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CCU Football Notebook: Sophomore Payton retains starting QB job against Kansas

Coastal Carolina reacts to season-opening loss

Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell, running back C.J. Marable and kicker Massimo Biscardi talk after the Chanticleers’ season-opening loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday at Brooks Stadium.
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Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell, running back C.J. Marable and kicker Massimo Biscardi talk after the Chanticleers’ season-opening loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday at Brooks Stadium.

Coastal Carolina football coach Jamey Chadwell is sticking with sophomore quarterback Fred Payton in Week 2 against Kansas.

Payton earned the starting job in preseason camp, and he played the great majority of the offensive snaps in Coastal’s season-opening 30-23 loss to Eastern Michigan at Brooks Stadium on Saturday.

He completed 29 of 43 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns and gained 5 yards on three carries, and he also threw four interceptions after throwing just two in 75 pass attempts last season. Chadwell said Payton will start against the Jayhawks at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“I though Fred did a lot of really good things, just two or three critical errors, and that kills you,” said Chadwell, who has shown a propensity to play multiple QBs in his three seasons as CCU offensive coordinator or head coach. “So if we can avoid that I thought he had a pretty solid game overall.”

Fellow sophomore Bryce Carpenter gained 22 yards on six carries and did not attempt a pass in his limited game time against the Eagles.

“We tried to use Bryce in certain things and what he did I think he did solid,” Chadwell said. “I’d like to get him in there a little bit more in certain things but the flow of the game didn’t [dictate it]. . . . I’ll still try to play both. After looking back at it I probably should have played Bryce a little bit more in certain situations so I’ll make sure I do a better job there.

“We just have to continue to grow there and both players have to continue to grow and get better in what we ask them to do.”

Picking a play

Coastal Carolina’s offensive game plan and play calling are a three-headed operation this season.

After Chadwell was promoted from offensive coordinator and associate head coach to head coach in January, he appointed quarterbacks coach Willy Korn, who was the wide receivers coach in 2018, and running backs coach Newland Isaac co-offensive coordinators.

Chadwell continues to call plays during games. He has a lot of trust in and good rapport with the two, as Isaac has coached with Chadwell in 10 of the past 11 seasons and Korn has coached with Chadwell since 2013 and played for him at North Greenville.

He said Korn handles a lot of the passing game and Issac handles a lot of the run game.

“That allows me to really focus on the rest of the team and the things I need to do as far as the head coach,” Chadwell said.

The coaches meet prior to games to set up a game plan, and also consult during games on specific drives and play calls.

“On game day I’ll make the calls with the coordinators’ input as far as what they think in certain situations,” Chadwell said. “. . . It might be a choice of two or three plays, then I’ll make it and it will be a decision based off the information we’re getting from up top and in between series.”

The Chants scored 23 points against one of the top defenses in FBS in 2018, gained 378 total yards with 304 passing and 74 rushing, was 9 of 19 on third- and fourth-down conversions combined, and had the ball for nearly 33 of the game’s 60 minutes.

“I thought we moved the ball well with the exception of the first two drives in the second half where we looked like we didn’t know what was going on,” Chadwell said. “We moved the ball well, controlled the ball, did a pretty solid job on third and fourth down, so I thought it worked well with input from both of those guys and executing the plan. So we’ll continue to build off that.”

Chadwell intends to continue with the three-coach approach until he deems it unsuccessful.

“If you get in a situation where you think it’s a hindrance, then you might want to make a decision. But I thought we handled it well and we’ve been doing it through spring and fall,” Chadwell said.

A shared experience

First-year Kansas coach Les Miles can empathize with the Chants, who have been displaced by Hurricane Dorian this week.

Coastal evacuated the school’s campus on Monday and has been staying in Greenville and practicing and working out at colleges and high schools in the Greenville area, including Clemson and Furman universities.

Miles experienced hurricanes during his 12 seasons at LSU from 2005-16, including Katrina in his first season with the Tigers.

“I was certainly involved in some significant hurricane seasons in Baton Rouge so I wish them the very best,” Miles said Monday.

Miles said there can be a short-term benefit on the field. The Chants won a pair of games on the road at Campbell and Louisiana last year while displaced from campus for three weeks because of Hurricane Florence.

“The positives are you’re with your team and there’s something different and enjoyment [being together]. The negative is it takes you out of your routine and you’re going to have to take a new road, a new schedule, and that’s always a pain. It’s difficult at best and I wish them all the best.”

Miles to go

Kansas is coming off a 3-9 season, hasn’t won more than three games in a season in the past nine years and went 3-33 from 2015-17 during coach David Beaty’s four-year reign.

After being out of coaching for a couple years, Miles has taken over the Jayhawks and is attempting to change the culture.

How?

“I turned to the players and asked them what kind of team they wanted to be and their answer was just exactly what I needed and they needed to hear,” Miles said. “They want to do all those things that make them more capable of being a champion and having a special year. We’re going to ask them to do all those things that we see and they see as a necessity to be that team. Having the players buy in certainly is first.”

Biscardi named POW

CCU sophomore kicker Massimo Biscardi was tabbed the Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week. The award is the first conference weekly honor for CCU player since 2017.

Biscardi made three field goals for the third time in his college career and in the season opener vs. Eastern Michigan and scored 11 points, giving him a point in all 13 games he has played at Coastal. His 53-yard field goal in the second quarter was a career-long and tied the school record, and he also made 45- and 38-yarders while missing a 26-yarder with three minutes to play.

“He had a great year last year and was solid Saturday,” Chadwell said. “He steadily improved throughout the offseason to the beginning of the year. He had a good game but he missed one there when we really needed one, so that’s what I challenge him on is to continue to get better. He’s someone we’re going to have to count on when we get in field goal range.”

Saturday’s Game

What: Coastal Carolina at Kansas

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan.

TV: ESPN+

Radio: WRNN 99.5 FM

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