- Ian Livingston Brooking & Akilah Stroman
CCU falls to Gamecocks 49-15 in season opener
While time of possession was only separated by four seconds (South Carolina possessing the ball for 30 minutes and two seconds, Coastal for 29 minutes and 58 seconds), the rest of the stat lines tell another story.
The Gamecocks had more rushing yards (263) than Coastal had total yards (238). The Chanticleers were unable to move the ball in third down situations, only converting two of the nine third downs they faced.
South Carolina on the other hand, converted five of the nine third downs they faced as well as going two for three on fourth down conversions.
Despite the result, head coach Joe Moglia brought to light the positives after a 34-point loss in Columbia.
“I thought we played hard and never gave up,” said Moglia. “We played a very good team today.”
Moglia made note of the some of the things that he noticed from the sidelines on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
“We had a nice long drive and then had that fumble on the option play that turned into a turnover,” said Moglia. “There were also times throughout the first that the defense was allowing their players to get open or have step on us. I can’t really give a good overview of what I saw out there until I look at the film.”
Moglia also gave his praises to the special teams unit today. Last season, Coastal allowed four special teams touchdowns and going up against South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel was going to be a challenge.
“South Carolina has one of the best special teams units in the country,” said Moglia. “I think we held our own today against them. I am very proud of our guys and I think this is going to be a valuable learning experience for them.”
The Gamecocks took a commanding 14-0 lead with just over five minutes left in the first quarter after two long drives lead to a touchdown on each drive. Coastal finally got on the board three minutes into the second quarter thanks to a 39-yard field goal by Massimo Biscardi.
Jake Bentley and the Gamecocks marched down the field twice in the final half of the second quarter, scoring two more touchdowns to put South Carolina up 28-3 at the half. Bentley already had three touchdowns by halftime.
Biscardi got another field goal after a long drive for the Chanticleers to help cut the lead down to 28-6 with a little over 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.
Once again, South Carolina scored two touchdowns in a single quarter to make it 42-6 going into the final quarter of play.
Coastal finally found the end zone when Bryce Carpenter connected with Jaivon Heiligh for an eight-yard toss to the corner of the end zone. The Chants failed to convert on the two-point conversion following the touchdown, making it 42-12.
The Gamecocks would add one more touchdown for good measure while Biscardi notched his third field goal of the game to make it the final score of 49-15 in favor of South Carolina.
The Chanticleers will return home this weekend for a revenge game against the UAB Blazers. Coastal fell to UAB last season 30-23 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Kickoff for Coastal Carolina and UAB is set for 7 p.m. at Brooks Stadium.