Some trips are more fun than others. That’s just the way it is. Sometimes it’ll be for a highly anticipated matchup between rivals. It could also be for a classic stadium you’ve always wanted to knock off your “bucket list.” In the best case scenario, the game you’re attending will check off multiple boxes.
Brooks Stadium, home of Coastal Carolina football, is now those best case scenario venues for fans of college football. Best known for its “Smurf Turf,” Brooks Stadium has evolved from a soccer stadium into the home of a Top 25 FBS football program.
Coastal Carolina caught the eye of the CFB scene last year with an undefeated regular season. They defeated perennial Sun Belt giants Appalachian State and Louisiana, as well as BYU in a short notice game due to COVID-19. The Chanticleers’ appealing style of play and eccentric player personalities has earned them the moniker of “America’s Team.”
When the schedule came out and there were no new stadiums for me to check out on September 10th, I knew I wanted to go back to Conway. It was CCU’s first ever home game versus a P5 opponent. The Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks were finally making the trip to South Carolina, after Coastal had traveled to Lawrence the previous two seasons. The Chanticleers had beaten KU in both previous matchups, so Kansas was looking for revenge.
The atmosphere inside Brooks Stadium was incredible pregame. It was a “White Out” and the crowd packed the stadium. I’ve been to Brooks on multiple occasions and I’ve never seen the fans show up like that. A record 17,697 fans packed the house and were extremely vocal in their support.
Not only was there a large crowd, it was an incredibly atmosphere. Often you go to stadiums and though there are a lot of people, the excitement level is moderate at best. The CCU student section was fully engaged in the game and many were sporting mullets...the unofficial haircut choice of Coastal Carolina football. It was essentially a party with 17,000+ plus of your closest friends.
As for the game itself, Coastal came in as 25.5-point favorites — quite possibly the largest spread for a G5 school over a P5 school ever. Though Kansas hung around for about two and a half quarters, Coastal Carolina covered the spread with a 49-22 victory.
Quarterback Grayson McCall was extremely efficient, going 17-for-21 passing for 245 yards and two scores. Running back Reese White went for 102 yards rushing plus three touchdowns. Wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh hauled in six catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.
It was great performance on national TV and put the nation on notice that last year was not a fluke for Coastal. CCU is making their mark in the FBS world and offers fans an experience that combines the best of both worlds: Elite talent on the field and a top notch party atmosphere in the stands.
If you have not been to Conway for a game, you need to change that as soon as possible! Show up early, tour the stadium, mingle with the fans and enjoy Top 25 college football. Take my word for it, you’ll be happy that you did.