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No. 14 Coastal Carolina wins thriller over No. 8 BYU, 22-17

Updated: Dec. 5, 2020 at 9:53 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - No. 14 Coastal Carolina truly saved their best for the final act Saturday night against No. 8 BYU.

And it could lead them even further in the team’s historic run - added in with the backdrop of “College GameDay” being in Conway.

The Chanticleers ran for over 280 yards and stopped BYU on the final play of the game to take home a 22-17 to hand the Cougars their first loss of the season in a game that didn’t even exist a little more than 60 hours before kickoff.

On the final play, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson connected with Dax Miline on a 17-yard reception that was stopped at the 1-yard line by Coastal’s Mateo Sudipo as time expired to clinch the upset.

In the win, the Chants’ run game and option attack became a major focus on offense. CJ Marable led a steady ground attack with 132 yards on 23 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Reese White also scored, and took 12 carries for 53 yards.

Coastal quarterback Grayson McCall also ran in a score, taking 12 carries for 69 yards while also going 10-of-15 passing for 85 yards.

Wilson, who was generating Heisman buzz heading into Saturday’s game, went 19-for-30 for 240 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Allgeier led things on the ground for the Cougars, taking 13 carries for 110 yards.

The Chants’ “Black Swarm” defense also held the BYU offense, the sixth-best in the country coming into Saturday, to under 40 points for only the second time this season.

TURNING POINT: After being limited to just a field goal in the third quarter, the Chants responded with a drive that began late in the third quarter and ended in the early fourth with Marable’s second touchdown of the night. Coastal did go for two, but failed to try and make up the points on a missed point after their first touchdown of the game.

GROUND CONTROL: Coastal did everything it could to keep the high-powered Cougars off the field. The Chants kept the ball for over 37 minutes, 20 of which was in the first half alone. They also averaged around five yards per play.

MANAGEABLE SITUATIONS: The Chants were able to find themselves in manageable third-down situations. They went 6-of-13 on the critical down against the Cougars and converted their only fourth-down attempt.

CHIPPY PLAY: Saturday’s affair became a back-and-forth, chippy contest between the Chants and Cougars. Jeffery Gunter’s extended blocking on Wilson after an interception caused a big scuffle as teams entered the locker room at halftime. Some chippiness continued throughout the second half on several plays.

Gunter had six tackles and forced a fumble, while CJ Brewer also had six tackles. Teddy Gallagher led the Chants’ defense with seven total tackles.

HISTORY CONTINUES: The Chants’ win also makes them the first Sun Belt Conference team to win 10 games in a row at any point of the season.

POSTSEASON IMPLICATIONS: Expect the Chanticleers to move up into the AP Poll, and possibly higher in the College Football Playoff rankings - which determine the playoff and the other New Year’s Six bowls. Right now, the Chants sit at No. 18 in the CFP rankings, while BYU is at No. 13.

CHANGE IN PLANS: The Chants were originally scheduled to renew pleasantries with old Big South rival Liberty, but COVID-19 issues forced the Flames to cancel early Thursday. The Cougars then stepped in to fill the void and the game was made official moments after Liberty’s announcement.

UP NEXT: The Chants have a game scheduled for Dec. 12 at Troy. The game was originally postponed from Nov. 14. The team will then host No. 20 Lousiana-Lafayette for the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game on Dec. 19.

BYU will look to rebound next week at home against San Diego State.

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