CONWAY, SC (SPECIAL TO WLAF) Caryville native Jamey Chadwell’s No. 9/11 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will make the program’s first-ever postseason bowl appearance on Saturday, Dec. 26, as the Chants will face off with rival No. 23 Liberty at the sixth annual FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

CHANTS ROLL WITH THE TIDE• Entering play this week, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are one of just two 11-0 teams in the nation along with No. 1 Alabama.

• CCU is also one of just five undefeated teams in all of FBS this season.

Undefeated Teams Entering This Week
Team                                      Record
Coastal Carolina                       11-0
Alabama                                   11-0
Cincinnati                                   9-0
San Jose State                          7-0
Ohio State                                  6-0

NATIONALLY RANKED CHANTICLEERS• For the 10th-straight week and just the 10th time in the program’s young FBS history, the Chanticleers were ranked in the top 25 nationally.

• CCU came in this week at No. 9 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA Today Sports.

Coastal in the Rankings this Year
Date                AP      Coaches        CFP
Oct. 18            25        24                       
Oct. 25            20        21                       
Nov. 1             15        16                       
Nov. 8             15        17                       
Nov. 15           15        18                       
Nov. 22           16        17                    20
Nov. 29           14        14                    18
Dec. 6             11        13                    13
Dec. 13           9          12                    12
Dec. 20           9          11                    12

SUN BELT – HIGHEST CALLING• The Chanticleers continued to make Sun Belt history this week, as CCU’s No. 9 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 11 ranking in the Amway Coaches Poll (USA Today) are both conference highs in terms of national rankings.

2020 SUN BELT EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS• Coastal Carolina won the program’s first-ever Sun Belt East Division Championship with a 49-14 conference road win at Texas State (Nov. 28).

• The Chanticleers won the Sun Belt East Division title in only the program’s fourth year as a full-time Sun Belt Conference and FBS member.

BEST SEASON IN SUN BELT HISTORY• Coastal’s undefeated run through the Sun Belt Conference regular-season slate is tied for the best regular-season in conference history.

• With a win at Troy (Dec. 12), Coastal Carolina became the only team in Sun Belt Conference history to finish the regular season undefeated at 11-0 overall.

Undefeated Conference Seasons in the Sun Belt
Year       Team                          Conf.      Overall
2020       Coastal Carolina         8-0           11-0
2015       Arkansas State           8-0             9-4
2014       Georgia Southern       8-0             9-3
2011       Arkansas State           8-0           10-3
2009       Troy                             8-0            9-4
2004       North Texas                7-0             7-5
2003       North Texas                7-0             9-4
2002       North Texas                6-0             8-5

CHASING HISTORY• The 2020 Chanticleers have matched the program’s best start to a season at 11-0, which was also done back in 2014.

• With the win at Troy (Dec. 12) two weeks ago, the Chanticleers posted their first-ever undefeated regular season at 11-0.

• With a win over No. 23 Liberty on Saturday, the Chanticleers will tie the program record for the most wins in a single season with 12, which they set back in 2013 and 2014 as a member of the FCS level.

THE IRONY• Prior to this season, Coastal Carolina was 11-0 just once, back in 2014.

• However, their undefeated season was ended in the regular-season finale with a 15-14 loss on the road at Liberty in Big South Conference play.

AMERICA’S TEAM• With Saturday’s Cure Bowl set to air on ESPN, Coastal will have had 10 of its 12 contests this season nationally televised, including each of its first eight games of the year.

09/12/20    at Kansas        Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
09/18/20    Campbell                               ESPN
10/03/20    Arkansas State                   ESPN2
10/14/20    at #21 Louisiana                   ESPN
10/24/20    Georgia Southern              ESPNU
10/31/20    at Georgia State                ESPNU
11/07/20    South Alabama                  ESPNU
11/21/20    Appalachian State                ESPN
12/05/20    #8 BYU                               ESPNU
12/26/20    vs. #23 Liberty                      ESPN

• In fact, the regular-season finale at Troy (Dec. 12) was only the Chants’ second game this season to not be broadcast live on a national television station. The other was the road contest at Texas State (Nov. 28).

COVID-19 CANCELS CHAMPIONSHIP• For the first time all season, the Chanticleers were directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic last week prior to the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Championship game versus No. 17/18 Louisiana.

• Due to a positive test and contact tracing, the Chanticleers were without an entire position group to force the cancellation of the game.

BUSTING THROUGH THE SUN BELT• Coastal finished the regular season at 8-0 in conference play, posting their best conference record since joining the Sun Belt as a full-time member in 2017.

• Prior to this season, Coastal had not won more than two conference games in any season since joining the Sun Belt in 2017 and just six total conference games in the program’s history in the Sun Belt.

YEAR           SBC             OVERALL
2017                2-6                      3-9
2018                2-6                      5-7
2019                2-6                      5-7
2020                8-0                    11-0

• In fact, this season Coastal outscored its conference opponents by 164 points (309-145) over the Chanticleers’ eight conference wins.

GOING STREAKING• Coastal’s current 11-game winning streak this season is the longest single-season winning streak for the Chants since moving to the FBS level in 2017.

• The current 11-game winning streak this season is tied for the longest single-season winning streak in program history.

• The last time the Chants’ won 11 games in a row was in 2014 when they started the season at 11-0.

NATION’S CURRENT WINNING STREAK LEADER• If you go back to the 2019 season, Coastal Carolina has won 12-straight games which is tied with No. 1 Alabama for the longest current winning streak in all of FBS.

11/30/19      Texas State                   W, 24-21
09/12/20      at Kansas                      W, 38-23
09/18/20      Campbell                       W, 43-21
10/03/20      Arkansas State             W, 52-23
10/14/20      at #21 Louisiana           W, 30-27
10/24/20      Georgia Southern         W, 28-14
10/31/20      at Georgia State             W, 51-0
11/07/20      South Alabama               W, 23-6
11/21/20      Appalachian State        W, 34-23
11/28/20      at Texas State              W, 49-14
12/05/20      #8 BYU                          W, 22-17
12/12/20      at Troy                           W, 42-38

VERSUS THE FBS TOP 25• Coastal Carolina is 2-3 all-time versus FBS top-25 nationally-ranked teams in the program history. However, both wins have come this season, a 30-27 conference road win at then-No. 21 Louisiana (Oct. 14) and a 22-17 win over then-No. 8 BYU (Dec. 5).

All-Time Versus FBS Top 25
08/30/08       at #22 Penn State          L, 10-66
09/04/10       at #25 West Virginia        L, 0-31
11/23/13       at #11 South Carolina    L, 10-70
10/14/20       at #21 Louisiana           W, 30-27
12/05/20       #8 BYU                          W, 22-17

• CCU is 2-0 versus FBS top-25 teams as an FBS member with wins over then-No. 21 Louisiana (Oct. 14) and then-No. 8 BYU (Dec. 5) this season.

• The No. 8 nationally-ranked BYU Cougars are the highest nationally ranked FBS team that the Chanticleers have defeated in program history.

SEASON OF FIRSTS• Coastal will look to continue its season of first this weekend, with the program’s first-ever postseason bowl appearance.

• What bodes well for the Chants is that 2020 has been a season of firsts for the men in teal.

  • First-Ever Sun Belt team to start the season at 11-0             
  • First Time Ever Ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll       
  • First Time Ever Ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll         
  • First-Ever Win over an FBS top 25 opponent (Oct. 14)         
  • First-Ever Win over Arkansas State (Oct. 3)             
  • First-Ever Win over South Alabama (Nov. 7)            
  • First-Ever Win over Appalachian State (Nov. 21)     
  • First-Ever Win at Texas State (Nov. 28)     
  • Coastal Carolina hosted ESPN College GameDay (Dec. 5)
  • First-Ever Win over an FBS top 10 opponent (Dec. 5)          
  • First-Ever Win over BYU (Dec. 5) 
  • First-Ever Win in the state of Alabama (Troy – Dec. 12)          
  • First-Ever Undefeated Regular Season (11-0)         
  • First-Ever SBC Team to Post an Undefeated Regular Season
  • First-Ever SBC Team to be Ranked in the AP Top 10
  • First-Ever Postseason Bowl Appearance    

SERIES VERSUS LIBERTY• Coastal Carolina is 7-7 all-time versus the Liberty Flames with both teams sporting a 5-2 overall record at home in the all-time series.

• Three out of the last four meetings have been decided by three points or less with Liberty coming out on top in two of those three close contests.

All-Time Series Results
11/15/03       at Liberty                      L, 21-38
10/23/04       at Coastal                     W, 33-6
10/22/05       at Liberty         W, 27-21 (3OT)
10/28/06       at Coastal                   W, 28-26
11/03/07       at Liberty                      L, 24-37
10/04/08       at Coastal                    L, 38-43
10/17/09       at Liberty                      L, 13-58
11/13/10       at Coastal                   W, 45-31
10/15/11       at Liberty                      L, 27-63
10/27/12       at Coastal                   W, 36-12
10/19/13       at Liberty         W, 55-52 (2OT)
11/22/14       at Coastal                    L, 14-15
11/19/15       at Liberty                      L, 21-24
11/17/16       at Coastal                     W, 42-7

• However, Saturday’s contest will be the first between the two teams as FBS members.

• The Chanticleers are 1-0 all-time versus Liberty in non-conference play (2016), as the first 13 meetings between the two teams came as Big South Conference foes.

SCOUTING THE FLAMES• Under second-year head coach Hugh Freeze, Liberty is 9-1 this season including Power 5 wins over both Syracuse (Oct. 17) and Virginia Tech (Nov. 7) out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

• After starting the season 8-0, the Flames dropped a last-second contest 15-14 at NC State (Nov. 21) before bouncing back to shut out UMass (Nov. 27) 45-0 at home the last time they played.

• Liberty’s offense is among the best in the nation this season, as the Flames rank ninth nationally in rushing offense (252.1 yards per game), 11th in fourth-down conversion percentage (75 percent), 15th in total offense (483.5 yards per game), 15th in time of possession (33:11), and 17th in scoring offense (38.3 points per game).

• Do-it-all quarterback Malik Willis, an Auburn transfer, leads the Flames in both passing and rushing this season. He has completed 151-of-236 pass attempts for 2,040 yards, 20 touchdowns, and four interceptions through the air, while also rushing 120 times for a team-high 807 yards and 10 scores on the ground.

• In the passing game, Willis has spread the wealth as seven different LU players have recorded double-digit catches this season led by DJ Stubbs and Demario Douglas with 33 and 27 receptions, respectively. Stubbs, Douglas, Johnny Huntley, and CJ Daniels all have three TD catches, one behind team leader Kevin Shaa and his four receiving scores.

• Behind Willis, the Liberty running game is led by the trio of Joshua Mack (125 carries, 692 yards, 4 TDs), Peytton Pickett (87 carries, 505 yards, 6 TDs), and Shedro Louis (60 carries, 431 yards, 3 TDs) who all have rushed for over 400 yards and scored three or more rushing touchdowns on the year.

• Defensively, the Flames’ defense ranks seventh nationally in total defense (301.2 ypg), ninth in passing yards allowed (171.6 ypg), 27th in rushing defense (129.6 ypg), and 17th in scoring defense (19.2 ppg).

• Javon Scruggs leads the defensive unit with a team-high 61 total tackles, while Anthony Butler is second with 58 total stops.

• Liberty is 33rd nationally in takeaways with 16, including 10 interceptions, and also totaled 56 tackles-for-loss and 26 sacks as a team on the year.

DESTINED TO REUNITE• Coastal Carolina and Liberty were destined to renew the rivalry this season, as the two teams were originally scheduled to face each other on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Brooks Stadium.

• However, Liberty was forced to cancel the game because of COVID-19, which set up the great matchup between No. 8 BYU and Coastal. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/26/2020-7AM)