Conway, SC: If Coastal Carolina was hoping to send a message to Georgia State for next week’s Sun Belt Conference opener, the Chanticleers couldn’t have done any better with email. CCU scored on eight of its first nine possessions on Saturday night, overwhelming FCS foe Duquesne 66-7 in Conway. The rout, in front of an announced crowd of 18,116 at Brooks Stadium, included two pick-sixes and nine different Chanticleers scoring touchdowns.
In a contest that saw CCU (2-1) pump out 515 yards of total offense, nearly split between rushing (241) and passing (274), the highlight plays actually came from Coastal’s defense.
With the home team leading 7-0 early in the first quarter, linebacker JT Killen recorded the first interception of his career. But the redshirt senior from Lake Wylie wasn’t done. Killen took the turnover back thirty yards to give CCU a 14-0 lead with 10:49 remaining in the first quarter. From there, the scoring snowball continued rolling downhill.
CCU pushed the advantage to 38-0 on a touchdown reception by Greenwood’s Sam Pinckney, followed by two rushing touchdowns from Brayden Bennett and CJ Beasley, sandwiched around a 28-yard field goal by Liam Gray. That’s when the Coastal defense put itself in the record books.
With the Dukes (1-2) driving, Tobias Fletcher intercepted a pass right at the CCU goal line and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown, tying an NCAA FBS record and setting a Coastal program record in the process.
The Dukes avoided the shutout with a 23-yard touchdown reception by Keshawn Brown with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 59-7. CCU’s Ja’Vin Simpkins scored the first rushing touchdown of his career to provide the final tally and hand CCU its second straight win.
The Chanticleers will host Georgia State on Thursday night to begin Sun Belt Conference play. In an interesting twist, the visiting team has never lost a game in the series as the Panthers roll into CCU with former Conway High School product Darren Grainger guiding the GSU offense. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm on ESPN.