Chanticleers try to put past behind them, focus on G-W

In the game of football, it helps to have strong legs, powerful arms and, perhaps most of all, a very short memory.

That’s what Coastal Carolina is counting on in Saturday’s homecoming game against Gardner-Webb. Following last week’s 63-27 blowout loss to Liberty, the Chanticleers need to hit the rest button on their brains.

“We’re just trying to forget about last week and look toward to Gardner-Webb,” Coastal’s Dushawn Davis said. “We are just trying to forget about what happened last week.”

Never mind that the defense gave up NINE touchdowns and more than 500 yards in total offense. Forget about the fact that it was 42-0 before the Chants got on the scoreboard. It was only a dream – a real bad one.

“As their coach said after the game, that’s the best they’ve ever played,” CCU coach David Bennett. “It might have been the worst we’ve ever played.  If you put those two together, you don’t have a real good combination.  It was kind of like a bad nightmare.”

But there are too many lingering effects for it not to be real. Top players Josh Norman, David Duran, Jamie Childers, Corey Hawkins and several others were left battered and bruised from the blowout.

“We’re banged up. We’ve got some kids out,” Bennett said, reading off a laundry list of players who won’t play due to injuries. “We’ve got to play by committee. We’ve got to rise to the occasion.”

The physical damage is something Coastal will have to cope with, but Bennett hopes his team will put aside the emotional scars.

“The real mark of who you are is how you respond after a loss,” he said. “We can still have a great season.  I think it’s in the back of your mind, but the quicker you can put it behind and move on to the next opponent, the better you are.”

The Chants (4-2 overall, 1-1 Big South), who beat the Bulldogs 30-27 in overtime last season for their seventh, have to get back on the winning track if they hope to defend their Big South Conference title.

“You never know what could happen. We have to keep fighting as if our chances are still alive,” Bennett said.  “Every day, we’ve got to keep fighting.  All we can do is control what we can control – what’s left of our season.”

That’s the gameplan for Saturday – forget the past and, as Bennett said, “Run the table and see what happens. That would be great.”

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