CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - It’s finally gameday in Conway and it comes after a turbulent week for the No. 14 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
Instead of facing Liberty as planned, the Chants now face eighth-ranked BYU, which sports one of the nation’s top offenses. Saturday’s game would likely go a long way in elevating the winner’s bowl season stock in the national spotlight.
The game is also being televised on ESPNU.
BYU and Coastal are both 9-0, despite the Cougars having not played since a 66-14 win over North Alabama on Nov. 21. The Chants last defeated Texas State last week to clinch a spot in the Sun Belt Championship Game, which they will host.
The Chants and Cougars are also in the top 20 of the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, at 18 and 13, respectively.
Stay with this story for updates throughout the game.
BYU wins the toss and will defer to the second half, so Coastal Carolina will get the ball to start things off. The kick bounces into the endzone for a touchback, and the Chants will start from their own 25-yard line.
On the first play from scrimmage, Grayson McCall breaks out an option to the right side and pitches to CJ Marable for 13 yards. A nice start on the ground for Coastal.
An early mistake for the Chants, as a holding call backs the offense up to their own 31.
After an incomplete pass, McCall calls his own number and scrambles upfield, but is short of the first down. The Chants punt a line drive that rolls to the BYU 10-yard line, where the Cougars will take over.
BYU’s first play from scrimmage is a connection from Zach Wilson to Neil Pau’U for a 91-yard touchdown, but it’s called back after a holding call on the Cougars.
On a third down, Wilson calls his own number and gets the first down on an 18-yard run up the middle. The Cougars convert on another third down later in the drive, this time handing off to running back Tyler Allgeier.
The Cougars are down to a third down again near midfield, but this time Coastal Carolina is able to swarm and stop the offense cold. CCU senior Darron Jackson is down after the play being attended to.
BYU punts and are able to keep it from bouncing into the end zone and it lands in the hands of Jordan Morris. Chants take over at their own 6-yard line.
The Chants are beginning to move the ball down the field, a couple of nice runs from Marable moves the sticks out past the CCU 30.
Coastal caps off a long 17-play drive going nearly the length of the field with a CJ Marable touchdown from six yards out. The extra point is no good, but the Chants still strike first. The long drive took just over nine minutes off the clock - and is the longest scoring drive in school history.
Coastal Carolina 6, BYU 0 - 0:10, 1Q
The Cougars get the ball back, and Wilson is able to scramble for around 12 yards to end the quarter.
Coastal Carolina 6, BYU 0 - END OF THE FIRST QUARTER
Wilson finds Pau’u again to start the second quarter, this time for 16 yards as the Cougars already find themselves in business.
On the next play, Allgeier finds a big hole off the right side and sprints into the end zone on a 42-yard score. No one was able to catch him. BYU hits the PAT and takes their first lead of the game.
BYU 7, Coastal Carolina 6 - 13:50, 2Q
Definitely a contrast of styles on those scoring drives. The Chants were able to melt the clock, while BYU only needed four plays to go 75 yards to take the lead.
Coastal fair catches the kickoff, but there’s some confusion about a penalty on the kickoff. It’s later called an illegal block below the waist on Coastal. The penalty is declined and the Chants will take over at their own 25.
McCall calls his own number after a handoff to Reese White doesn’t get far. He gains 12 yards for a first down as CCU moves towards midfield. On the very next play, Marable breaks off another big run, this one for 20 yards, as the Chants move into BYU territory.
Coastal’s momentum gets snuffed out after McCall loses the handle on an option to Marable. BYU recovers the fumble and takes over at their own 42-yard line.
BYU notably tries a trick play on a 2nd-and-3, but it’s immediately detected by the Coastal defense to force a third down. BYU ends up being short after a run by Allgeier.
The Cougars elect to go for it, trying another trick play. A pass down the field is broken up by D’Jordan Strong and Coastal will take back over on the Cougars’ 46-yard line.
McCall takes another RPO and finds Kameron Brown down the field for his second catch of the game. Marable takes a short run to get the Chants within the BYU 30-yard line. Shermani Jones takes the next handoff to move the sticks.
Marable keeps the ground game rolling with an 11-yard gain that puts Coastal within the BYU 10-yard line. Chants are back within striking distance.
Coastal continues to eat up clock on this drive too, as they take a timeout. The drive has already taken up five minutes as we head closer to halftime - and they’ve run 34 plays so far in the half.
Right as things get set up for a 3rd-and-Goal, BYU calls its first timeout of the half. Both seem to want to talk things over here.
On the third down, McCall takes it himself and is down at the BYU 1-yard line, setting up a 4th-and-short. McCall is shaken up after being hit on the play, and there’s an injury timeout.
McCall is on the sideline and Fred Payton comes in for the Chants on the fourth-down attempt. He hands it off to Reese White, and he scores from short distance to take back the lead. The PAT is good and it’s a six-point ball game.
Coastal Carolina 13, BYU 7 - 4:00, 2Q
BYU runs back the kickoff to around the 25-yard line, but they get moved back after an illegal block in the back. Cougars start things off at their own 6-yard line.
After a few short plays, Wilson breaks off a big 17-yard run to move the Cougars within Coastal territory. He connects with Dax Milne on the next play for a 41-yard touchdown down the sideline. The PAT is good and we’ve got a back and forth contest in Conway.
BYU 14, Coastal Carolina 13 - 1:45, 2Q
Another shorter drive for the Cougars, going six plays for 94 yards in just over two minutes. Coastal takes a fair catch on the kickoff at their own 5-yard line.
A holding call moves Coastal back, but Marable is able to make up that ground back ahead of a third down with about eight to go. After a BYU timeout, McCall is brought down at around their own 28-yard line as the Chants are forced to punt.
With less than a minute to go, BYU takes over from their own 30-yard line. Wilson drops back and scrambles, but loses control of the ball. He’s able to recover before the Cougars spike the ball on second down.
He responds quickly on that next play, a 21-yard strike to Pau’u for a first down as time ticks down in the first half.
On the last play of the half, Wilson throws a deep pass that makes it to the end zone, but it’s picked off by Derick Bush. He runs it out to end the first half, as BYU still remains up by one.
BYU 14, Coastal Carolina 13 - HALFTIME
A big scuffle between both teams takes place just before they head to the locker rooms. During the interception, Jeffery Gunter and Teddy Gallagher both try and block Wilson, with Gunter continuing the play and causing a massive meeting on the field.
Both teams end up walking away after things get chippy.
In terms of halftime stats, it’s very much a tale of two approaches on offense. Coastal has held the ball for just over 20 minutes already, while BYU has had it for less than 10.
The Chants have also put up 171 yards on the ground, mainly led by CJ Marable’s 99-yard performance. The Cougars are getting the most out of their limited time on the field, averaging over 8.5 yards per play, and over 100 total receiving yards.
Wilson is 6-for-13 at the break with 107 yards and a touchdown, while McCall is 5-for-7 for just 444 yards in his limited passing attempts. He’s also got 33 yards on the ground for Coastal.
BYU gets the ball back to start the second half and returns the kickoff across the 30-yard line. Cougars now getting things going at their own 32.
Wilson scrambles out for 12 yards, but is pushed out late by Gunter, who’s penalized for it. BYU gets 15 more yards and moves within the CCU 41. Pau’u catches another long pass to get the Cougars inside the Coastal red zone.
The chippy play continues, this time it’s CJ Brewer getting up in Wilson’s face after a third down stop. No penalty here and the Cougars settle for a field goal to extend the lead.
BYU 17, Coastal Carolina 13 - 12:28, 3Q
Coastal takes another fair catch on the kickoff, and will get things going at their own 25.
Marable and McCall take a couple of runs for short yardage, as Marable eclipses the 100-yard mark rushing on the night. He’s also got 15 carries on the game, easily taking most of the workload.
McCall tries to kick out a short pass to Marable on a 3rd-and-4, but the Chants are stopped short. Another line-drive punt is nearly muffed by BYU, but the Cougars retain possession at their own 30.
The “Black Swarm” defense makes its presence felt with a fumble by Allgeier forced by Gunter and recovered by Silas Kelly. Coastal recovers, and is back in business at the BYU 29-yard line.
Coastal keeps the ball on the ground, but is unable to get the first down. Massimo Biscardi hits a 41-yard field goal and puts the Chants back within one midway through the third.
BYU 17, Coastal Carolina 16 - 6:32, 3Q
The Cougars take back over from their 25-yard line and Wilson throws a deep ball to start, but it’s broken up again by Strong. Strong is still down on the play, but he’s able to get back up and walk to the sideline.
Allgeier sheds a tackler and runs for 17 yards on the next play, but he comes off the field limping. He heads to the sideline. Wilson’s able to connect with Pau’u again for a third down conversion to move into Coastal territory again.
The Chants bring a heavy blitz led by Bush on a second down play and back the Cougars up to midfield. BYU calls its first timeout of the second half. Coastal’s able to hold the Cougars on a third-and-long, and force the punt.
Chants take over at their own 15-yard line after a fair catch.
Coastal has a good drive going here, continuing to pound the ball away. McCall also completes a big second-down pass to Isaiah Likely to move the chains, and White breaks off another first-down run. Chants are continuing to run the clock, even late in the third quarter as time ticks away.
BYU 17, Coastal Carolina 16 - END OF THE THIRD QUARTER
Coastal starts the quarter with a third-down conversion, inching closer in BYU territory. White gives them another third down conversion a couple of minutes later, as they continue to get manageable third down opportunities.
McCall drops back from the BYU 22, this time finding Brown, who gets the ball all the way to the 2-yard line before being taken down.
Marable takes it into the end zone on the very next play and the Chanticleers take back the lead. Coastal appears to be going for two here, but calls a timeout first.
The attempt is stuffed coming out of the timeout, and the Coastal lead remains five.
Coastal Carolina 22, BYU 17 - 11:35, 4Q
BYU takes the kickoff back to their own 36-yard line, and that’s where they’ll start their drive.
A costly play for BYU on a second down. Chris Jackson catches a pass and tries to break off to the outside, but ends up running backwards for a loss of 16. Cougars fail to convert the long third down after a big hurdle by Wilson. Chants will take over again at their own 21-yard line.
Coastal goes three and out after a false start penalty backs them up deeper in their own territory. BYU calls a timeout just before the punt with just over seven minutes to play.
Coastal is able to get a high punt off, and it’s downed at the BYU 42-yard line with just under six minutes to go.
The “Black Swarm” comes up big a 3rd-and-2, stuffing Allgeier for a three-yard loss as BYU sets up for a fourth-quarter punt. Coastal fair catches the ball at their own 14-yard line.
Coastal keeps the ball on the ground, and White gets a big push from the offensive line to move the sticks and keep the clock moving on a third down. Clock is at 3:30 and counting down.
On the next play, McCall takes an option out to the right and fakes defenders out to gain 14 yards and move the ball toward midfield. Clock continues to run and BYU calls their final timeout with 2:38 to play.
Coastal comes out of the timeout remaining on the ground, draining more clock. The Chants face a 4th-and-2 from their own 47-yard line and use their second timeout of the half with 1:03 to play. Coastal will punt instead of going for it, and BYU will take over at their own 18 with no timeouts.
BYU takes over and gains eight yards on a pass, but it’s called back after a holding penalty. The next pass from Wilson flies incomplete with 35 seconds left, but he finds Gunner Romney for 33-yards on a deep pass from the end zone for a first down. He’s shaken up after the play and is helped to the sideline.
Wilson finds Allgeier for a 12-yard gain, but he’s stopped out of bounds with 15 seconds to go. Wilson then gets it to Issac Rex and he’s down at the Coastal 31. Seven seconds remain in the game.
On the game’s final play, Wilson connects with Miline - but he’s stopped short of the goal line by Mateo Sudipo as time expires. Coastal wins!
Coastal Carolina 22, BYU 17 - FINAL