Courtesy: CCU Media Relations
MISSOULA, Mont. – Alex Ross rushed for a career-high 123 yards and completed 16-of-21 passes for 202 yards and three scores, to lead #11 Coastal Carolina to a 42-35 victory over eighth-seed and #4/5 Montana (11-3) in the second round of the NCAA Division I Championship Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Chanticleers improve to 12-2 and will be making the program's first appearance in the third round of the FCS playoff next week, facing North Dakota State.
Ross was nearly perfect in the first half, completing 12-of-14 passes and two scores in leading the Chants to a 35-14 halftime advantage.
CCU All-Americans Lorenzo Taliaferro and Quinn Backus each figured proximately in the win as well.
Taliaferro, who had 16 rushes for 104 yards, tied two more Big South single-season records by scoring twice and giving him eight multi-rushing TDs as well as nine multi-TD games. Taliaferro is also the Big South single-season leader in rushing TDs (now with 26), games with 3-plus rushing TDS (5), most points scored (now with 167) and most total TDs scored (now with 28).
Backus, who came through with a critical interception midway through the fourth quarter, set the CCU single-season and career record for solo tackles. He finished with a team-high 10 stops, five solo, giving him 83 solo stops of the season and 170 for his career. Mike McClure added 10 tackles, including two for loss, while Richie Sampson had eight stops and three pass breakups.
The 12th win adds on to Coastal Carolina's already record-setting season for wins. The Chants will make their first appearance in the FCS Quarterfinals next week. The North Dakota State Bison are back-to-back defending national champions, and after defeating Furman 38-7, will host CCU on Saturday, December 14th with a noon (ET) kickoff. The game will be televised on ESPN.