin Williams doesn’t turn an ankle in practice, this will be the first time BCU has entered a playoff contest with a healthy signal-caller.  In BCU’s last playoff appearance (2010), MEAC Offensive Player of the Year, Matt Johnson, was unable to participate due to a shoulder injury.  Coach Jenkins stated earlier this week that 11 starters on offense and defense were missing in that game.

~ A win on Saturday would give BCU its fourth 10-win season in history and the 2nd in the Brian Jenkins era.

BCU by the Numbers

Category                    Nat’l Rank     Avg.
Rushing Offense             10             247.45
Passing Offense             111             38.45
Total Offense                50              385.91
Scoring Offense             34              30.82
Turnover Margin             3                1.64
Rushing Defense            28              129.55
Pass Defense                10               164.55
Pass Efficiency Def         1                 95.18
Total Defense                5                 294.09
Scoring Defense             10               17.73

Key Player Rankings

Rushing:                          Isidore Jackson (90.18 YPG) – 41st
All-Purpose Runners:        Isidore Jackson (102.36 YPG) – 84th
Total Offense:                Quentin Williams (156.33) – 94th

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.  The game will be streamed live on WatchESPN.com.  HailWildcats.com will host a Live Chat during the game.  The Live Chat will provide posters with a highly interactive platform in which they can discuss and follow the game as it is happening live. The Live Chat interfaces with Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

@BCUAthletics, @BCUExaminer, and @HailWildcats Twitter feeds will interface with the Live Chat. This will allow the posters to interact with the men and women who are dedicated to bringing you the most in-depth coverage of Bethune-Cookman football.  The Chat will also allow users to access the most up to date gameday information from one centralized location.

You can participate in the Live Chat by posting your opinions/feedback/questions or by simply following along. All are encouraged to participate.

The Live Chat Link will become active at approximately 1:45 p.m. on gameday and will be available on the HailWildcats.com front page.