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Sun Belt season has arrived: Coastal Carolina begins life in the FBS

  • Updated
Sun Belt Media Day

Coastal Carolina interim head coach Jamey Chadwell takes his team on the road Saturday to face UAB. 

Two years and one day removed from the first announcement, the day has finally arrived. Coastal Carolina is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), a step up from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA.

As members of the competitive Sun Belt Conference, the Chanticleers aren’t expecting any free rides or easy paths to the scoreboard, said interim head coach Jamey Chadwell.

And like most college football pundits, Chadwell expects a large learning curve, beginning Saturday when the Chants play the University of Massachusetts.

“Our mission is to put a team on the field that can give 100 percent effort,” said Chadwell. “I expect you to see a team that will compete each and every week.”

A former head coach at Charleston Southern University, Chadwell left the Bucs earlier this year to be Coastal’s offensive coordinator. But when Coastal head coach Joe Moglia decided to take a medical sabbatical, Chadwell was moved to the interim position.

He said he’s seen plenty of positives during summer practices and scrimmages.

But one of the glaring issues is the lack of a true starting quarterback. There are six passers on the Chants’ roster and Chadwell hasn’t advertised one as the outright starter.

“I’ll be honest, I’d like to know who it’s going to be myself,” he said during a press conference earlier this week. “It would make me feel a lot better too if I felt better about the consistency there.”

Despite issues behind center, Chadwell said his team is stable in other key areas. For example, senior running back Osharmar Abercrombie is set to replace fan favorite De’Angelo Henderson of Summerville. After a historic career at Coastal, Henderson was drafted this year by the Denver Broncos.

Chadwell said his new starter has “bided his team” and is ready for the job.

The coach also sees stability in the defense and expects that side of the ball to anchor the Chanticleers when they compete in close games.

When asked which games he has circled on the schedule, Chadwell said he’s only focused on the first one.

He said UMASS has had a lot of success, despite last year’s 2-10 record.

“They have talent in place to be a pretty good team,” he said. “For us, we have to be prepared. I expect us to be in a battle.”

This will be the first time the two teams have met. UMASS started its season last week in a 38-35 loss to Hawaii.

Saturday’s season opener will be a home game for the Chants. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry

Sports Reporter

Derrek Asberry is sports reporter with the Post and Courier. He joined the newsroom in March 2016, after three years at the Aiken Standard where he covered the Savannah River Site. He enjoys New York Yankee baseball and poker.