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Troy vs. Coastal Carolina Preview

Can the Chants keep it close?

Troy v LSU
Can Brandon Silvers and this passing offense get cooking against a horrid pass defense?
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Start Time: Saturday, November 11th, 4:30 PM ET

TV: ESPN3

Streaming: WatchESPN.com

Announcers: Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and John Gregory (analyst)

Location: Brooks Stadium (15,000)

Series: First ever meeting

Odds: Troy (-17) 52 total


Troy Outlook

The Trojans played to their competition once again last week as they squeaked by a pesky Idaho squad at home. The Trojans passing game continued to struggle while the ground game carried the way.

NCAA Football: Troy at Louisiana State
Chunn looked like his old self last week.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Troy fans had to like what they saw Jordan Chunn in his return from injury as the senior ran for 113 yards and two scores in the victory over Idaho. For the season, Chunn now has 631 rushing yards and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Josh Anderson and Jamarius Henderson both remain solid backup options to Chunn and this remains the best rushing attack in the Sun Belt.

The passing game, however, continues to struggle as Silvers only threw for 212 yards in the win over Idaho. For the season, Silvers only has six touchdown passes and is only averaging 6.9 yards per attempt. Three Troy receivers are the main targets (Deondre Douglas, Emanuel Thompson, Damion Willis) but none are averaging more than 15 yards per reception. This passing game just does not have much pop.

The defense continues to lead the way for the Trojans and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning was nominated for the Broyles Award this week which honors the country’s best assistant coach. S&P+ currently has this defense as the 18th best in the FBS as they’ve been outstanding all season.

For the year, Troy is only allowing 17.7 points per game and 4.8 yards per play. Numbers like that are going to win you a lot of games. Linebacker Tron Folsom leads the team in tackles but freshmen corner Marcus Jones and linebacker Justin Whisenhunt have both been pleasant surprises.

Ever since punter Tyler Sumpter took over the kicking duties this special teams unit has been much improved. Sumpter is perfect on each of his extra point and field goal attempts. He’s giving Troy a reliable option in the kicking game.


Coastal Carolina Outlook

It’s been a brutal year for the Chanticleers as the sit at 1-8 and haven’t recorded a victory since opening weekend. Interim head coach Jamey Chadwell has had a rough go but this team has put up some good efforts and will attempt to put one together again on Saturday.

It’s been a revolving door at quarterback as four different players have received snaps this year. Coastal has settled on senior Tyler Keane and junior Kilton Anderson behind center. Keane has been the most productive as he’s averaging over eight yards per attempt and 11 touchdowns. The staff has given opportunities to Anderson lately and he’s struggled most of the time. However, he did throw two touchdown passes in last week’s loss to Arkansas.

NCAA Football: Coastal Carolina at Arkansas
Chris Jones is one of the best big play receivers in the Fun Belt.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The strength of the offense is definitely outside at receiver. Four players have at least 19 receptions and each is averaging at least 13 yards per reception. Malcolm Williams has been one of the best wideouts in the country with a stat line of 31 grabs, 580 yards, and four touchdowns. Chris Jones has also been explosive averaging over 23 yards per catch. When given opportunities, this group has produced.

On the ground, Osharmar Abercrombie leads the team with 510 yards on 98 carries. This rushing attack has been inconsistent all season as Coastal will give Abercrombie along with Alex James and Marcus Outlow carries. As a team, this offense is averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

There’s no question that the defensive play has been really bad all season and the Chants are near the bottom of the Sun Belt. Opponents are averaging 38 points per game and 6.4 yards per play. Coastal’s defense really doesn’t have a strength as opponents are just scorching the Chants.

Senior linebackers Kerron Johnson and Shane Johnson have both been really good this year as they’ve combined for 10.5 tackles for loss. Tarron Jackson has been a pleasant surprise on the defensive line as a freshman.

Kicker Evan Rabon is inconsistent but he’s been very good as a punter as he’s averaging over 44 yards per attempt. Ky’Jon Tyler is the main return guy but he really hasn’t threatened all season.


Prediction

Coastal Carolina has played better opponents tough all season, but that hasn’t occurred at home. The Chants were blown out by FCS Western Illinois and Texas State while losing a close one to Georgia State. Meanwhile, Troy’s best performances have occurred on the road as they knocked off LSU and put their best conferences performances together against New Mexico State and Georgia State.

After coming up just short against Arkansas, we could be seeing a letdown performance from the Chants. Troy seems to just play better on the road and I believe Brandon Silvers will have a good game throwing the football as the Trojans win big on Saturday.

Troy 37, Coastal Carolina 10