Following an encouraging start, South Alabama has dropped three consecutive games and is coming off of its worst loss of the season last week against Tennessee. The Jaguars enter with a 5-6 overall record, including a disappointing 2-5 record versus Sun Belt competition, but will need a win this week to keep their bowl game hopes alive. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina is trying to put together a strong finish to yet another successful season on the gridiron.
Can the Jaguars snap their three-game slide with an upset win over the Chanticleers on Friday afternoon?
McCall continues magical season with 5-TD game vs. Texas StateCoastal Carolina knocked off Texas State 35-21 last week to keep pace in the Sun Belt East standings. Quarterback Grayson McCall completed 22-of-28 passes for 319 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Chanticleers to victory. Running back Shermani Jones rushed for 92 yards while Javion Helligh caught 10 passes for 101 yards and a score in the win.
The entire country just saw this throw and catch from Grayson McCall to Jaivon Heiligh.— Scott Watkins (@scottwatkinsTU) October 20, 2021
My goodness. pic.twitter.com/QbazdZksyS
McCall continues to put up video game-like numbers at Coastal Carolina. The 6-foot-4 sophomore has completed 74.2 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns and only three interceptions this season. A major part of Coastal Carolina’s resurgence as a football program, McCall has turned himself into a legitimate NFL prospect by posting a 48:5 touchdown to interception rate in two years as a starter.
On defense, the Chanticleers have surrendered only 19.9 points per game, 20th in the FBS. They’ve also given up just 323.4 yards of total offense per contest, 19th in the country, including only 175.6 passing yards per game, the seventh-lowest mark in the nation.
Jaguars battling for bowl eligibility vs. Coastal CarolinaSouth Alabama was throttled 60-14 on the road at Tennessee last weekend to fall to 5-6 on the year. Quarterback Desmond Trotter completed 19-of-32 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns while receiver Jalen Tolbert caught seven balls for 143 yards and a score in the loss. The Jaguars didn’t commit a turnover but were outgained 561 to 285 on the day.
Following the loss, the Jaguars remain just one elusive win away from bowl game eligibility. After returning to the practice field in a limited capacity last week, South Alabama is expected to have starting quarterback Jake Bentley on Saturday. The senior signal-caller has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,122 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. Tolbert has been Bentley’s top target for the majority of the season. The 6-foot-3 junior has caught 72 passes for 1,283 yards and seven touchdowns already this season but still needs one more score to match the total that he posted a year ago.
On defense, the Jaguars have given up only 26.4 points per game, which is tied for 49th in the country. South Alabama has also allowed 342.3 yards of total offense per game, 35th in the FBS, including just 211.4 passing yards per game, good for 39th in the nation.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Coastal Carolina comes into this game favored by more than two touchdowns but that number might be set a little too high in this spot. While the Chanticleers are undoubtedly the better team, South Alabama will be playing for a potential postseason bid. The Jaguars are also expected to have quarterback Jake Bentley this week, which should give the offense a boost in this spot. Take South Alabama to cover the spread at home versus Coastal Carolina on Friday.
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams are projected for 56 points but this could turn out to be a much higher scoring game. The Chanticleers’ defense has been vulnerable of late, allowing 21 points or more in four of the last five games. Coastal Carolina is just two games removed from giving up 42 points at home against Georgia State. On the other hand, the Jaguars are coming off of back-to-back blowout losses and will be fighting to become bowl eligible in this game. Take the over in this Sun Belt showdown on Friday night.