Louisiana-Monroe at Coastal Carolina
When and Where: Saturday, Oct. 13, Brooks Stadium, Conway, S.C., 6 p.m. EDT.
It is a long-awaited return home for Coastal Carolina, which plays its first game at Brooks Stadium in five weeks Saturday when it hosts Louisiana-Monroe in a Sun Belt Conference showdown.
The Chanticleers (3-2, 1-1 Sun Belt East) have been nomadic the past month, playing three straight road games while the players stayed in hotels due to the damage created on campus from Hurricane Florence last month.
Warhawks trying to halt four-game slide
Louisiana-Monroe (2-4, 0-2) has hit the skids after opening the season with back-to-back victories, and its lack of defense has been a key contributor to that four-game losing streak.
The Warhawks have given up an alarming 199 points in their last four games after being throttled 70-21 at Mississippi last weekend. Louisiana-Monroe gave up seven first-half touchdowns and 826 yards overall while yielding a stunning 11.5 yards per play.
“We’re just not playing good, and that’s what’s frustrating,” coach Matt Viator told the school’s official website. “I can’t put my finger on it. I thought we were really ready to play today. We had a lot of energy to start the game, but again, we just didn’t make it happen.
“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and continue to work. We’ve only played half the season, so we’ve still got a lot of football left. We just need to play better. If we do, we’ll be okay.”
Many of those problems can be traced to first-half play. The Warhawks have been outscored 138-38 in the first two quarters during their losing streak. They also have forced only one turnover the last four games after creating five takeaways in their 2-0 start.
Louisiana-Monroe has given up 578.0 yards per game during its losing streak and 617 rushing yards the last two contests, which definitely does not bode well since Coastal Carolina is a run-heavy team which is averaging 243.2 yards on the ground.
The Warhawks have moved the ball offensively behind dual-threat quarterback Caleb Evans, who has thrown for 1,398 yards and seven touchdowns while adding a team-best 301 rushing yards and three scores.
On his 11-yard completion to Marcus Green early in the second quarter, Caleb Evans became the eighth quarterback in ULM history to reach the 5,000-yard passing milestone. #ULMvsOleMiss
— ULM Football (@ULM_FB) October 6, 2018
Marcus Green and RJ Turner have been a potent receiving duo, combining for 49 catches, 715 yards, and five TDs. Green, who had a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Rebels, has 640 all-purpose yards.
Chanticleers eager to get back in front of home fans
Coastal Carolina moved its scheduled home game Sept. 11 against Campbell to Buies Creek, N.C., ahead of the impending landing of Hurricane Florence, starting an exhausting three-game, 18-day stretch that ended with a 45-21 loss at Troy on Sept. 29.
“I think it’s fair to acknowledge that they were tired. I know I’m exhausted,” Chants coach Joe Moglia told the Myrtle Beach Online. “But the reality is it was tough to finish up with a [poor] second half like we did, and that’s what we did.”
Another factor contributing to the loss was absence of starting quarterback Kilton Anderson, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle. Moglia is hoping the bye week will help his senior, who has accounted for 779 total yards and seven touchdowns, get back under center for this game, but no announcement has been made regarding his availability.
If Anderson is again unable to play, freshman Bryce Carpenter would make his second start. He had a respectable first collegiate start versus the Trojans, completing 18 of 22 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and an interception. But Carpenter was also sacked nine times and lost a fumble as he had trouble adjusting to the speed of playing on the first team.
Throw the 🏈 or run the 🏈?
Here @CoastalFootball we do both
Completion %: 3️⃣
Passer Rating: 5️⃣
Yards/Pass Attempt: 1️⃣1️⃣
Rush Yards: 1️⃣3️⃣
Rush TDs: 1️⃣5️⃣#BallAtTheBeach 🏝
— Matt Pearce (@MattPearceCCU) October 4, 2018
“He executed passes, especially in the first half,” Moglia said. “Was he making bad decisions in the second half with guys open that he wasn’t getting the ball off? Did protection break down? All of those things actually happened. It’s certainly not easy to go in as a freshman and start. Having said that, Bryce did do a good job.”
Regardless of who is under center, the Chanticleers will look to re-ignite their ground game after being limited to 145 yards at Troy. Marcus Outlow has a team-high 429 yards and six TDs while Torrance Marable is averaging 6.8 yards per carry while racking up 308 yards and five scores.
Coastal Carolina is:
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss.
- 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.
- The over is 12-5 in its last 17 games.
- The over is 11-4 in its last 15 games after a straight up loss by more than 20 points.
- The over is 8-3 in its last 11 games following a straight up loss.
- 0-7 ATS in its last seven games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in its previous game.
- 1-6 ATS in its last seven games vs. Sun Belt teams.
- 0-5 ATS in its last five games after allowing 40 or more points in its previous game.
- The over is 11-4 in its last 15 games following an ATS loss.
- The over is 20-6 in its last 26 games vs. Sun Belt teams.
- The over is 12-5 in its last 17 games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in its previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a perfect convergence of factors heavily in favor of Coastal Carolina between playing its first home game in more than a month, coming off a much-needed bye week, and playing a team that has been in absolute shambles defensively in Louisiana-Monroe.
While potentially not having Anderson could be a concern, Carpenter showed he can at least move the Chanticleers. Playing at home will allow Moglia to better utilize his running back tandem of Outlow and Marable to take some pressure off the freshman. Otherwise, if Anderson is back under center, Coastal Carolina should be firing on all cylinders and extend the Warhawks’ misery for another week.
Prediction: Pick: Coastal Carolina -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This only gets a “2” rating because Anderson is a game-time decision. Even with the Warhawks’ defensive shortcomings, it is difficult to believe both teams will put up enough points with a second-string quarterback in Carpenter to reach nine-plus touchdowns. That means this pick could flip if the freshman gets a second start for the Chants.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 66.5 points
Full-Game Prop Bet
Even if Anderson does not play, there are too many factors in Coastal Carolina’s direction to turn down taking the Chanticleers on the straight money line. Most notably, Louisiana-Monroe’s defense. The Chants’ run game should be able to power them to a victory regardless of who is under center.
Prediction: Pick: Coastal Carolina -260
Half-Time Side Pick
Playing at home for the first time in five weeks likely will give the Chanticleers all the motivation they need to come out strong early and take the game to the Warhawks. Additionally, Louisiana-Monroe has given up 30 or more first-half points in its last three games.
Prediction: Pick: Coastal Carolina -4 (-110)
Half-Time Total Bet
Between the Warhawks defense and the Chanticleers not exactly having a lights-out defense themselves — they’ve allowed 20 or more first-half points in two of their last three games — the teams will definitely make a good run at the over, and the total being just under five touchdowns is tempting enough to play.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 34.5 points (-105)
Half-Time Prop Prediction
There have been 21 first-quarter points scored in Louisiana-Monroe’s last two games and in three of Coastal Carolina’s last four contests. These teams should combine for three scores to get over 14 points.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 14 points 1st quarter (-135)