Breaking down the game
• Series | First meeting
• Weather | 55 degrees with a 20 percent chance of precipitation
• Injuries | N/A
Key number: 42
This is Coastal Carolina’s sixth game against an FBS opponent in program history. In the previous five, the Chanticleers have been outscored by an average of 42 points and have scored a combined 13 points.
Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens vs. Coastal secondary. Owens is without question the best quarterback the Chants have faced this season and, perhaps, the best they will face. He has thrown 194 consecutive passes without an interception and last year set the MAC record for completion percentage while connecting on 72.2 percent of his attempts. The 6-foot-4 junior has topped 300 yards passing each of the last two weeks and faces a Coastal secondary that has been plenty vulnerable to this point of the season.
Owens has passed for 737 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Senior Aramis Hillary, meanwhile, has been solid for Coastal while passing for 771 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions through his first three games. Both are capable offensive leaders, and if Toledo plays the way it has to this point, the Chants will surely need a big day from Hillary to stay competitive.
• Edge | Toledo
After a breakout performance in the season opener, senior Jeremy Height has not found much running room for the Chants the last two weeks while totaling just 76 yards combined. Overall, he’s rushed for 185 yards while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Junior Lorenzo Taliaferro has emerged as a capable second option for Coastal, averaging 4.5 yards per carry through two games while proving effective in short-yardage situations. … Junior David Fluellen leads Toledo with 262 yards (4.2 per carry) and three scores. The interesting stat to note here is that while the Rockets are averaging a respectable 165 rushing yards per game, they’re giving up 185.3 on the other side.
• Edge | Push
Wide receiver/tight end
Both teams are flush with playmakers at receiver. For Toledo, it’s 5-foot-9 junior Bernard Reedy and 6-foot-4 redshirt-freshman Alonzo Russell. Reedy is a big-play threat who had 40 catches for 758 yards and nine scores while averaging 19 yards a reception last year. Through three games this fall, he has 19 catches for 206 yards and had a huge effort for the Rockets against Wyoming with 111 yards and two touchdowns. Russell, meanwhile, had a breakout game last week against Bowling Green with six grabs for 152 yards and two scores. Those two will be quite a test for a leaky Coastal secondary. … For Coastal, junior slot receiver Niccolo Mastromatteo tied a program record last week with 10 catches while junior Matt Hazel continues to be locked in with Hillary and has 16 receptions for a team-best 248 yards and three touchdowns.
• Edge | Push
Toledo is led up front by junior Zac Kerin, who is on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy – awarded annually to the nation’s best center. But there’s not much experience around him on that line. The Rockets have three first-year starters (including two sophomores) and another sophomore returning starter up front. So far, the unit has allowed five sacks through three games. However, Toledo ranks a meager ninth in the MAC in averaging 3.8 yards per carry. … Coastal has also allowed five sacks thus far, but more pertinently the line has not been able to clear many holes for the Chants’ running backs. Even though this is a game against a FBS opponent, the Chants should be able to move the ball on the ground against a porous Toledo defensive front if the line can clear some space.
• Edge | Toledo
Toledo ranks 89th among FBS teams in rush defense, allowing 185.33 yards per game on the ground, and is relying on two first-year starters at the tackle spots in junior Elijah Jones and senior Phil Lewis because usual starter Danny Farr has been dealing with a knee injury and is not listed on the depth chart this week. On the outside, though, CCU offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said Toledo’s ends – led by senior T.J. Fatinikun – are the “most dynamic” the Chants will have faced this year. … Coastal has its own concerns up front, though, after losing senior end Chris Thomas for the season and fellow senior end Jamel Davis for a few weeks with knee injuries. Sophomore Andrew Allen moves into the starting lineup in their stead, while true freshman Roderick Holder will be counted on to play significant snaps as well. On the interior of the line, meanwhile, the Chants have been stout with senior Johnny Hartsfield and junior Jeffery Salley.
• Edge | Toledo
Junior Mike McClure (team-high 29 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss) and sophomore Quinn Backus (28 tackles, two pass break-ups) have been the standouts of the Coastal defense to this point. For a pair of first-year starters, the Chants have to be pleased with the performance of both players. … That said, Toledo has a proven veteran linebacking corps led by seniors Dan Molls (second in the MAC with 35 tackles so far) and Robert Bell (four forced fumbles last year). Molls has tallied 13 tackles in two of the first three games and is an all-around playmaker the Chants will want to keep an eye on at all times.
• Edge | Toledo
A costly lapse in judgment by senior cornerback Tre Henderson put the Chants in a hole last week against Eastern Kentucky, but the bigger concern for Coastal seems to be schematically. Henderson and senior cornerback Dontavais Johnson have combined for four interceptions already, but there have been consistent gaps in the team’s downfield coverage, and as a result Eastern Kentucky converted on 7-of-12 third-down situations in dealing Coastal its first loss. And against a passing attack as capable as Toledo’s, that is a paramount concern for the Chants this week. … Senior strong safety Jermaine Robinson notched an interception in each of the first two games this season and dating back to last year had a pick in four straight games before ending the streak last week. The Rockets are young at corner with redshirt-freshman Chris Dukes and sophomore Cheatham Norrils, who is coming off a big game last week against Bowling Green in which he had seven tackles and an interception.
• Edge | Toledo
The most improved unit on the Coastal team this season, the Chants have benefitted from strong starts by sophomore kicker Alex Catron and sophomore punter Austin Cain. Catron is 6-of-7 on field goals – including a pair of 45-yarders – and behind Cain’s strong start Coastal ranks 10th among FCS teams in net punting (40.0 yards per punt). In a game where the Chants will be outmatched at most positions, they’ll need any edge they can get from their specialists. … Toledo sophomore Jeremiah Detmer is 5-of-8 on field goals through three games with a couple of short misses. Junior punter Vince Penza has been solid in averaging 43.7 yards per punt. And Reedy is averaging 25.4 yards per kickoff return.
• Edge | Coastal Carolina
Both teams have first-year head coaches. For the Chants, Joe Moglia has done a good job of getting his players to buy in to the new coaching staff and there have been plenty of encouraging signs through the 2-1 start. And for Toledo, not much has changed as Matt Campbell has gone from offensive coordinator to head coach while keeping the Rockets’ proficient offensive attack humming along. At 32 years old, Campbell is the youngest head coach in the FBS and the Rockets’ staff averages 34.7 years of age. Despite their collective youth, though, they’ve been up to the task so far as the team’s lone loss through three games came in overtime on the road at Arizona. Campbell took over at the end of last season and led the Rockets to a victory over Air Force in the Military Bowl.
• Edge | Toledo
News and Notes
Presley’s role to expand
Senior Chris Presley returned to action last week after being slowed through the preseason by the persistent lower-body injuries that have troubled him throughout his collegiate career, and if the 6-foot-4 receiver can stay healthy, his role should continue to expand in the Coastal offense.
Presley had 18 catches for 223 yards and three scores last year while playing in 10 games.
“He’s got to keep progressing back,” Patenaude said. “He’s a big target, and he’s a guy you have to kind of spot in and find different packages for. … He’s kind of working himself back into shape. The goal for him will be over the next couple of weeks to get him really going, so that by the time we hit the break and those two weeks leading into Stony Brook we can really get him into a full-time role.”
Duran making progress
Senior tight end David Duran was active at the end of the week in practice for Coastal while wearing a non-contact red jersey after missing the last two games due to a turf toe injury. He won’t play this week, but he’s getting closer to a return.
“He’s progressing,” Patenaude said. “The goal is for him to play next week.”
This game will net the Coastal athletic department $375,000, but the Chants will just hope it doesn’t cost the team in the big picture this season. Moglia talked this week about the physical toll for an FCS team playing up a level against an FBS foe, and the timing is less than ideal for the Chants. They are in the midst of a daunting stretch of games that started last week against a physical and ranked Eastern Kentucky team. Perennial FCS power Appalachian State and Big South Conference favorite Stony Brook are also on the horizon.
Far from home
In terms of mileage, this is the longest road trip in program history for Coastal. At 724 miles from Conway to the Glass Bowl, this trip narrowly tops the 706 miles covered last season from Conway to Stony Brook.
By Ryan Young, firstname.lastname@example.org