The big picture
What it means
Coastal Carolina (2-1) not only suffered its first loss of the season, it may have lost its starting quarterback for an extended period of time in Saturday’s 27-26 defeat at No. 4 Jacksonville State.
Third-year sophomore Josh Stilley injured his left knee in the second quarter and spent the second half on the CCU sideline with crutches and a knee wrap. The injury will be further evaluated Monday.
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If Stilley can’t go on Saturday, the coaching staff has to set up a game plan with another quarterback who has never started a game. Fourth-year junior Tyler Keane played most of the second half and was 8 of 15 for 118 yards and a touchdown after redshirt freshman Austin Bradley failed to complete one of his four passing attempts and freshman Avery McCall completed both of his pass attempts for 56 yards – one was a swing pass that went for 49 – but was sacked twice.
“We’ll take a look at the film and see what that shows,” CCU head coach Joe Moglia said. “Certainly Tyler deserves a good look based on what he did today.”
The Chanticleers host Furman at 6 p.m. Saturday at Brooks Stadium for their second home game of the season. The Southern Conference team is 0-3 after three close losses.
The Paladins played Michigan State tight on the road in their opener, falling 28-13, and that was followed by a 19-14 loss at The Citadel and 21-14 loss to Chattanooga. Citadel is ranked 15th and Chattanooga sixth in the STATS FCS Poll, so the Paladins should offer a tough test for the 17th-ranked Chants.
Moglia and Coastal’s players have openly spoken about an undefeated season being a motivation, so they’ll have to adjust their goals.
“We’re always trying to look at that as one game at a time anyway,” Moglia said. “So right now we lost a game against a really good team. We’ve got to regroup. We’ve got to demonstrate we can do that, and let’s come back. It’s still one game at a time.”
If Keane, who played at Myrtle Beach High and has predominantly been the holder for place kicker Ryan Granger, is called upon again he says he’s ready. “Every week I’ve got to be ready to be that guy, be ready to step in there to lead the team, lead the offense,” he said.
This and that
Quarterback Josh Stilley: Before he was injured less than 5 minutes into the second quarter, Stilley completed 7 of 10 passes for 132 yards and a TD, and there was also a drop on a 30-yard pass.
Receiver Bruce Mapp: The junior had four catches for 140 yards for a 35-yard average, including a 72-yard TD and diving catch for a 35-yard reception.
Linebacker Alex Scearce: The senior had 2 1/2 tackles for losses and his sack of JSU quarterback Eli Jenkins, strip and recovery of the fumble with 3:56 remaining at the JSU 41-yard line gave CCU a shot at a go-ahead field goal.
Defensive end Myles White: The redshirt freshman blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt, had two solo tackles and four assists, and 1 1/2 tackles for loss.
By the numbers
Yards of senior Ryan Granger’s attempted go-ahead field goal with 2:27 remaining on fourth-and-2. It would have tied a career high.
Pass junior Tyler Keane had thrown in his college career prior to Saturday’s action. He completed it for 11 yards and also had three career rushes for 2 yards.
Career reception sophomore tight end Laquay Brown now has following his 9-yard TD catch from Keane in the fourth quarter.
Yards of Bruce Mapp’s second-quarter touchdown, accounting for the fourth-longest one-play drive in CCU history.
Yards of total offense JSU senior quarterback Eli Jenkins has amassed in his career.
Consecutive regular-season games won by JSU vs. non-FBS opponents with Jenkins at QB. The Gamecocks took Auburn into overtime last year.