Coastal Carolina’s players and coaches will have an opportunity to celebrate their first win in 11 weeks with their families as the team’s second bye of the season affords them enough time for a true Thanksgiving break.
The Chanticleers had a bye week following their season-opening win over Massachusetts, then played 10 consecutive Saturdays and lost nine straight games before ending the school-record losing streak with a 13-7 win at Idaho on Saturday.
“Obviously you’d love to have [a bye] earlier, but I think it’s coming at a great time for our guys being this long together and not having a break,” CCU interim head coach Jamey Chadwell said. “So they’ll get 3 1/2 days where they have time to spend with some family and get away from here.”
The players had Monday off following the long trip to Idaho, had planned practices Tuesday and Wednesday morning, then were off for three days before returning to campus for a week of practices beginning Sunday in preparation for the season-ending home game against Georgia Southern on Dec. 2.
Chadwell said practices will generally be shorter in preparation for the final game.
“It’s really been a long season so we really need this bye week just to try to get rested up,” Chadwell said. “The main thing for us is do some fundamental things and hopefully come back fresh and as healthy as we can possibly be for our last game.”
Rabon named POW
Coastal Carolina junior punter and kicker Evan Rabon was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance at Idaho.
Rabon kicked a 52-yard field goal for the second time this season to come within a yard of the CCU record of 53 yards set by Alex Catron in 2014.
That kick gave CCU a 10-7 lead near the end of the second quarter and he later drilled a 34-yarder to start the fourth quarter for the game’s final points.
Rabon has made eighth consecutive field goal attempts over the past six games to pull within two of Ryan Granger’s CCU record for consecutive field goals made set in 2015. He was also named the conference’s weekly honoree following Coastal’s 37-29 loss at Appalachian State, in which he was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, including one from 49 yards, and unleashed a school-record 65-yard punt while averaging 54.7 yards on three punts.
Rabon also punted well Saturday, averaging 40 yards on four punts. None were returned and two pinned Idaho inside its 20, including a 30-yard that was downed at the Idaho 8. He also recorded two touchbacks on his four kickoffs.
“We’ve had him do all three things this year and he’s been pretty consistent for us,” Chadwell said. “That’s a well-deserved honor for him. Really the offense and defense on both sides were relatively even, and it came down to the special teams and we won that matchup and he’s a big part of that.”
An early start
Coastal Carolina will end its football season with the first early afternoon home game of the year.
The Chants will host Georgia Southern at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Brooks Stadium looking for their third win of the season and first win over Georgia Southern in four meetings. The Eagles have won the past two in Conway, the most recent being a 43-26 decision in 2010.
The team’s seniors will be honored on the field at approximately 12:30 p.m.
The football game will be the first of two contests on campus that day, as the men’s basketball team (3-2) will host Lamar at 7 p.m. at the HTC Center looking to avenge a 66-60 loss in Beaumont, Texas, on Nov. 14.
The men’s basketball team has a pair of home games before then, hosting St. Andrews at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Wofford at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, and the women’s basketball team hosts College of Charleston at 6 p.m. next Thursday.
The CCU women completed a season-opening four-game homestand with a 93-49 win over Allen on Monday to improve to 3-1 with wins over Lees-McRae and UNC Wilmington and a loss to UNC Greensboro. The women play their next two games in the San Juan Shootout, which has relocated to Daytona Beach, Fla., against North Texas Thursday and Nebraska Friday.
Coastal tickets are available by calling 843-347-8499 or visiting www.GoCCUsports.com/tickets.
Coastal Carolina freshman Nadeel Wildschutt of South Africa placed 28th at the 2017 NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championship to become the first Chanticleer men’s cross country runner to All-America honors.
Wildschutt, who won the Sun Belt championship and placed fourth at the NCAA Southeast Regional, finished the 10-kilometer course in 29:52.0 to finish 28th among the field of 254 competitors and place second among freshmen in the race. The winning time was 29:00.1 by Syracuse’s Justyn Knight.