Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bilo's 2017 College Football Preview: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Chanticleers are busting into FBS football for the first time, and the program is primed to succeed on this level such as Appalachian State and Georgia Southern have before them in the Sun Belt. Despite some holes on the roster, the Chanticleers have a foundation that has built up fairly quickly under Joe Moglia. How quickly will the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers take to move up the ranks?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
There are eight open holes this fall, and that is a tough way to enter FBS football. The only returning starters are WR Chris Jones, LG Adam Lawhorn, and C Jamarion McBride. This is probably not the best look to succeed early on, but it's hard to bet against this coaching staff.

What To Be Concerned About: Offense
There are, as I said, eight starting spots up for grabs, and none bigger than at QB, where as many as many as five candidates have tossed their hats into the ring. Tyler Keane starterd seven games last season, but is getting moved aside by Syracuse grad transfer Austin Wilson. Wilson got a minimal break last season, playing in place of the injured Eric Dungy, but the sample size to get a read on him is very small. Sophomore Austin Bradley and senior Josh Tilley, who was injured during spring ball, are also in the fight.

The top two backs from last season are gone. Boston College transfer Marcus Outlow will join Osharmar Abercrombie will try to do their best to hold up the run game.

WR Ky'Jon Tyler will join TE Laquay Brown will both do their parts to hold down the passing game.

The Chanticleers will also hit the reboot button at PK with Masamitsu Ishibashi.

What To Be Excited About: Defense
Marcus Williamson and Myles White will return at the DE spots, and they provide decent pressure from the edge. Dwayne Price will also return at DT to give the Chanticleers a solid front. Ja'Ree Tolbert will likely start at the open DT spot.

Shane Johnson will have to step up even bigger than he did last season at LB with the departure of Alex Scearce. Johnson finished with 66 tackles, even after missing two games last fall.

What To Be Concerned About: Defense
With Scearce gone, the Chants will turn to Laqavious Paul, a sophomore, to take his place. This is a huge replacement for this defense, and there is little room to fail.

The secondary returns only two of five starters in NB Kerron Johnson and CB Anthony Chesley. It will be interesting to see the changes that will be made in personnel, as there has been some talk of moving to a standard 4-3 from a 4-2-5 set.

Evan Rabon is back at Punter, but only averaged 39 yards per punt last season. The defense will need more real estate than that.

2017 Schedule
9/2 U Mass, 916 at UAB, 9/23 Western Illinois, 9/30 at UL-Monroe, 10/7 Georgia State, 10/14 at Arkansas State, 10/21 at Appalachian State, 10/28 Texas State, 11/4 at Arkansas, 11/11 Troy,11/18 at Idaho, 12/2 Georgia Southern

Final Overview
It's year one of an entirely new era of Coastal Carolina football, and as much as I want to prop this program up for the successes in Big South Football, they are in an entirely new universe now. The roster has some definite holes, but this is a talented staff that gets the most of what they have on hand. I would not bet against them entirely, but I do expect this team to hit some bumps before they can fly without turbulence. The future is indeed bright, but that's a longer term projection, not a short term one.

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