Charleston Southern’s thrilling 59-58 double-overtime win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday at Brooks Stadium is another example why the head coaches and others at the two schools don’t want the emergent rivalry to end with Coastal’s departure from the Football Championship Subdivision and the Big South Conference.
“I’m really sad that this rivalry is going away,” Charleston Southern coach Jamey Chadwell said. “It felt like a conference title game to us. … It didn’t matter that they were not in the Big South anymore. We both wanted this one badly.”
Though it’s not likely that the schools will meet in the next couple years, there is a realistic chance the rivalry might be renewed in the near future despite CCU moving up to the Sun Belt Conference next year and Football Bowl Subdivision.
“I’d love to play them every year,” Chadwell said. “… This is the last one I’m sure in the next couple years at least as they make the transition to their new conference. But I know we’ve been in contact to play maybe not every year, but play them again in the near future.”
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The two schools are just a two-hour drive apart on U.S. 17
CCU has about as rich a history with Charleston Southern as any football program.
The Chants are 8-6 against the Buccaneers. Several of the games have been decided by one score, and three of CCU’s losses were significant.
In the season finale in 2005, the Chants appeared on their way to their first at-large berth in the FCS playoffs and had a touchdown lead with just seconds remaining. Future NFL wide receiver Jerome Simpson botched a play called “super safety” and ran out of bounds inside CCU’s 5-yard line with time left on the clock. The Bucs tied the game and won in double OT, and the Chants did not make the playoffs.
CCU losses in 2013 and 2015 came with the Chants ranked Nos. 3 and 1 in the nation. They were 9-0 in 2013 before the loss and 7-0 last year, and each loss hurt the Chants’ playoff seeding. Last year’s loss, combined with a late season loss to Liberty, ended CCU’s streak of three consecutive Big South titles.
“They were really good for our conference nationally, and specifically for us being right up the road, and we’ve had a little success against them, and to have some solid games that had national implications,” Chadwell said. “The thing I think they’ve done more than anything is they set a bar for our conference and you wanted to try to reach that bar. They set it at a very high standard.”
CCU is expected to play 12 games per year at the FBS level, and Chanticleers coach Joe Moglia said eight of those will be Sun Belt contests. Of the four non-league games, he said the Chants can play an FCS team and have that game count for its record in the overall standings.
“I think for us to play an FCS team that’s a more local team that’s kind of an older rivalry for us, I think that will be a good thing,” Moglia said. “It’s two hours down the road and they’re doing a great job with their program. So I can see us at least trying to fit them in the schedule going forward.”
Saturday’s game drew an announced attendance of 10,213, a near sellout and the fourth-largest crowd in school history. “A rivalry will always be a rivalry,” CCU junior linebacker Shane Johnson said.
It’s two hours down the road and they’re doing a great job with their program. So I can see us at least trying to fit them in the schedule going forward.
CCU coach Joe Moglia on playing CSU in the future
There have been three Brooks Stadium capacity crowds of 10,311, which includes more than 1,000 standing tickets.
“Anytime you can get on a bus and drive up to play a game it’s a lot better than having to get on a plane and play somewhere,” Chadwell said. “So there are a lot of reasons to miss it.”
It didn’t take long for De’Angelo Henderson, known to his teammates as Hop, to extend his NCAA Division I record for consecutive games with a touchdown to 31 games with a 1-yard TD run just 3:57 into the game.
It capped a 75-yard, 10-play opening drive. Henderson added a 1-yard TD reception and 36-yard TD run before the end of the first quarter, as well as a 47-yard TD run in the third quarter.
His four touchdowns ties a CCU single-game record with Lorenzo Taliaferro and Aundres Perkins.
The senior finished with 164 yards on 18 carries to record his 22nd career 100-yard rushing game, and 44 yards on five receptions.
He has scored 51 touchdowns during his 31-game scoring streak – 45 rushing and six receiving.
Fourth and fantastic
Charleston Southern killed Coastal Carolina on fourth down plays Saturday.
The Bucs went 5-for-6 on fourth down, and all five of the drives ended in touchdowns.
The Buccaneers’ first two touchdowns came on fourth down, and the other three fourth-down conversions led to TDs.
In the first quarter, Mike Holloway scored on a 42-yard run on fourth-and-2.
In the second quarter, Colton Korn scored on a 12-yard reception on fourth-and-1, and the conversion of a fourth-and-5 at the CCU 33 on a 14-yard reception by Kameron Brown led to a Travay Hatten 11-yard TD reception.
In the third quarter, a Mike Holloway 8-yard reception on fourth-and-5 at the CCU 35 was followed by a 27-yard TD run by Darius Hammond, and in the fourth quarter, Hammond converted a fourth-and-1 at the CCU 20 with an 8-yard run, leading to a Robert Mitchell touchdown run.
“When they needed to come up with big plays they came up with the big plays,” Moglia said. “… I’ve got to look at the calls and maybe we need to do a better job of mixing up our calls.”
Once in a career
The margin of victory Saturday came courtesy of Solomon Brown’s block of Ryan Granger’s extra point attempt, and it was the first extra point Granger has ever missed at CCU.
The senior had made 62 consecutive point-after kicks, which is four shy of Josh Hoke’s school record. CCU’s first kicker was unsuccessful on six extra points, but made 66 straight.
The last time CCU allowed a blocked kick of any kind – extra point, field goal or punt – was an extra point in 2014 toward the same end zone at Brooks Stadium and it cost the Chants a 15-14 loss to Liberty.
The blocked extra point aside, Coastal again got a significant contribution from its special teams. Granger tied the game with a 35-yard field goal as time expired, and though its other units didn’t score, they set up two touchdowns.
In the first quarter, CSU punter Truett Burns recovered a poor snap but was hit at the 4 by Kenneth Daniels and fumbled, and Coastal took over at the 2. Henderson scored two plays later on a 1-yard reception.
Early in the third quarter, Michael Billings of Georgetown downed a 44-yard Evan Rabon punt at the CSU 4-yard line. Three plays later, linebacker Alex Scearce sacked Shane Bucenell in the end zone and caused a fumble that was recovered for a TD by Myles White.
The Chants did allow a 48-yard return to midfield by Hammond on the ensuing kickoff, and the Bucs went on to score.
CCU went 1-for-2 on two-point conversions, with receiver Chris Jones completing his third career two-point conversion pass off a reverse.