Coastal Carolina picked up just their second-ever win against Appalachian State on Thursday night. Grayson McCall threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a victory where the reigning SBC player of the year clearly played through some pain.
Coastal’s explosiveness and App State’s mistakes put the Mountaineers in a tough position from the jump and they never quite recovered. The Coastal offense also limited App State’s chances to close the gap by holding the ball for 37 minutes and 56 seconds.
Coastal have now won 17 home games since 2020, which is one of the highest totals in all of FBS.
As the Chants improve to 8-1 overall with a 5-1 conference record, there were several key points to not in their upset win over the team from Boone.
Coastal’s Run Defense Comes Through
The common thread in all of Appalachian State’s losses has been an ineffective run game. Coastal earned field storming privileges by allowing the Mountaineers just 88 yards on the ground. App State are now averaging 194.9 rushing yards per game.
Kennedy Roberts had a huge day on defense for Coastal Carolina. The senior defensive tackle had three total tackles, two for a loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery in an and-goal situation. Josiah Stewart also added five tackles with 1.5 for a loss.
Slow Starts Are Killer For App State
After scoring a total of seven points in the first quarters of their last three games combined, App State only scored seven points in the opening quarter of this one compared to 14 by CCU. That ended up being the difference as each of the other quarters were even in terms of score.
As said previously, App State has reached a point where they rely on winning the line of scrimmage and building a strong running game to get victories. That approach is much more effective when you establish a lead early.
Jared Brown Was Electric
Jared Brown’s 45-yard rushing touchdown on Coastal’s first possession set the tone for the Rest of the game for the Chants. Brown had 90 yards in the first quarter alone.
Brown finished with 3 carries for 84 rushing yards and a touchdown, plus five catches for 79 yards. With these totals, it can be argued that this was Brown’s best game of his career. It was the utility player’s highest college rushing total.
Brown’s is a name we’ll likely be hearing among the most athletic in all of the G5 for the next several years.
Backup QB Steps Up Once Again
CCU backup quarterback Bryce Carpenter was an important part of the Marshall win last week by running for 38 yards and a touchdown. He filled an important role again on Thursday by spelling a banged up McCall.
While he’s known for his fearless running style, Carpenter threw for a touchdown in the first quarter of this game while McCall stepped out.
Carpenter got more time in the third quarter when McCall left with an ankle injury, visibly in a considerable amount of pain. He led a decent drive in that moment to get the Chants back in scoring range, but they would turn it over on downs.
Carpenter finished the night with eight carries for 30 yards on the ground. Don’t expect McCall to miss extended time if he can help it, but it makes sense for Coastal to continue to utilize Carpenter, a fifth-year senior, as a situational sub more and more in the last few weeks of the season to preserve McCall’s health.