Troy scored the first 31 points of the game and cruised to an easy 45-26 victory over Coastal Carolina on Saturday to win the Sun Belt Conference championship. Grayson McCall started at quarterback for the Chanticleers after missing a month with a foot injury. Statistically, he had a solid game, throwing for 319 yards and 3 passing TDs (1 rush TD), but appeared a bit rusty to open the contest as he was just 9-of-15 passing for 69 yards in the first half. His counterpart, Gunnar Watson, finished with 318 yards passing and three touchdowns as well.
The Chanticleers (9-3) now await their bowl destination on Sunday and perhaps the future of their head coach. Reports on Saturday morning had Jamey Chadwell being courted by Liberty University to replace Hugh Freeze as its head coach. Freeze recently accepted the head coaching position at Auburn. Pete Thamel of ESPN reported that the Flames are willing to offer nearly $4 million annually. Adding that Coastal Carolina officials have been bracing for Chadwell’s potential departure. One top name to reportedly replace Chadwell is NC State OC Tim Beck.
Chadwell acknowledged in his postgame press conference that he has spoken with Liberty but hasn’t signed anything with them.
Game Recap Courtesy of Kevin Davis, CCU Media Relations
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers dug themselves into an insurmountable hole and were unable to overcome a 31-point first-half deficit in a 45-26 loss to the West Division Champions Troy Trojans in the 2022 Hercules Tires Sun Belt Championship Game on Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, Ala.
The loss dropped CCU to 9-3 overall on the season, while with the win, the Trojans improved to 11-2 on the year.
In the first half, the Chants put themselves in a hole early, as Troy outgained CCU 306-104 in total yards, including 266-69 in passing yards, and averaged 11.3 yards per play compared to Coastal’s 4.0 yards per play average.
The second half proved to be more Coastal’s speed, as the Chants outgained the Trojans 328-105 in total yards of offense to finish the game with 432 total yards of offense compared to the Trojans’ 411.
Coastal out passed the Trojans 319-318, however, Troy averaged 26.5 yards per completion to the Chants’ 11.0. CCU also outrushed Troy 113-93 for the game.
After missing the last two games of the regular season, three-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Grayson McCall returned to complete a career-high 29 passes over a career-high 41 attempts for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 11 carries for 18 yards and a score, totaling four touchdowns for the game. His four total TDs give him 94 touchdowns for his career, a new CCU record surpassing the previous mark of 91 held by Alex Ross.
CCU Game Notes
- The loss marked the first time that the Chanticleers have lost back-to-back games since 2019, having been defeated by James Madison (Nov. 26) in the regular-season finale last time out.
- With the road loss, CCU fell to 3-2 on the season in true road games.
- The 24-point halftime deficit was the largest of the season for the Chanticleers this year.
- With his touchdown pass in the third quarter, Grayson McCall extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 23 straight contests.