Coastal Carolina looks to clinch first bowl game with win against Georgia Southern

Ryan Pye

Just when things were looking up for the Eagles in 2018, things have taken a turn for the worse in their last couple of games.

Since their big win against App State, Georgia Southern has dropped two games in a row, which, unfortunately, came against conference opponents ULM and Troy.

With just two remaining contests on their schedule, the Eagles have to stiffen up and finish the year strong as they square off with two more Sun Belt members.

Before they head to Atlanta for the rivalry series with Georgia State, the Eagles will travel to Conway, South Carolina to take on Coastal Carolina this Saturday.

With bowl aspirations lurking on both sides, especially the Chanticleers, who need one more win to become bowl-eligible, the match up is crucial to post-season placings.

Before the teams take the field, let’s get to know exactly what the Eagles are up against this weekend.

Coastal Carolina Offense

Coastal Carolina holds a 5-5 record so far in 2018, but it hasn’t been completely due to their inability to score. Through their 10 games, the Chanticleers are averaging just under 28 points per game and have numerous playmakers the Eagles will have to watch out for.

Two different quarterbacks have thrown the ball more than 60 times this season for CCU, but despite the quantity, they are averaging just over 175 yards per game in the air. Kilton Anderson leads the team with 722 passing yards and six touchdowns, but his teammate Fred Payton has also thrown for 588 yards and tossed five touchdowns.

No matter who is throwing the ball, CCU receiver Malcolm Williams is the man who receives the bulk of the catches. Williams has caught 40 passes on the year, racking up 615 total yards and four touchdowns.

The Chanticleers’ running game is centered around two backs that have done a tremendous job for the team in 2018, leading them to average more than 220 yards on the ground per game.

CJ Marable has carried the ball nearly 100 times this season, and he has 643 yards and six touchdowns to show for it. Marable still falls behind senior Marcus Outlaw for the team leader in rushing yards, however. Outlaw has gone for more than 665 yards and eight touchdowns on his 133 carries on the year.

Coastal Carolina Defense

The trouble for the Chanticleers this season has sprung from their struggles on the defensive side of the ball, where opponents are averaging nearly 33 points per game.

There is no one particular area where CCU is struggling to contain opposing offenses. In fact, the splits are pretty much even through the air and on the ground.

The Chanticleers have let quarterbacks throw for nearly 225 yards per game in 2018, but the Eagles should be aware that the Chanticleers are also allowing almost 220 yards on the ground per contest.

Their defense is simply allowing more points than their offense can keep up with, and that has been a recipe for disaster.

With the Eagles on a two-game skid heading into this one, it may be time for them to have an offensive explosion against an underpowered defense in CCU.

Ryan Pye, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, [email protected]