Back Hot Read: Coastal Proves True Late

Hot Read: Coastal Proves True Late

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Coastal Carolina edges Troy 42-38 in a classic.

1. Though not necessarily expected, Coastal Carolina vs Troy was a fantastic football game. It was hard fought, too, with both teams recording 29 first downs. The Chanticleers won, becoming college football's first 11-0 team, with a drive to remember. Following a furious rally from the Trojans, two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score, in 1:28, Coastal Carolina found itself down 38-35 with just 1:20 remaining. The Chanticleers had a championship response. Quarterback Grayson McCall led the offense on a 5-play, 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive in 45 seconds. McCall found Jaivon Heligh, the star of the finish, for a signature 23-yad touchdown strike. Coastal Carolina's defense, the heralded pair of Jeffrey Gunter and Tarron Jackson, then teammed for a sack and fumble recovery to finish off the win.

Tested, the winners showed poise and resolve when it mattered most.

2. With Florida and Miami losing in front of them, the undefeated Chanticleers should have an opportunity to continue to move up in the polls. A second win over Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship Game should at least have Coastal Carolina considered as part of the College Football Playoff discussion, in addition to being an obvious lock for a New Year's Six bowl game.

3. Coastal Carolina's offensive trio of Grayson McCall, C.J. Marable and Jaivon Heligh have to be one of the best playmaking groups in the country. McCall completed 24-of-29 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns, adding 40 rushing yards and another score on the ground. Marable ran 20 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns, catching three passes for 47 yards and another score. Heligh caught eleven for 138 and a touchdown, including three grabs for 55 yards and the game-winner on the final drive.

4.  Turnovers were one of the key difference-makers for the Chanticleers as two interceptions lead directly to Coastal Carolina touchdowns and the Chanticleers closed the game out with Tarron Jackson's fumble recovery. Brayden Matt's first quarter pick came in the Coastal Carolina redzone. Alex Spillum's fourth quarter interception and 55 yard return set up a touchdown four plays later.

5. That was a heck of an effort from Troy. There are no moral victories, but the Trojans had the top ten Chanticleers on the ropes, leading Coastal Carolina with less than one minute to play. Troy's late fourth quarter rally was impressive and very nearly enough to pull off the upset.

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