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Coastal Carolina Football: 2018 Chanticleers Preview and Prediction

Coastal Carolina's greatest addition this year will likely be the return of head coach Joe Moglia, who missed the entire 2017 season while on a sabbatical to deal with medical condition. Moglia, the acting chairman of the board at TD Ameritrade who returned to coaching after more than two decades in the corporate world, won the 2015 Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year Award.

 

Previewing Coastal Carolina Football's Offense for 2018

 

Coastal Carolina has been searching for a productive quarterback for the past two years. Due to of a combination of injuries and scheme changes, the Chanticleers used seven quarterbacks in 2016 and six in 2017, and they still don't appear to have settled on a starter as the '18 season approaches.

 

Senior Kilton Anderson, a former starter at Fresno State who finished the 2017 season as QB1 for Coastal, and incoming freshman Bryce Carpenter, who enrolled in January, worked with the first-team offense in the spring game.

 

Coastal boasts quality depth at running back with the return of Boston College transfer Marcus Outlow and sophomores Alex James and Jacqez Hairston. It adds sophomore Torrance Marable, who led the Big South in rushing with 1,038 rushing yards last season for Presbyterian, which is in the process of dropping scholarships.

 

The Chants return speedy receivers Ky'Jon Tyler and Malcolm Williams, as well as possession receiver Omar Black. Williams had 266 yards last year against ULM.

 

Coastal started the youngest and least experienced offensive line in the country by season's end and projects up to four sophomores to start in 2018.

 

Previewing Coastal Carolina Football's Defense for 2018

 

New defensive coordinator Marvin Sanders, a former DC at North Carolina, will have to rework a unit that gave up 34.0 points per game last season and has only four returning starters.

 

Two of the returning starters are in the secondary -- senior cornerback Anthony Chesley, who was second on the team in pass breakups in 2017 with eight, and senior safety Fitz Wattley, who led the Chants with three interceptions and was second on the team with 82 tackles. The other returning starters are sophomore linebacker Silas Kelly, third on the team with 75 total tackles, and senior defensive lineman Ja'ree Tolbert.

 

Without a projected starter weighing 300 pounds or more, the Chants will rely on quickness and technique along the defensive front. Clemson graduate transfer Sterling Johnson should provide immediate help in the trenches. The linebacker corps of Kelly, senior James Heft and junior Laqavious Paul is talented if not overly experienced. The toughest graduate to replace will be inside linebacker Shane Johnson, who had 100 tackles in 2017.

 

The Chants struggled to produce turnovers last season, with just six fumble recoveries and five interceptions, and they recorded only 15 sacks. Sanders hopes to increase those numbers.

 

Previewing Coastal Carolina Football's Specialists for 2018

 

Senior Evan Rabon handles both placements and punts for the Chants. Nothing too unusual about that -- except for the fact that he punts with his left foot and kicks with his right foot. He was 12-of-19 on field goal attempts last season and averaged a school-record 43.2 yards per punt.

 

Final Analysis

 

Coastal is in its third year of transitioning to the FBS and will be eligible for a bowl game for the first time. The Chants went 3-9 and 2-6 in their first season in the Sun Belt, winning their final two games to snap a program-record nine-game losing streak and take some momentum into the offseason. They look to improve their standing with Moglia back at the helm.

 

National Ranking: 123 Sun Belt East Prediction: 5