When Coastal Carolina won 30-27 on Oct. 14 on the road vs. a Louisiana team ranked No. 21 in the country, it suggested the Chanticleers were going to do more than just outperform the expectations of a preseason poll that projected them to finish last in the Sun Belt. But few could have envisioned just how significant of a leap this season would turn out to be for the Chanticleers.
As they prepare to rematch with the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Sun Belt Conference title game, the Chanticleers are 11-0 and ranked No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Continuing their magical unbeaten run will require beating a 9-1 Louisiana team ranked No. 19 that has revenge on its mind from that Oct. 14 home loss.
These teams share similar statistical profiles with balanced attacks that emphasize running the football, and their first meeting was a thriller as Coastal Carolina emerged victorious via a 40-yard field goal in the final seconds. That game was a back and forth affair, so don’t be surprised if this one follows a similar path as two of the best teams from the Group of Five battle for a championship
Date: Saturday, Dec. 19 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Brooks Stadium — Conway, South Carolina
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers have a three-headed rushing attack led by CJ Marable, Reese White and Shermari Jones, who have combined for 1,689 rushing yards this season. But their offense is made complete by redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall. His 69.3% completion percentage and 23 touchdowns versus just two interceptions are impressive. But McCall’s ability to create with his legs has proven vital as Coastal Carolina has navigated some close games with McCall orchestrating big drives in clutch moments.
Louisiana: Louisiana’s offense bears similarities to Coastal Carolina’s with a trio of running backs in Elijah Mitchell, Trey Ragas and Chris Smith who have combined for 1,745 yards rushing. Their quarterback, Levi Lewis, is also capable playmaker. But in some ways, this season has been a bit of a step back for the senior signal caller. After completing 64.3% of his passes last season and throwing 26 touchdowns against just four interceptions, Lewis has completed just 59.9% of his passes this season with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. But that drop off in efficiency will be quickly forgiven if Lewis can put together a strong effort in this game. Lewis has been here before as he threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-38 loss to Appalachian State in last year’s Sun Belt title game.
Coastal Carolina vs. Louisiana game prediction, picks
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
This is an intriguing battle of head coaches as Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell and Louisiana’s Billy Napier are both getting attention on this year’s coaching carousel. Most seem to think it’s only a matter of when and not if Napier gets a shot at an attractive Power Five job. He’ll have a chance to prove why he’s so highly regarded here as the Ragin’ Cajuns get a second look at the only team to beat them this season. Louisiana is coming off a bye week, which gave Napier ample time to prepare. Coastal Carolina has played four weeks in a row and needed late-game heroics to secure victory the past two weeks. The Ragin’ Cajuns should be better rested, better prepared and motivated to get revenge. Pick: Louisiana +3
#Coastal #Carolina #Louisiana #Prediction #pick #odds #point #spread #line #football #game #kickoff #time