Coastal Carolina preview: Trojans face unique challenge on teal turf

Scott Watkins

Staff Writer

Fresh off its third consecutive victory, the Troy football team will look to climb to the top of the Sun Belt conference when it travels to South Carolina to take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

A win for the Trojans would match their best record through 10 games since joining the FBS. The previous best was set last season. Furthermore, if Arkansas State loses to South Alabama this Saturday, at the very least, Troy could find itself in a tie for the top spot in the conference.

Coastal Carolina has lost eight consecutive games since opening the season with a win over Massachusetts.

The Chanticleers did, however, hold a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks last week before faltering late.

Troy will be facing a new offense this week in the Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina runs an option offense based out of the pistol formation. The Chanticleers have shown the ability to pass the ball effectively and balance the play calling with fluidity.

The offense runs through quarterback Kilton Anderson, with the focal point being running back Osharmar Abercrombie. The senior tailback is sixth in the Sun Belt in rushing yards with 510.

The Chanticleers also have the top receiving duo in the conference in Malcom Williams and Chris Jones.

The offensive line is among the youngest in college football with four freshman starters and a sophomore. However, the unit has been relatively strong as Coastal Carolina is middling in the Sun Belt in sacks allowed and tackles for loss allowed.

The young line could be a target for a vaunted Troy front seven. The Trojans are top 10 nationally in run defense, yards per carry allowed and rushing touchdowns allowed.

As a whole, the defense has allowed just 17.7 points per game, good for 13th in the country. Troy is one of just four teams that have yet to allow more than 24 points in a game.

On offense, Troy has found a strong balance the past few weeks and is now benefiting from a fully healthy Jordan Chunn at running back. After missing two games, Chunn tallied up 113 rushing yards on 6.3 yards per carry against Idaho.

His two touchdowns in the game moved him into second place in the Sun Belt’s all-time rushing touchdown leaderboard. Chunn needs just four more to set the record.

The team as a whole is second in the Sun Belt in rushing touchdowns with 24 and leads the conference in yards per rush with 5.26.

Quarterback Brandon Silvers leads a pass attack that spreads the ball around to up to nine players per game. Seven players have over 100 yards receiving, and five have at least 22 receptions.

The Chanticleers’ defense has been porous this season, giving up 443 yards and 38 points per game. The secondary, in particular, has struggled. Coastal Carolina has allowed 17 touchdown passes and has intercepted just two passes.

This game marks the first time Troy has played against Coastal Carolina and the second time Troy will play on a colored turf this season.

“We’re looking forward to getting on the road and playing on the teal turf,” said Head Coach Neal Brown at Monday’s press conference. “We played on the blue turf (at Boise State) and didn’t play so well, so hopefully we’ll do a little better on the teal turf.”

The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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