Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Media Relations
CHARLOTTE, N.C. –
Alex Ross tied his own school record with 426 yards of total offense – as he threw for a career-high 370 yards and rushed for two scores – and Coastal Carolina rolled up a school-record 690 yards of total offense as the #2/3 Chanticleers (10-0) handed Charlotte (3-6) a 59-34 loss Saturday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.
Coastal was just five yards shy of the Big South single-game record for total yards and finishing with the fourth-best, single-game output in league history. Coastal becomes the first school in Big South history to start a season 10-0 as well as be the first Big South school to open a season at least 9-0 in consecutive seasons. The Chanticleers additionally set two Big South records by being 7-0 in road games this season, including most consecutive road wins and first league school to win seven road games in a season. Today's win was also CCU's 12th consecutive versus non-conference FCS opponents.
By scoring a season-high 59 points, Coastal became the first Big South school to tally at least 30-points in 10 straight games.
Ross completed 27-of-37 passes with no interceptions and, for just the second time in this his 25th start, no touchdowns. However, he did rush for 56 yards on nine carries with touchdown runs of three and 41 yards to improve to 22-3 all-time as Coastal's starter. It marks the second time in a six-game span he had a CCU-record 426 yards of total offense and the second consecutive game he posted career-high passing yards.
Coastal did not have two players record 100 receiving yards in a contest in the program's first 138 games. However, Tyrell Blanks and Bruce Mapp did it for the second consecutive game. Blanks tied a CCU single-game record with 10 receptions and tied his career high with 105 yards. Mapp added six receptions for 188 yards for his fourth game with triple digits.
Osharmar Abercrombie added a career-high 62 yards rushing with his first two-touchdown game.
After forcing a punt on Charlotte's first drive, Coastal Carolina was pinned on its own one yard line. Facing 3rd-and-10, Ross hit Alex Wheat, Jr. for a 19-yard gain. Mapp added a 32-yard run and, on 3rd-and-9, a 31-yard reception. Three plays later, Ross scored from three-yard out to give the Chanticleers an early 7-0 lead. For Coastal, it marked the fourth time in school history the offense has put together a 99-yard dirve – the third with Ross at quarterback.
Three plays after the ensuing kickoff, Quinn Backus forced a fumble that Leroy Cumming recovered. For Backus, he tied the Big South all=time record for forced fumbles (8) and tied the CCU single-season record with five forced fumbles this season. Cummings recovered his third fumble of the season, one shy of the CCU single-season mark.
Starting on the 49er 29 yard line, Ross hit Blanks for 20 yards to start the drive and Ross had an eight-yard rush to the 49er one yard line. De'Angelo Henderson did the rest, scoring from one-yard out, to give the Chants a 14-0 cushion.
As the second quarter began, Henderson converted a fourth down and, one play later, Devin Brown took a pitch from Ross and scored a 10-yard touchdown. Alex Catron's extra point made the score 21-0.
Midway through the second quarter, Abercrombie scored his second touchdown of the season, powering his way in from one-yard out for a 28-0 lead.
Three plays later, Pernell Williams sacked Lee McNeill and forced a fumble. Roderick Holder picked up the loose ball and returned it seven yards for his second touchdown of the season.
With four minutes left in the second quarter, Charlotte got on the scoreboard as McNeill hit T.L. Ford for a five-yard score and CCU led 35-7 at the break.
To start the third quarter, Ross hit Mapp for 11 yard and Blanks for 20 before capping a three-play drive with a 41-yard rushing touchdown.
The Chants were about to score another touchdown, but fumbled at the two yard line. Then, on 3rd-and-10, Kalif Phillips broke up the middle and out-ran the Chanticleer defense for a 51-yard touchdown run.
Coastal answered right back with a 10-play, 94-yard yard drive with Abercrombie scoring from four yards out to give the Chants a 49-14 lead.
The margin was short lived Damarrell Alexander returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to make the score 49-21, the first kickoff return for a TD Coastal has allowed since its game at Penn State in 2008.
As the fourth quarter began, Ryan Granger split the uprights from 32 yards out for a 52-21 Chanticleer lead.
However, the 49ers once again answered with a seven-play, 79-yard drive with McNeill carrying the ball in from the CCU one yard line to make it a 24-point deficit, 52-28.
Zach Silverberg scored his second career touchdown, a two-yard rush, and Masamitsu Ishibashi saw his first career action by converting the extra point for a 59-28 lead. Charlotte added an 18-yard McNeill to Justin Bolus touchdown to provide the final margin.