Coastal ranked 4th in FCS; Backus, Taliaferro honored

After leading Coastal Carolina to a 42-7 win over Gardner-Webb in the teams’ conference opener, Lorenzo Taliaferro was named the Big South Choice Hotels Offensive Player of the Week and Quinn Backus was Big South Defensive Player of the Week as well as the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Linebacker of the Week.

This is the second time this season both Taliaferro and Backus have earned the league’s weekly honors and it additionally marks the second time Backus – a Buck Buchanan Award Candidate as the nation’s top FCS defensive -player – has been named CFPA National Linebacker of the Week.

Taliaferro rushed 24 times for 144 yards (6.0 yards per rush) and scored three touchdowns. It marks the third time in the last four games he has scored three times in a game and he has scored 11 times over his last four contests. Also, he tied a Big South single-season record by rushing for three touchdowns in three games.

Seven of his rushes went for either a CCU TD or first down and one of his four receptions was good for a first down. He had 13 rushes of five yards or more, including his final rush of the game – a 31-yard gain.

Taliaferro has rushed for at least 140 yards for the fourth time in six games (NOTE: rushed for 99 yards in playing just the first half versus Hampton) and now has four of the school’s top 12 single-game rushing efforts.

His 835 rushing yards this season ranks fourth on the CCU single-season list and he is just 272 yards shy of the CCU record (1,107 yards by Patrick Hall in 2004). Taliaferro has 13 rushing TDs this season, second on the CCU single-season list and just one shy of the CCU record (14 by Aundres Perkins in 2003).

Taliaferro currently ranks in the top five of several FCS categories, including second in scoring (14.0 ppg), third in rushing TDs (13 total), fourth in rushing yards per game (139.2 ypg) and fifth in total rushing yards (835).

Backus logged 11 tackles, including a half tackle for loss, and two pass break-ups. However, his biggest contribution was a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown, giving Coastal a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

His 73-yard interception return for a touchdown is the longest CCU and Big South history and the 73-yard return is second-longest overall interception return in CCU and Big South history behind former Chanticleer Quinton Teal, who had a 74-yard return in 2005 versus South Carolina State (but he did not score).

Backus was particularly active in the second half, collecting eight of his 11 stops as CCU shutout Gardner-Webb and held the Runnin’ Bulldogs to just 160 yards of total offense.

Backus has now scored two touchdowns this season. In the season opener, he returned a blocked field goal 56 yards to tie the game 20-20 in the third quarter. For the season, Backus had 56 tackles (team leader), 2.5 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 2 INT and 4 PBU (tied for second-best on the team).

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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