After a 51-17 loss on the road to Arkansas State on Oct. 14, the Chanticleers are facing something they have never faced before—a five-game losing streak,
While the stat sheet made it look like it was a rather close game, the score line told another story. The Red Wolves had three more first downs than Coastal and only had 47 more yards than the Chanticleers. Not only that, there was only one turnover for the Chanticleers which lead to an Arkansas State touchdown.
All of this begs the question: what happened?
It was the third downs. Arkansas State went 9 of 15 on third downs while the Chanticleers only went 3 for 11. Coastal has gone 25 for 73 on third down conversions this year, a 34 percent conversion rate. In the first six games last season, the Chanticleers had a 38 percent conversion rate, going 25 of 65.
The offense needs to do one of two things, either get better on third downs or don’t put the team in that situation as much.
The passing game is showing some improvement. Junior quarterback Kilton Anderson showed great promise this week, throwing for 133 yards and a touchdown.
However, the team needs some sort of spark this weekend as they go take on former FCS powerhouse, Appalachian State.
Appalachian State won three straight FCS National Championships from 2005 to 2007. During that 2007 season, Appalachian State pulled off the biggest upset in college football history, beating the fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor at “The Big House” by a score of 34-32.
Appalachian State has been in Coastal Carolina’s shoes before. In their first year in the Sun Belt, the Mountaineers started 1-5 but eventually turned things around and finished in third place in the Sun Belt standings with a 7-5 record.
Appalachian State is one of, if not, the toughest opponent Coastal Carolina will play all season. The history of Appalachian State is much like the history of Coastal, lots of wins and conference titles with barely any losing seasons.
In fact, App State has not had back-to-back losing seasons since 1981 and 1982. Since that 4-7 season in 1982, App State has only had three losing seasons. App State has had eight 10-plus winning seasons since 2003, the year in which Coastal played their first season of football.
App State has been averaging 396 yards per game. The Coastal Carolina defense has given up 401 yards per game and that needs to end this week. The defense needs to put up a performance of a lifetime in order to stop the team that was picked to win the Sun Belt.
The Chanticleers last faced off with the Mountaineers in 2012 when they fell 55-14 in Boone, North Carolina.
Coastal is 0-3 against the Mountaineers, first playing in 2005 when the Chanticleers traveled to Boone and lost 30-3. The teams would meet up a year later in Coastal’s first ever FCS playoff appearance, falling to the Mountaineers 45-28.
The Chants will hopefully end their losing streak and nab their first win over the Mountaineers on Saturday, Oct. 21 in Boone, North Carolina.