It wasn’t easy, but #16-Coastal Carolina remained undefeated with a 28-25 win at Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. The victory was Coastal’s first against a member of the Mid-American Conference, along with its first triumph over a team from the state of New York in seven tries.
The first half mimicked a heavyweight fight with both teams trading blows during the opening thirty minutes. Coastal struck first as Aaron Bedgood reeled in a 16-yard TD toss from quarterback Grayson McCall, the first of three passing touchdowns on the day for McCall, to give CCU a 7-0 advantage with 10:26 remaining in the first quarter. The score was noteworthy as it was the first time this season that the Bulls had allowed a score in the opening period.
Buffalo (1-2) answered back with a nice 86-yard drive in twelve plays, before grabbing their first lead of the day on a Matt Myers 13-yard touchdown run, late in the first. The backup quarterback serves at UB’s touchdown maker as he is also 1-for-3 passing this season with that completion also going for a score.
After a Jaivon Heiligh touchdown grab tied the game at 14, the two defenses settled in and played to a stalemate for the final 13:45 of the opening half. Heiligh’s TD reception marked the fifth straight game for the senior with at least one touchdown catch.
The second half was more of the same with the two squads exchanging points, as CCU began to get its ground game going. After rushing for just 84-yards in the opening half, the Chanticleers found some creases in the Bulls defense to churn out 128 second half yards on the ground.
However, the sea-saw affair would not be decided until the final quarter as CCU was looking to put the game on ice. Facing first and goal at the Buffalo seven, McCall was intercepted in the end zone giving the Bulls new life with 9:53 to play trailing 28-17. Yet, instead of trying to speed up its tempo, Buffalo was methodical in its 16-play 92-yard scoring drive that ended with a successful two-point conversion to make the score 28-25 CCU.
However, the march lasted over seven minutes and when the Bulls elected to kick the ball deep to Coastal, hoping to get a stop with three timeouts remaining, they were unable to do so. The Chanticleers picked up a pair of first downs and were able to salt away the final 2:41 of the contest. CCU improved to 3-0 on the season with the victory, while Buffalo dropped its second straight contest, after a season opening win over Wagner. Coastal Carolina I s back in action next Saturday, as the Chanticleers host UMass at 1pm at Brooks Stadium in Conway.