Coastal Carolina – the darlings of 2020. The Chanticleers launched their program to relevancy with an undefeated regular season and finish in the nation’s top 15. They emerged in 2021 as a favorite to win the Sun Belt and rode the 2020 wave deep into the season. Losses to Appalachian State and Georgia Southern upended their run, but a ten-win season was still on the line as they ventured into Mobile to face South Alabama. The Jaguars lay waiting, eager to upset the Chanticleers and become bowl eligible.
South Alabama lurched ahead to a 10-0 halftime lead, stunning Coastal. The second half became a back and forth affair with South Alabama taking a 21-14 lead late in the fourth. The Jaguar Marching Band blasted “South” as the anticipation of a bowl game intensified. Coastal QB, Grayson McCall, would quickly extinguish that hope. He led the Chants on a ten play drive that tied the game sending it to overtime.
Anticipation morphed into anxiety as McCall took the first play of overtime in his own hands and darted 25 yards to the goal line, thus suffocating Hancock Whitney Stadium. The counter punch couldn’t be mustered by the Jaguars and Coastal escaped with the win.
The Chanticleers earned their tenth win and second straight bowl appearance and second ever bowl appearance in school history. South Alabama may look to Coastal Carolina as a model for their own future success. With their performance today, it’s clear that they are well on that path.