Chants face tall order with tough ’17 football schedule

ccufoot-Ryan Lee vs MonmouthCoastal Carolina’s inaugural season as both a member of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Sun Belt Conference will see the Chanticleers play a full, eight-game league schedule and host a total of six home games, it was announced today.

Coastal is in the second year of its two-year transition to the FBS and will be eligible to play for a conference title.

Coastal will open the season on Sept. 2 versus UMass, as well as host the program’s first ever FBS team in expanded Brooks Stadium. Other key dates include CCU playing its first Sun Belt game on Sept. 30 (at Louisiana-Monroe) and playing its first home Sun Belt game on Oct. 7 (versus Georgia State).

“This will be a historic season for both our program and Coastal Carolina University,” said sixth-year CCU head coach Joe Moglia. “We are looking forward to our first season in the FBS and as a Sun Belt Conference member as we start traditions with our new conference members while playing a very competitive non-conference schedule. Our coaches and players – and hopefully our fans – are ready to experience new campuses while playing across different parts of the country.

“While we will have two bye weeks for the first time ever, we would have preferred to have one of those breaks closer to the middle of the season,” Moglia said. “However, we will adapt and adjust to that, just as we will to all the new opportunities our new status as an FBS program presents.”

Of the 12 teams on Coastal’s schedule, five played in a bowl last season and produced a 4-1 record. Coastal will face those five teams over its last seven games of the season and play four of them on the road. The list of bowl teams include: Arkansas State (defeated UCF in the AutoNation Cure Bowl), Appalachian State (defeated Toledo in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl), Arkansas (played Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl), Troy (defeated Ohio in the Dollar General Bowl) and Idaho (defeated Colorado State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl).

Coastal has previously faced three opponents on the 2017 slate – Western Illinois (twice, once in a FCS playoff game), Appalachian State (three times, once in a FCS playoff game) and Georgia Southern (three times).

After hosting UMass in week one, Coastal will have bye week before playing at UAB on Sept. 16. The Chants return to Brooks Stadium on Sept. 23 to host Western Illinois.

Three of Coastal’s next four games will be on the road. The Chants’ first Sun Belt game will be played at ULM on Sept. 30 and CCU’s first home Sun Belt game will feature Georgia State on Oct. 7 Coastal will then hit the road to play 2016 bowl teams Arkansas State (Oct. 14) and Appalachian State (Oct. 21).

Coastal will close October with a home contest versus league foe Texas State (Oct. 28) and open November with a road game at Arkansas (Nov. 4). The meeting with Arkansas will be Coastal’s third trip to an SEC stadium as CCU has previously played at Georgia (2011) and at South Carolina (2013).

The Chanticleers wrap the year with two home games, a bye week and the furthest trip west in school history. Coastal will host Troy on Nov. 11 and play at Idaho on Nov. 18. The game in Moscow, Idaho at the Kibbie Dome will be the longest distance traveled for a CCU football game. The previous long was one of Coastal’s all-time great wins, an improbable second-round NCAA FCS playoff victory in freezing temperatures over Montana in Missoula.

After a second bye week, Coastal’s regular-season finale will be at Brooks Stadium on Dec. 2 versus Georgia Southern.

Final stages for the expansion of Brooks Stadium are near complete. However, fans may contact the Coastal Carolina Athletics Ticket Office at 843-347-8499 or toll free at 877-424-2687 to begin the process of purchasing season tickets.

COASTAL CAROLINA 2017 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 2    UMass                   Conway, S.C.
Sept. 16   at  UAB                 Birmingham, Ala.
Sept. 23   Western Illinois        Conway, S.C.
Sept. 30   at  ULM *               Monroe, La.
Oct. 7     Georgia State           Conway, S.C.
Oct. 14    at  Arkansas State *    Jonesboro, Ark.
Oct. 21    at  Appalachian State * Boone, N.C.
Oct. 28    Texas State *           Conway, S.C.
Nov. 4     at  Arkansas            Fayetteville, Ark.
Nov. 11    Troy *                  Conway, S.C.
Nov. 18    at  Idaho *             Moscow, Idaho
Dec. 2     Georgia Southern *      Conway, S.C.

* – Sun Belt Conference Game

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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