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.

 

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.

WHAT IS A CHANTICLEER?

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.

Coastal Carolina’s Joe Moglia expects tough matchup with Bethune-Cookman

Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia – Photo Credits / GoCCUSports.com

Bradford Gillens  – Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia has somewhat of an idea of the competitiveness in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, having played conference member North Carolina A&T in his first game as head coach of the Chants. CCU won the game 29-13, but the former TD Amertrade CEO knows there is a big difference between the Aggies team he faced in September and the Bethune-Cookman team he will face Saturday in Daytona Beach in the opening round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

“From an offensive perspective, they’ve done a great job of moving the football, Moglia said. They create issues for the defense that is playing them because of the multiple sets they face.”

While Moglia was quick to offer praise of the Wildcats, his Chanticleers enter the game riding a five game winning streak where they’ve averaged 46.2 points per game in those contests. Leading the offensive explosion has been senior dual threat quarterback Aramis Hillary. The All Big South first teamer leads the conference in total yards this season with 2,617 (2,133 passing, 484 rushing) and 20 total touchdowns and is the catalyst for the Coastal Carolina offense.

“He’s a great leader and everybody on our team respects him, Moglia said. 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 that are reasonably simple, but you still have to be able to make them and execute them 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.”

Read on: http://www.examiner.com/article/coastal-carolina-s-joe-moglia-expects-tough-matchup-with-bethune-cookman

Live Chat – Bethune-Cookman/Coastal Carolina 1st round FCS playoffs, Sat. Nov. 24th

Credits – Jerrime Bell / Hailwildcats.com

Hello Wildcats Fans!

Hailwildcats.com will host a Live Chat during this Saturday’s 1st round FCS Playoff game between Bethune-Cookman and Coastal Carolina.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 1:30 p.m. on gameday and will be available on the HailWildcats.com front page.

Thanks for your support and Hail Wildcats!
JB