Back Hot Read: Coastal Makes National Statement

Hot Read: Coastal Makes National Statement

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Coastal Carolina beats BYU 22-17 in a classic.

1. What a compelling, dramatic and fun football game, one that exceeded any and all expectations. What a finish. 

For a contest that came together in a matter of mere days, the matchup had the absolute look and feel of a showdown of undefeated top 15 teams, which it certainly was. There is something to Coastal Carolina. Not only are the Chanticleers a talented, confident and well-coached football team, they embrace the biggest of moments. They welcome the pressure. Trailing early in the fourth quarter, Coastal Carolina was the more poised and side in the game's most critical moments. The ending came with a storybook script, with the Chanticleers preserving the historic victory with a tackle at the 1-yard line as time expired. Through all of that, it never looked like Coastal Carolina had any doubt.

2. This is a resume that is much more impressive than most might initially realize. BYU was slotted eighth in the AP and Coaches Poll, so the triumph over the Cougars gives Coastal Carolina one of the signature wins of the entire college football season. It is the second victory over a ranked opponent for the Chanticleers as they beat Louisiana back in mid-October. They will get another chance at the Ragin' Cajuns in the upcoming Sun Belt Conference Championship Game. Coastal Carolina also has wins over Appalachian State and Georgia Southern with its backup quarterback.

3. The Chanticleers were great defensively, constantly bringing pressure and making BYU earn all of the production compiled. Coastal Carolina held superstar quarterback Zach Wilson to just one total touchdown and 240 passing yards on 19-of-30 throws. The Cougars, limited to just 17 total points in Conway, were averaging 50.6 points per game over their last five outings. This defense passed a very tough test on short notice, holding BYU to just three second half points.

4. Credit the offensive line for a leading performance in the Chanticleers' win. The undersized group, referenced on the broadcast as the "Mighty Mites" a few times, constantly won the line of scrimmage. Coastal Carolina's offensive line has been one of the best in college football and Saturday evening came with even more affirmation. The Chanticleers rushed for 281 yards and three touchdowns and gave up just one tackle for loss all game.

5. Consider that a national showcase for C.J. Marable, who had 1,085 yards and eleven touchdowns on the ground a year ago. Coastal Carolina's star running back rushed for 132 tough yards and two critical touchdowns on 22 carries. Marable was the offensive catalyst for the Chanticleers, also catching three passes. His energy on the game's first scoring drive, including his six-yard touchdown run, was a tone-setter for Coastal Carolina.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports