Give Coastal Carolina interim coach Jamey Chadwell credit for one thing: he is a man of his word.
Back in August shortly after he was made the Chanticleers interim coach when head coach Joe Moglia made the decision to take a sabbatical for the 2017 season due to health reasons Chadwell met with Sun Belt Conference media to discuss the season.
Chadwell, previously the head coach at Charleston Southern for four seasons, assured those gathered in New Orleans the Chanticleers would not finish in last place in the SBC in their first season in FBS football.
When asked about that statement in this week’s SBC coaches teleconference Chadwell did not duck the issue.
“I recall it, obviously,” Chadwell said of making the prediction. “I thought we would be a little bit better than what we are right now.
“We still have not lost the opportunity not to finish last,” Chadwell said. “That’s not the main reason we’re not trying to win the football game. It’s moreso just to continue to develop our program and have a high note going into the off-season.
“Yes, I said it, and hopefully we will back it up this Saturday.”
Coastal Carolina (2-9, 1-6) must beat resurgent Georgia Southern (2-9, 2-5) when they meet at noon Saturday in Conway, S.C., to avoid finishing in a tie for last place with Texas State.
The Chanticleers snapped a nine-game losing streak two weeks ago with a 13-7 win at Idaho before getting a week off.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools, the first since 2010, and Georgia Southern has won all three.
While Chadwell had coached this season under the interim tag Georgia Southern coach Chad Lunsford had that title removed from his name this week when the school announced him as Tyson Summers’ replacement.
Eagles have posted impressive wins their last two games, beating South Alabama, 52-0, and then thumping Louisiana, 34-26, last week in a game that was not as close as the score indicated.
Coastal Carolina has found the jump to FBS much more difficult than Georgia Southern did three years ago when it won the conference title with an 8-0 league record.
It all started when at the end of July Moglia announced he was going to miss the season due to health issues. In five seasons Moglia posted a 57-15 record with four Big South Conference championships to position the program for the jump to FBS.
Chadwell, the offensive coordinator, was named to coach this season—Moglia is expected to resume his duties in January—and the season started on a high note with a 38-28 win over Massachusetts.
That was the season’s high water mark until the win over Idaho although three weeks ago the Chants were poised to upset Arkansas only to have the Razorbacks score in the closing seconds to snare a 39-38 win.
Quarterback Tyler Keane, one of 16 departing seniors, will be back in the starting lineup after missing the last two games.
The Chants have played six difference quarterbacks this season with three different starters. Keane has thrown for 1,440 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Osharmar Abercrombie is Coastal’s top rusher with 591 yards, and the top two receivers are Malcomb Williams with 39 for 573 yards and five touchdowns, and Chris Jones with 25 for 535 yards and four scores.