COASTAL CAROLINA CHANTICLEERS
|NEXT OPPONENT||vs. UAB|
|GAME TIME||12:00 PM ET|
Gamecocks Key Player
RB Rico Dowdle
Rico Dowdle returns to the lineup after battling injuries the majority of last season. Dowdle has separated himself from a talented backfield in fall camp and looks to carry the load for Carolina in 2018. Coaches and players have preached all off-season about their goals in yards per carry and rushing yards per game. It all starts on Saturday. Look for the Gamecocks to try to establish the run early. It all starts with a healthy Rico Dowdle leading the ground game, which should open up big plays for QB Jake Bentley and the passing attack.
Chanticleers Key Player
WR Malcolm Williams
Williams is by far the Chanticleers most dynamic player coming into the season. The senior led the Chants in receiving a year ago, hauling in 43 catches for 793 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2017. With not many other options, expect Coastal to look Williams way early and often. With an 18.4 yards per catch average a year ago, he proved he is a big play threat and someone who can go the distance on any play. If the Chants make this one close, it’s probably due to a big day by this guy.
Game Preview and Analysis
USC CB Rashad Fentson vs. CCU WR Malcolm Willliams
The Chanticleers will look Maclom Williams way early and often on Saturday. Williams was a big play threat a season ago, averaging 18.4 yards per catch. Rashad Fenton returns for his senior season as the Gamecocks top cornerback. It could be argued Fenton was one of the SEC’s best at the halfway point of 2017, earning the mantra “Fenton Island”. After a disappointing finish, Fenton returns in 2018 looking to build on his success a year ago and establish himself as an All-SEC type player. This should be a fun match-up to watch of two guys who will more than likely find themselves playing on Sundays.
The Gamecocks enter the 2018 season with high expectations as they look to build off last years nine win season. A new up-tempo offense and new faces on defense lead the story-lines heading into this non-conference match-up.
Joe Moglia returns to the sidelines for Coastal Carolina after sitting out all of 2017 due to health concerns. That should give a boost to a team who limped to a 3-9 record a year ago. However, they were able to give the Arkansas Razorbacks a scare, losing by just one in a thrilling 39-38 game in Fayetteville.
While the Chants have a proud football tradition, I fully expect South Carolina to go out and take care of its business Saturday. With Georgia looming week two, the coaching staff and players have said all the right things about giving their full attention to Saturday’s game and not overlooking Coastal Carolina.
Simply put, the Gamecocks won’t overlook the Chants and the Gamecocks will jump out to an early lead. Expect a lot of youngsters to get playing time in the second half and Carolina cruises to a fairly easy opening day win.
PREDICTION: Gamecocks 38, Chanticleers 10
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