Coastal Carolina had another comeback come up short on Saturday, Oct. 7 as the Chanticleers fell to Georgia State 27-21 in front of a crowd of 15,991 people at Brooks Stadium.
Interim Head Coach Jamey Chadwell gave his thoughts on the game.
"This team continues to fight and play hard," said Chadwell. "Again, it comes to two or three plays. Our defense played really well and gave us a chance to win the game. Special teams was a disappointment today as that was a definitely a difference maker."
Heads were already shaking on the opening kickoff when Georgia State returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown.
Instantly, Coastal had to answer, but they did not. On their opening drive, senior quarterback Tyler Keane completed a first down when he connected with wide receiver Omar Black, but that wasn’t enough to put a touch down on the board.
Tyler Keane finished with 239 passing yards, completing 18 of his 26 attempts and three touchdowns.
In good field position in hopes to get some type of score, the 21-yard field goal on Coastal’s opening drive was missed.
Even with Georgia State making their presence known immediately out the gate and Coastal not putting up any points on their opening drive, there was still a lot of game left. But Georgia State took advantage of the missed field goal. They went down and scored another touchdown. It was now 14-0 with 3:25 left in the first quarter.
A second series by the Chanticleers was no better and they were forced to punt. To start the second quarter, a sack by the defense gives Coastal some life. A tackle by Anthony Chesley on third down forced Georgia State to punt and Coastal started to come alive.
Coastal needed a spark on offense and that’s what Malcolm Williams was for. A tough gain of 11 yards got the chains moving and the offense in a groove. Williams with another first down set up the 33-yard pass play touchdown from Keane to Black. It was Black’s first career touchdown. Coastal only trailed 14-7 with 6:58 left in the second quarter.
Black finished with five cathces for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Just when the offense and defense were going, a penalty by the defense put Georgia State in field goal range and they were able to capitalize off that and score a touchdown with 2:26 left in the half. It was now 21-7.
Coastal did nothing on the next series and was forced to punt. However, a penalty on Georgia State’s offense slowed them down and with five seconds left on the clock, Georgia State’s Connor Manning threw an interception to end the half. It was 21-7 all Georgia State at the half.
The third quarter was rough for both teams, struggling with penalties, loss of yards, an interception thrown by Georgia State and a missed field goal also by Georgia State, left the third quarter ending the same score, 21-7.
Senior linebacker Shane Johnson talked about that drive and how it was a confidence booster on the sidelines.
"That was probably the longest drive of my career," said Johnson. "They had to have had nine or ten plays in the red zone. There was a penalty on that drive that was my fault. I had a horse collar tackle right by our sidelines. The defense held their own though. We had that 'back against the wall' mentality on that drive."
Johnson finished with a game-high 12 tackles, seven of which were solo tackles.
A 5-yard touchdown pass from Keane to Ky’jon Tyler in the fourth quarter sparked something for the Coastal offense. It was 21-14 Georgia State with 6:58 left in the fourth quarter.
Georgia State answered back with a touchdown by a missed field goal left the score at 27-14. And just as Georgia State answered, so did Coastal. Keane to Larry Collins. Jr for a 5-yard pass play for a touchdown.
Collins Jr.'s first career touchdown helped spark a possible comeback for the Chanticleers with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter. They were only down 27-21 and if defense played smart, the Chanticleers could have had one more chance at winning the game.
The team lined up for an onside kick and the Chanticleers nearly recovered it but it slipped through the hands of a Coastal player and the Panthers recovered. Georgia State woild go ahead and run out the clock out to the very end leaving the game at 27-21.
The Chanticleers are now 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Sun Belt play and look to hopefully spark something this week against Arkansas State.
The Chanticleers travel to Jonesboro, Arkansas to take on the Red Wolves on Oct. 14. A time for kickoff has yet to be announced.