49ers vs. Chanticleers in 100 words
The Chanticleers are the fourth nationally ranked Football Championship Series opponent the 49ers have played along with James Madison, Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern … Coastal Carolina is one of three unbeaten teams in FCS. North Dakota State and Fordham are the others … Chanticleers coach Joe Moglia is the chairman of the board at TD Ameritrade. He worked there fulltime before returning to coaching in 2008 … This is the second straight game the 49ers will be homecoming opposition … Saturday’s game was added to WCCB’s television package of 49ers games and will be shown in Myrtle Beach and Columbia.
By the numbers
10 Seasons in which Coastal Carolina has been nationally ranked. It has been playing football since 2003.
31.6 Points per game scored by Charlotte.
30.1 Points per game allowed by 49ers.
Scouting Coastal Carolina
• The Chanticleers are ranked first nationally in scoring offense (47.4), red zone offense (95.7 percent) and fewest tackles for loss allowed (2.88 per game).
• Quarterback Alex Ross is expected back after missing last week’s victory against Virginia Military with a foot injury. Ross has directed Coastal to 50-plus points in five of his eight career starts.
• Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro already has Coastal Carolina’s single-season touchdown rushing record (18), which is three shy of the Big South’s record. He’s rushed for 1,112 yards, the school’s single-season record, and that ranks fifth nationally.
• Linebacker Quinn Backus ranks fourth on the school’s time all-time tackling list (248). He’s had several big games this season, including 10 tackles against Liberty. One of them came on a key third-down play in the fourth quarter where he made a tackle for a 1-yard loss.
Matchup to watch
Charlotte NG Larry Ogunjobi vs. Coastal Carolina C Kevin Hart
It’s difficult to get into Coastal Carolina’s backfield. The Chanticleers allow just 2.88 tackles for loss per game, good for first in the country. Hart directs an offensive line that takes excellent care of QB Alex Ross. Ogunjobi, a redshirt freshman, has six tackles for a loss and a sack this season. He’s also the run stuffer for Charlotte, which had trouble with Charleston Southern’s Christian Reyes last week and has another challenge in Taliaferro on Saturday.
• If the 49ers are to pull off an upset in this one, they need to establish themselves early. Coastal Carolina is especially tough in the second half, holding an opponent to a touchdown or less five times. The Chanticleers haven’t allowed a fourth-quarter touchdown since the fourth game of the season against Hampton.
• Whatever the outcome Saturday, the 49ers will have learned a lot about themselves as they come through a tough portion of their schedule. They’ll finish up their first season with Divison III Wesley (Del.) and Morehead State of the non-scholarship Pioneer League. This is a tough time for the 49ers, who have lost two in a row and don’t have anything tangible – like a conference championship or bowl berth – to play for.
• Whatever happened to former coach David Bennett, who started Coastal Carolina’s program in 2003 and was 63-17 in eight seasons before being fired after the 2011 season? Bennett, a former coach at Catawba, is now athletics director and coach at River Bluff High, a new school in Lexington, S.C.
• The 49ers will be without linebackers Micah Bryan and Jalen Holt, who are missing the game due to family issues. Holt is attending a funeral and will return for next week’s game against Wesley (Del.). It’s not known when Bryan, who leads the team with 38 unassisted tackles, will return. Linebacker Kendal Parker, who has missed six games with a broken leg, is expected back against the Chanticleers.
3 and out: Junior linebacker Caleb Clayton-Molby
Q. What attracted you to the 49ers program coming out of Georgia Military College?
A.I didn’t really know what to expect. When I took my visit here, there were were no (football) buildings. But I saw pictures and also saw places like the basketball arena. I really enjoyed it. And I wanted to play Division I football. I would have gone anywhere, even to California, to play.
Q. Is it difficult this deep into the season not to have a conference championship for which to play?
A. We know we’re not playing to go the postseason. We want to establish this program and prove to ourselves how we play. We’re worried about setting a foundation for our program. We knew that was going to be the case, so not playing for the postseason is not really that big of a deal.
Q. There’s been lots of turnover on the linebacker corps due to injuries and two guys – Bryan and Holt – won’t play Saturday because of family issues. How have you dealt with that?
A. We’ve been switching up a lot. We don’t really know who’s going to start. But we keep it competitive. Coach says whoever plays best each week will start. It’s been tough, but we’re competing and doing the best we can.
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