Tyler Keane finally has an opportunity to shine.
After Coastal Carolina sophomore starting quarterback Josh Stilley left last Saturday’s 27-26 loss to No. 4 Jacksonville State with a left knee injury, Chanticleers head coach Joe Moglia confirmed Tuesday that Keane – a fomer Myrtle Beach High standout – will make his first collegiate start as the team hosts in-state rival Furman on Saturday.
“It’ll be his first start, but he’s been around a little while. And he was an outstanding quarterback at Myrtle Beach,” Moglia said of Keane at Tuesday’s practice. “We’re not going to ask him to do things he can’t do, and don’t expect him to. He has good players around him. He has a good [offensive] line, he’s got good backs, good receivers. He’ll hold his own.”
A junior, Keane sat behind former quarterback and 2015 FCS All-American Alex Ross for two seasons and was beat out for the starting job to open this season.
“I owe him a lot for what I know,” Keane said.
And when Keane was called on Saturday, he was ready. He was 9-for-16 for 129 yards and a touchdown after replacing Stilley.
Keane said he’ll be prepared Saturday, too.
“The whole week before the game, you have to be ready for that type of situation,” Keane said of Stilley’s injury. “You never know when that’s going to happen. I just make sure I always prepare myself throughout the week and if needed, I would be ready.”
Moglia still doesn’t know the full extent of Stilley’s injury, but he isn’t getting his hopes up for his return this season.
“He’s going to the doctor to get another test done Thursday,” Moglia said. “But we expect that he’ll probably be out for the season.”
And when Moglia saw Stilley go down, it was a tough pill to swallow. Stilley was 33-for-54 (61.1 completion percentage) for 427 yards, three touchdowns and one interception this season.
“My heart always saddens when I see any one of my guys go downs; it doesn’t matter who it is. But Josh was injured for two-thirds of last season and came back and played [on the] scout team for us. Then he broke his foot and wasn’t able to play in the spring,” Moglia said. “The sad thing was that he was getting off to such a great start. I feel bad for him, I feel bad for his family and I feel bad for us – for the rest of the team. But that sometimes happens in football.”
Also, the Chants’ backup Avery McCall – a Dillon High product – suffered a hand injury on Saturday and is expected to be unavailable against Furman.
“We still have to look at that,” Moglia said. “We’re not positive yet, but we’ll have a better feel Thursday and make sure everybody is ready.”
Keane certainly will be.
“I’m very confident,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for my shot.”