Coastal Carolina’s offense was explosive a season ago, and it helped the Chanticleers win nine of their first 10 games.
But they closed the year by losing three straight, all by at least three possessions. That includes a 45-26 defeat to Troy in the Sun Belt Championship.
Now former head coach Jamey Chadwell is gone, having moved on to Liberty, and Tim Beck is entering his first season leading the team. But the Chanticleers return plenty of players from last season, including their star quarterback.
Will that be enough for Coastal Carolina to close the season with a conference title? Or is the end of last season an indication of how the Chanticleers will play in 2023?
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Coastal Carolina Football’s Over/Under Win Total
Coastal Carolina’s win total Over/Under is 7.5, with Under 7.5 at +110 and Over 7.5 at -135.
Coastal Carolina Football’s Schedule
9/2 at UCLA
9/9 vs Jacksonville State
9/16 vs Duquesne
9/21 vs Georgia State
9/30 at Georgia Southern
10/10 at Appalachian State
10/21 at Arkansas State
10/28 vs Marshall
11/4 at Old Dominion
11/11 vs Texas State
11/18 at Army
11/25 vs James Madison
Bold indicates Sun Belt contests.
Key Coastal Carolina Football Returners
2022 All-Sun Belt 1st Team
QB Grayson McCall
WR Sam Pinckney
LB J.T. Killen
RB C.J. Beasley
WR Tyson Mobley
LB Shane Bruce
Grayson McCall And Sam Pinckney Are The Stars of Coastal Carolina’s Offense
Coastal Carolina’s offense, which was sixth in the Sun Belt with 29.1 points and 405.3 yards per game last year, begins with its quarterback.
Grayson McCall is among the best Group of Five quarterbacks in 2023. He’s the reigning three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year and has earned a plethora of other awards.
He owns Coastal Carolina’s records for touchdowns responsible for (95) and passing touchdowns (78). He threw for 2,700 yards, 24 touchdowns, and two interceptions on a 70% completion rate.
The team’s leading receiver, Sam Pinckney, is one of the best wide receivers in G5. He was second in the Sun Belt with 71 receptions and third with 996 receiving yards to go with three touchdowns.
In fact, all four of Coastal Carolina’s top four receivers are back this year. That includes Jared Brown, one of the best returning Sun Belt wideouts and the conference’s freshman of the year in 2022, and Tyson Mobley, who was on the all-conference honorable mention list in 2022.
Coastal Carolina also picked up tight ends Kendall Karr from North Carolina and Cane Berrong from Notre Dame via the transfer portal.
C.J. Beasley led the team with 717 rushing yards to go with five touchdowns and added 193 yards and a touchdown on 19 receptions. He’s back after earning all-conference honorable mention accolades last year. Reese White, who was second with 544 rushing yards and five touchdowns, also returns.
Left tackle Donnell Wilson, left guard Will McDonald, and right guard Willie Moise are all back after being their team’s primary starters in 2022. The Chanticleers also added former Furman center Evan Jumper via the transfer portal. They were fifth in the conference with 159.2 rushing yards per game and allowed the seventh-fewest sacks (30).
J.T. Killen Looks To Lead Coastal Carolina’s Defense
Coastal Carolina will be looking to make some improvements on defense. The Chanticleers were 11th in the Sun Belt with 418.2 yards per game allowed and second to last with 31.8 points per game allowed.
Coastal Carolina will also need to make some adjustments with a few key losses. Adrian Hope, who paced the team with 11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, and Lance Boykin, who had a team-best eight pass breakups and was second on the team with 58 tackles, are both gone.
However, seven of the Chanticleers’ top 12 tacklers are back.
Linebacker J.T. Killen was on the All-Sun Belt second team after leading Coastal Carolina with 96 tackles while adding 6.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, and two sacks. Linebacker Shane Bruce chipped in 57 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss en route to making the all-conference honorable mention list.
The Chanticleers were top five in the Sun Belt with 35 sacks, but they lost three of their top five sack leaders. Defensive tackle Ja’Quon Griffin will hope to lead Coastal Carolina’s effort to pressure the quarterback after ranking second on the team with 5.5 sacks.
Coastal Carolina also hopes that transfer linebacker Carlos Hatcher from Tulane and transfer defensive lineman Micheal Mason from Wofford will provide the defense a boost.
Coastal Carolina Football Season Prediction
Coastal Carolina will win the Sun Belt Championship and will win eight games at minimum.
While teams like Troy will make this difficult, I believe the Chanticleers will be highly motivated to end this year differently than 2022. And I think that’ll be clear pretty early.
The only games on Coastal Carolina’s schedule that it might not be favored in is its first at UCLA and its last against James Madison at home. Without Troy on their slate, the Chanticleers could actually win 10 games in the regular season.
Of the nine Group of Five opponents the Chanticleers play in 2023, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Marshall, and JMU have win total Over/Unders higher than 5.5. Two of those matchups are at home.
So even accounting for two letdown losses against those four programs, that still gives the Chanticleers just three losses for the season.
They should comfortably win eight games. And if they do, they’ll be in a great position to win a conference title.