CONWAY - This week, Coastal Carolina will prepare with a little bit more intensity as rivalry week kicks off between the Chants and the Liberty Flames. There is plenty of history to this matchup, in which each team has won against the other five times.
The Chants will be playing loud music at practice to help simulate crowd noise and work on communication while on the road at Williams Stadium. Coastal took the most recent meeting last year at home, 36-12. The last time these teams had a one possession game was back in 2008, and the Chants are taking that and the hostile conditions into consideration for the weekend.
"The home crowd will play a factor in it, so I know they'll be ready to go," said CCU wide receiver Matt Hazel. "It's a big game, homecoming for them, so they're going to have a packed house."
"You never want to look ahead to any other games, but to be honest this (looks to be) the toughest test for us in the Big South," said defensive end Dominique Whiteside. "Eight of the last nine times, the winner of this game has won at least a share of the Big South conference title. So this is almost like a championship game going into it."
Liberty sports a 3-3 record on the year, and was picked to finish second in the Big South this season. Coastal, the preseason favorite maintains that first place spot, and a 6-0 record, along with a #4 ranking in the latest FCS Coaches Poll, the highest ranking any Big South school has ever received. The Flames point to this as even more motivation to come away with a win on Saturday.
"There is a lot more significance in this game because it's a conference game," said Flames head coach Turner Gill. "There's a lot more significance because they're undefeated, and they're playing well, and we're playing well. You look for these opportunities."
"Since I've been a player here, we've never lost at home to them," explained Liberty senior tight end Brandon Apon. "In fact we'll kind of split. We lose at they're place, they lose here. And being my last year, we're determined to keep the record straight, to get one up on them, and to let them know, you don't come in to our house and beat us."