CONWAY – Coastal Carolina no longer controls its own destiny in the Sun Belt East Division after falling at Appalachian State in a gut-wrenching loss last week, but what it can do is take care of its own business.
The No. 24 Chants (6-1, 2-1 Sun Belt) will welcome Troy (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) to Brooks Stadium on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. for their first home game in 26 days. CCU needs a win to overtake the Trojans in the division standings and keep pace with the Mountaineers.
“We’ve had two back-to-back games with Troy University that went down to almost the last play in the fourth quarter, so (it’s going to be) a huge challenge,” CCU head coach Jamey Chadwell said. “Obviously there was a disappointment coming off last week, but we’ve learned from it this week and we know we’re going to have to play really well this week to win a game this Thursday.”
The Chants will go up against a Troy offense that is averaging 354.6 yards of total offense per game (241.7 passing and 112.9 rushing).
The Trojans have used two quarterbacks this season in Taylor Powell (1,171 passing yards, 7 TDs) and Gunnar Watson (521 passing yards, 3 TDs).
A three-headed monster of running backs in Kimani Vidal (449 yards, 4 TDs), B.J. Smith (240 yards, 3 TDs), and Jamontez Woods (209 yards, 4 TDs) lead the ground attack for Troy, while seven different players have recorded double-digit receptions on the season led by Tez Johnson (45 catches, 418 yards, 2 TDs).
“Troy likes to sling it around a lot,” CCU sixth-year senior linebacker Silas Kelly said. “They’ve become more balanced when they put Watson in."
However, it has been the defense that has led the Trojans this season, as Troy leads the Sun Belt in total defense at 286.9 yards allowed per game.
Troy also leads the Sun Belt and ranks first nationally in sacks per game (4.43) and tackles-for-loss per game (9.0), and ranks third nationally in interceptions with 12 picks.
Linebacker Carlton Martial leads Troy with 64 total tackles, seven for a loss, and one sack. He also has one interception and has forced a fumble.
However, the Troy defense will have a tough task in stopping the high-powered Chants offense, which is first in the country in yards per play with 8.54, third in scoring offense with 45.6 points per game, seventh in total offense with 524.4 yards per game, and first in fourth-down conversions at 100 percent (6 for 6).
Quarterback Grayson McCall is first in the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 225.83 and second in passing yards per completion with 17.34.