Coastal finishes consensus Top 5 in final FCS rankings

ccufoot-trioAfter yet another record-setting season, the Coastal Carolina football program added another item to its impressive 2014 resume by finishing a program-best fifth in both The Sports Network Poll and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coaches Poll.

This is the second consecutive season head coach Joe Moglia has led the Chanticleers to a consensus top 10 finish as the program finished seventh in both of last year’s polls. The Chanticleers finished 2012 – Moglia’s first season at CCU – 25th in both polls. Coastal is one of just five programs to finish among the FCS top 10 in both 2013 and 2014 joining North Dakota State (#1 in 2013 and  #1 in 2014), Eastern Washington (#3 and #4), New Hampshire (#5 and #3) and Jacksonville State (#10 and #9).

Coastal Carolina was one of three FCS teams ranked #1 in the nation in 2014, a spot it held for the final two weeks of the regular season, and was ranked among the nation’s top six the entire season.

The Chanticleers won a Big South title for the third consecutive season, tied its own Big South-record from last season with 12 wins, was a national seed to the NCAA Division I Championship, earned a first-round bye for the NCAA Division I Championship and reached the NCAA Division I quarterfinal for the second consecutive season, falling to eventual national champion North Dakota State both times. Coastal ranked fourth in the FCS in winning percentage (.875) posting a 12-2 record with its two losses coming by a combined eight points – a one-point loss to #17 Liberty and a seven-point loss at #1 North Dakota State.

Coastal led the NCAA FCS in fourth down conversions (80 percent), while leading the Big South and ranking among the FCS leaders in first downs (fourth), fewest passes had intercepted (eighth), third down conversions (ninth), fewest tackles for losses allowed (10th), kickoff returns (14th), scoring defense (13th), scoring offense (13th), fewest sacks allowed (15th), total offense (18th), completion percentage (21st) and pass efficiency defense (26th). The Chanticleers additionally ranked among the FCS leaders in fewest penalty yards per game (ninth), fewest penalties per game (10th), rushing offense (20th), kickoff return defense (24th) and passing efficiency (25th).

The Chanticleers set Big South records for most road wins in a season (7), consecutive road wins (7), consecutive home wins (11 over three seasons), pass attempts in a season (433), pass completions in a season (277) and passing yards in a season (3,470).

Coastal Carolina produced All-Americans Quinn Backus, Chad Hamilton and Shane Ballard, while Backus finished fourth for the Buck Buchanan Award and Alex Ross was seventh in the Walter Payton Award voting. In addition, Coach Moglia, a three-time finalist for the national FCS Coach of the Year Award, was runner-up for this year’s Eddie Robinson Award. Backus (Defensive), Ross (Offensive) and Moglia (co-Coach) also took the Big South’s top individual honors.

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