Mountaineers prepare for primetime showdown with Coastal Carolina

App+States+offensive+line+collides+with+Robert+Morris+defensive+line+in+the+Mountaineers+42-3+homecoming+victory+Oct.+29%2C+2022.+

Aldo Sarabia

App State’s offensive line collides with Robert Morris’ defensive line in the Mountaineers’ 42-3 homecoming victory Oct. 29, 2022.

Ethan Smith, Reporter

App State football travels to Conway, South Carolina for a matchup with Coastal Carolina Thursday night.

“Our team is looking forward to going to Conway this Thursday night for a nationally televised game,” said head coach Shawn Clark.

Last season, the Mountaineers upset No. 14 Coastal Carolina for the program’s first ranked win since 2007. App State won on a field goal as time expired in front of a sold-out crowd of 31,067. 

The Black and Gold are coming off a dominating win over Robert Morris in which they accounted for 512 total yards of offense. Redshirt senior quarterback Chase Brice threw for four touchdowns and 185 yards in three quarters of game action. The rushing attack for the Mountaineers contributed 296 yards and two touchdowns. 

The Chanticleers enter the game at 7-1, 4-1 in conference play and in first place in the Sun Belt East Division. They are headlined on offense by pre-season Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Grayson McCall. During the 2022 season, McCall has thrown for 2,061 yards and 19 touchdowns to only one interception. In last year’s matchup, McCall threw for 291 yards and one touchdown. Sam Pickney and Jared Brown lead the Chanticleer receiving core, combining for 1,250 receiving yards and six touchdowns. 

Coastal Carolina’s defense features four pre-season Sun Belt honorees. Defensive lineman Josiah Stewart earned pre-season Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors along with First Team honors. Preseason Second Team honoree Jerrod Clark joins Stewart on the Chanticleer defensive line. In the secondary, they are headlined by pre-season First Team defensive back D’Jordan Strong. 

“Their defensive line and linebackers, they’re excellent,” Clark said.

For App State to succeed in Thursday’s matchup, they need to play a complete game and not get out to a slow start. On defense, they need to limit McCall and force him into tough situations. 

The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and can be watched live on ESPN.