Chants earn highest ranking in history, capture awards

After rallying from two 19-point, third quarter deficits and claiming a 55-52 double overtime win at Liberty, the 7-0 Coastal Carolina football team moved up one spot to third in the FCS Coaches poll and remained sixth by The Sports Network poll of national media.

The football program now joins the 2010 Chanticleer baseball team as the highest ranked programs in school and Big South history.

Coastal Carolina is one of four undefeated teams in the NCAA FCS – with North Dakota State, Fordham and Harvard. For the second straight week, Coastal has the second-best RPI among FCS teams by RealTimeRPI.com while having the nation’s third-best RPI, according to WarrenNolan.com.

Coastal Carolina, which plays three of its next four games at home, will put its ranking and 12-game, regular-season winning streak on the line this Saturday (Oct. 26) when it hosts VMI at 6 pm.

* CCU running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (Yorktown, Va.) has been named the Choice Hotels Big South Football Offensive Player of the Week, while Chanticleers’ linebacker Quinn Backus (Greenwood, S.C.) has been selected as Defensive Player of the Week for games played the eighth week of the regular-season.  Coastal Carolina defensive back LaDarius Hawthorne (Ware Shoals, N.C.) is the Special Teams Player of the Week.

Taliaferro rushed for 151 yards and tied the Big South single-game record with four rushing touchdowns in Coastal Carolina’s 55-52 double-overtime win at Liberty.  He averaged 5.8 yards per carry and finished the game with 175 all-purpose yards.  Taliaferro amassed 100 rushing yards in the second half and overtime, with three scores to help the Chants erase a 19-point deficit.  He accounted for either a first down or touchdown on seven of his 11 touches in the second half and his seven-yard rush in the second overtime put Coastal well into field goal range.

Backus tallied 10 tackles (seven solo, two assisted) and two tackles-for-loss at Liberty.  He tallied five fourth quarter stops, including a TFL, and seven total tackles in the second half.  With Liberty ahead 42-30 and facing a 3rd-and-1 situation in the fourth quarter, Backus came through with a one-yard tackle-for-loss to force a punt.  The Chanticleers scored on the ensuing drive to make it a five-point game.

Hawthorne blocked a field goal for the second time this season, as he came off the left edge and got a hand on Liberty’s 40-yard attempt that would have tied the game and forced a third overtime.  Hawthorne’s deflection forced the kick well short and left, and preserved Coastal’s 55-52 double-overtime win over the Flames.

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