Much like when UAB returned a year ago, no one was really sure what to think of Coastal Carolina this season.
Sure, the Chanticleers went 3-9 last year on their way to an unremarkable first season as a Sun Belt member, but head coach and part-time wunderkind Joe Moglia was on a medical leave of absence for 2017. Surely, things would turn out differently this year?
On Saturday, we found out just how different.
Anyone watching knew this wasn’t just a pushover game, when the Chanticleers scored on their opening drive, needing only three plays and 43 seconds to do it. Marcus Outlow (20 carries, 140 yards, 2 TD’s) broke free for a 60-yard run, and this game was already surpassing expectations with not even a minute gone.
UAB got the ball back and took 11 plays to go 75 yards for a TD of their own, with AJ Erdely (12/26 for 149 yards and an INT) running the final four yards into the end zone.
It was 14-7 UAB at the end of the first, and 24-20 UAB at the half. The game was looking every bit as competitive as we expected... and then the wheels came off.
Torrance Marable contributed 80 yards rushing on only seven carries for the Chants, while QB Kilton Anderson— who finished 11/18 and 167 yards passing, and 2 TDs, also ran for another 72 yards and another TD on the ground.
The Blazers, meanwhile, saw their top rusher Spencer Brown held under 100 yards, finishing with only 94 yards on 20 carries. The next three rushers down the box score all had a TD each, but it wasn’t enough. UAB would not score in the second half, and the Chants celebrated their first home win of 2018, and their first win over a C-USA team as members of the FBS.
UAB hosts a similarly underachieving Tulane next week, while a surging CCU is all but guaranteed a 2-1 start, as they host FCS Campbell.