(12) Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at (11) Coastal Carolina (10-2)
The Sports Network
By Brandon Lawrence, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 1 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Brooks Stadium (9,400) -- Conway, South Carolina. Surface: Grass. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: Drew Fellios, Chris Doering and Angela Mallen. Home Record: Bethune-Cookman 4-1; Coastal Carolina 6-0. Away Record: Bethune-Cookman 5-1; Coastal Carolina 4-2. Neutral Record: Bethune-Cookman 1-0; Coastal Carolina 0-0. Series Record: Coastal Carolina (1-0). Last Meeting: 2012 (November 24, 2012 - Coastal Carolina, 24-14 at Bethune-Cookman). Conference: Bethune-Cookman - Mid-Eastern Athletic; Coastal Carolina - Big South. Nicknames: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats; Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Sports Network FCS Ranking: Bethune-Cookman (12); Coastal Carolina (11). NCAA Playoff Seedings: Bethune-Cookman (NS); Coastal Carolina (NS). Head Coaches: Bethune-Cookman - Brian Jenkins (fourth season, 37-10 at Bethune-Cookman and overall); Coastal Carolina - Joe Moglia (second season, 18-7 at Coastal Carolina and overall). Playoff Records: Bethune-Cookman (0-4); Coastal Carolina (1-3). Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: Bethune-Cookman 4 (2002-03, 2010, 2012); Coastal Carolina 3 (2006, 2010, 2012). Current Playoff Streak: Bethune-Cookman has lost all four playoff appearances; Coastal Carolina has lost three of its four playoff games.
GAME NOTES: Bethune-Cookman and Coastal Carolina will meet in the playoffs for a second consecutive year, with the Wildcats seeking some revenge for last year's playoff exit.
Coastal Carolina survived the matchup with Bethune-Cookman last season, advancing 24-14, which extended the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's playoff losing streak to 17 straight postseason losses since 1999. With two MEAC teams in this year's field, there's a greater chance one team makes it through the first round.
Bethune-Cookman's offense needs to keep rolling in order to have a shot in this one. The Chanticleers rank third in the FCS in points per game, averaging 42.6 this season. Much of that offensive production comes from senior running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, who finished the regular season tied for second in the country with 23 rushing touchdowns.
The Chanticleers aren't the strongest defensive squad in the world, only holding opponents to under 20 points in three contests this season. But that's not a problem for the 10-2 Chants, so long as they outscore the opposition, which has been a familiar concept this season. Linebacker Quinn Backus will be busy against the run-heavy Wildcats.
Bethune-Cookman ranks ninth in the FCS in rushing offense, averaging 250.3 rushing yards per game. Against Florida A&M in the regular season finale, the Wildcats carried the ball 61 times and attempted 12 passes. That's the nature of their offense.
The Wildcats need to be careful of penalties. In the past five weeks, Bethune- Cookman has accumulated 73 flags. Against a strong Coastal Carolina opponent, the battle for field position will be a crucial one, and penalties can only do damage.
This contest will be an offensive battle, and the Chanticleers, unbeaten at home this season, will look to the senior Taliaferro and sophomore quarterback Alex Ross for typical offensive production.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Coastal Carolina 34, Bethune-Cookman 24.
11/26 12:52:47 ET