ULM 51-43 on Sept. 30, 2017
Strength: Offensive efficiency
Weakness: Youth and inexperience
Strength: Offensive experience, special teams
Weakness: Pass defense
Coastal Carolina’s special teams vs. ULM’s kick return teams: Coastal Carolina gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff in its last game against Troy, gave up an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to Louisiana-Monroe’s Marcus Green last year, and Green returned a punt for a touchdown last week against Mississippi. The ULM senior is among the most dynamic players in the Sun Belt Conference. He is a Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team selection as both a wide receiver and kick returner, and now has five kick returns for touchdowns. His 71-yard punt return against Ole Miss was his first punt return for a TD to go along with four career kickoff returns for TDs. Green was the Warhawks most productive player in a 70-21 loss last week with a season-high 198 all-purpose yards on seven receptions for 60 yards, the punt return and three kickoff returns for 67 yards.
“We’ve already allowed a kickoff return back for a touchdown this year and they’re good at this,” CCU head coach Joe Moglia said. “That’s something we have to make sure doesn’t happen again. . . . The special teams has got to be able to come up with a big play or certainly hold them even if they’re really effective.”
Players to watch
Senior running back Marcus Outlow: The 5-10, 205-pound Boston College transfer leads the Chants with 429 yards rushing on 85 carries for a 5.0-yard average per carry, and has six rushing TDs.
Senior wide receiver Malcolm Williams: He leads the team with 22 receptions for 245 yards and two TDs, has a catch in 10 straight games and is one of 10 CCU players to ever surpass 1,000 career receiving yards.
Sophomore defensive end Jeffrey Gunter: The 6-4, 255-pounder from Durham, N.C., leads the Sun Belt and ranks 19th nationally with 1.6 tackles for loss per game with eight, including three sacks, among his 23 total tackles, and has blocked a field goal attempt.
Senior receiver Marcus Green: In addition to his kick return skills, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week has a team-high 26 receptions for 392 yards for a 15.1-yard average per catch, and has four receiving TDs.
Junior quarterback Caleb Evans: The 6-2, 212-pound Texas native ranks second in the Sun Belt with 233 passing yards and 283.2 yards of total offense per game. He has completed 130 of 217 passes for 1,398 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions and leads the team in rushing with 301 yards and three TDs on 66 carries.
Senior linebacker Collin Turner: The 5-foot-10, 175-pound fifth-year senior leads the team with 47 tackles including 31 solos, 16 assists, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and three pass break-ups.
He said it
“We’re aware of what happened last year with the shootout. On our part we want to eliminate the penalties, eliminate the little mistakes and come out here and try to play a perfect game. It’s not going to be perfect, but the more we can limit those mistakes on our part the better off our offense will be.” – CCU senior running back Marcus Outlow
“I’m really impressed with Coastal and what they’re doing and what coach Moglia has done with his football team. They had a very impressive win over UAB, impressive road win against Lousiana-Lafayette, I’m just impressed with what they’re doing. They’re very creative running the ball and have a bunch of different ways they can attack you. It’s going to be really tough to defend. We had heck with them last year trying to defend them, and they’re back and I think doing an even better job of executing what they do.” – ULM coach Matt Viator
“From a defensive perspective we have to eliminate some of the breakdowns we’ve had. We know they have threats. We know the quarterback’s good, we know the running back’s good, we know they have a couple good receivers. They’re tough up front.” – CCU coach Joe Moglia
Will Kilton Anderson play for Coastal Carolina. The senior quarterback, who has the third-best total Quarterback Rating (QBR) in the nation, has been deemed a game-time decision because of a high ankle sprain. Anderson missed the last game against Troy two weeks ago but has practiced this week. If he can’t go freshman Bryce Carpenter will likely get his second straight start.
The Chants have been efficient on offense regardless of the quarterback this year. CCU quarterbacks lead the conference and rank third in all of FBS with a 72.8 completion percentage, rank second in the Sun Belt and seventh nationally with a team passing efficiency mark of 184.51, and are second in the conference and ninth nationally with just two interceptions thrown.
ULM has been susceptible to the pass all season, giving up more than 336 yards per game through the air and 530.8 yards per game overall.
The Warhawks scored 34 points per game and amassed 458 yards per game last year and returned the key pieces on offense in junior dual threat quarterback Caleb Evans, receivers Green and junior R.J. Turner, who has 23 receptions for 323 yards and is coming off a 100-yard game against Ole Miss, and senior Alabama transfer Derrick Gore at running back.
Yet this year they have scored just 21.2 points per game with 402.5 yards of offense.
“We’ve just been really inconsistent offensively this year,” ULM head coach Matt Viator said. “We have as many first downs as anybody, we’ve been in the red zone more times than anybody this year, yet we’re not scoring points. It’s frustrating and hopefully we can put it together one of these weeks.”
“. . . Hopefully this week because we’ll need everything we’ve got for sure”
▪ Coastal has trailed in the first quarter in all five of its games this season.
▪ Because Coastal moved its game against Campbell to Buies Creek, N.C., to avoid Hurricane Florence, this is just Coastal’s second home game of the season. With away games the next two weeks, CCU will play just two of its first eight games at Brooks Stadium.
▪ Coastal has been superb in the red zone this season, scoring on 16 of 17 possessions for a 94.1 scoring percentage that ranks second in teh Sun Belt and 18th nationally.
▪ Coastal and ULM are tied for the most first downs in the confernce with 123 each, yet CCU has scored 34.2 points per game to rank 43rd in the nation while ULM has scored 21.2 points per game to rank 117th. Red zone efficiency accounts for much of that discrepancy.
Coastal Carolina -6.5
Coastal 45, ULM 34: Regardless of the quarterback, Coastal should be able to put up points on the Warhawks.
Who: Coastal Carolina (3-2, 1-1 Sun Belt) vs ULM (2-4, 0-2 Sun Belt)
When: 6 p.m. (Eastern)
Where: Brooks Stadium, Conway, S.C.
Occassion: Family Weekend
TV: Live on ESPN+
Radio: WRNN 99.5-FM
Live stats: Through www.goccusports.com GameTracker