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  • By Jacob Bashura and Tyler Connolly

Chants win first game of the season against Citadel

Coastal Carolina University students, staff, and alumni have high expectations for the Chanticleer football team after a successful 2020-21 season.

The Chanticleers finished last season with a 12-1 record that included notable wins against the No. 24 ranked Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, and No. 13 ranked BYU.

Heading into this Season the Chanticleers are ranked 22 in the AP Poll and 24 in the Coaches Poll. The Chants offense will be without last year's leading rusher, C.J. Marable (887 Yards on 169 attempts), who entered the NFL draft but was just recently waived by the Chicago Bears.

Returning is Redshirt sophomore, Grayson McCall. He looks to continue his campaign as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks after winning Sun Belt Player of the Year and Sun Belt Freshman of the Year. The 2022 draft prospect Isaiah Likely (TE) is also poised to have another big season after finishing last year with 601 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

CCU students are excited to see the electric offense on the field once again.

"RB Reese White and RB Shermari Jones should form a solid committee that should keep defensive coordinators up at night when paired with the legs of Grayson McCall,” said sophomore Aidan Kenneally.

The “Black Swarm" defense also looks to continue their dominance this season but will have to do so without Sun Belt Conference sack leader Tarron Jackson as he entered the NFL Draft and was selected in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, dominant linebacker Jeffrey Gunter and team interception leader D’Jordan Strong are returning and looking to lead the defense to another dominant season.

“Defensive coordinator Chad Staggs was excellent at schematically generating pressure and keeping a suffocating coverage behind it,” said Kenneally. “Coastal Carolina plays smart football by not turning the ball over often (3 interceptions for Grayson McCall on the season) and taking their time on possessions to drive down the field and control the clock (37:51 time of possession in-game against BYU).”

The first game of the season against Citadel went exactly as Coastal Carolina fans had hoped it would, as the Chanticleers came away with a 52-14 victory.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall finished 16 of 19 for 262 yards and a touchdown, as well as two carries for 24 yards.

After beginning the season 1-0, the Chanticleers hope to win again at home against Kansas on Friday, Sept. 10.

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