Chants remain 1-2 in polls despite another close call

ccu-BothwellThe 7-0 Coastal Carolina football team held on to its #1 ranking in the FCS Coaches’ poll and its #2 standing in the STATS FCS Top 25 despite surviving another close call in last week’s 23-20 victory over Monmouth.

The Chanticleers have held the top spot in the FCS Coaches’ poll for eight consecutive weeks. However, the margin over #2 Jacksonville State has shrunk to just three points. Coastal garnered 15 of the 26 Coaches’ first-place votes and has 632 points while Jacksonville State (6-1) received eight first-place votes and has 629 points. Illinois State (6-1) received the other three first-place votes and is ranked third with 605 points.

Including Charleston Southern at #19, other CCU opponents to receive votes in the FCS Coaches’ poll includes Western Illinois (26th with 46 points) and Liberty (34th with seven points).

In the STATS FCS national media poll, Coastal Carolina held firm to #2 ranking for the sixth time this season as it received 33 first-place votes – six more than the previous week – and tallied 3,783 points. Jacksonville State held the top spot with 107 of a possible 160 first-place votes and 3,923 points. Similar to the coach’s poll, Illinois State is third and was the only other team to earn first-place votes, getting 20, and has 3,754 total points.

The Buccaneers entered the STATS FCS poll this week at #24 while Western Illinois is 23rd, Liberty is 39th, Furman is 49th-tied, Kennesaw State is 49th-tied, South Carolina State is 51st-tied and Bryant is 51st-tied.

The Chanticleers will put their lofty ranking on the line this Saturday with a road trip to #19/24 Charleston Southern (6-1). The game is set for 7 pm and will be telecast on the American Sports Network.

The last time Coastal traveled to Charleston Southern (Nov. 9, 2013), the Chanticleers were also a consensus top five program and undefeated while the Buccaneers were ranked #16/18 with just one loss. Coastal had all the momentum in the second half – scoring 20 unanswered points – in that contest, but CSU was able to run the final 6:07 off the clock to preserve a 31-26 victory. Since that setback to the Buccaneers, Coastal is 22-4 with a loss to then #11 South Carolina and a pair of losses to eventual national champion North Dakota State in the NCAA FCS Division I quarterfinals.

* Coastal Carolina junior Jabarai Bothwell was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week while, for the second time in as many games, Ryan Granger was selected the Big South Special Teams Player of the Week.

This is Coastal’s first Defensive Player of the Week honor while a Chanticleer specialist has been the a league’s Special Team Player of the Week in five of CCU’s seven games (Ryan Granger twice, Devin Brown and Evan Rabon).

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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