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Eagles look to bounce back at Coastal
GS Football
Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts, center, finishes off an 18-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against Troy. Werts and the Eagle offense are looking to get back on track after suffering consecutive losses. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT

Joe Moglia – barring perhaps Nick Saban – with a net worth of $24 million is in all probability the wealthiest coach in college football.

The Coastal Carolina coach is also the current chairman and former CEO of TD Ameritrade which is the largest online discount brokerage firm in the world in terms of the number of retail online equity trades placed each day.

That wealth and the business acumen that went into developing it means little to Moglia these days. His focus is centered on getting his Chanticleers (5-5, 2-4) bowl eligible in their second year in the Sun Belt Conference.

In order to do that Coastal is going to have to beat either Georgia Southern (7-3, 4-2) when they meet at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Conway, S.C., or win at South Alabama next week.

Like the Eagles the Chants will be looking to break a two-game losing streak against a team it beat 28-17 last year. Moglia wasn’t around for that game as he took a year’s leave of absence due to health issues.

Moglia started his coaching career in 1968 as an assistant coach at Fordham Prep and eventually worked his way up to becoming the defensive coordinator at Dartmouth. In 1983 he became a stockbroker but in 2009 returned to coaching as a volunteer assistant at Nebraska.

He was hired at Coastal Carolina in 2012 whereh he has a 56-20 record that includes three Big South Conference championships. Coastal moved up to FBS last year when it joined the Sun Belt.

Coastal has been plagued with injuries this season, especially at the quarterback position where it has been forced to play three different players: senior starter Kilton Anderson and freshmen Fred Payton and Bryce Carpenter.

Anderson will be in the lineup against the Eagles. When he’s healthy and playing the Chants are a different look team as evidenced by their 47-24 win over Alabama-Birmingham which is that team’s only loss.

In its last two games Coastal has lost to Appalachian State (23-7) and Arkansas State (44-16), two teams which Georgia Southern has beaten. Troy, which beat the Eagles last Saturday, also beat Coastal, 45-21.

“The defenses we have played the last two weeks are really outstanding,” Moglia said when asked about the Chants’ current struggles. “The second part to that is at the beginning of the season Kilton was doing a really great job but when he went down he was replaced by a freshman (Carpenter).

“When Bryce went down he was replaced by Fred who is also a freshman. Then we tried to bring Kilton back before he was ready. I think the combination of both of those had an impact on our performance.”

Both teams are option oriented as Georgia Southern is second in the SBC in rushing with an average of 244.5 yards per game and Coastal is fourth at 221.8. The Chanticleers are ninth in the SBC in passing (176.0 yards per game) and GS (85.6) is 10th.

Moglia said the fact the two teams are similar offensively will help the Chants in their preparation this week.

“Their offense is different from ours, but conceptually there is a lot of overlapping,” Moglia said. “It’s not like we’re going into the game not prepared for an option attack. Our offensive and defensive coordinators have already put their heads together where one might be able to offer the other some insight.”

Marcus Outlow leads Coastal in rushing with 661 yards and eight touchdowns. C.J. Marable has 634 while Anderson has completed 52 of 89 passes for 722 yards. Payton is 41-for-61 for 588.

The team’s leading receiver is Malcolm Williams with 40 catches for 615 yards and four scores while Ky’Jon Tyler has 20 for 324 yards.

“We’re not talking about it (becoming bowl eligible),” Moglia said. “We continue to focus on what it takes to get there: go to your classes, focus on what you need to do, do the best you can to maximize your potential.

“If you do that then everything else falls into place.”