CCU

Coastal returned to the gridiron with a 38-23 win over Kansas Saturday night in Lawrence, Kansas. The Chants return Brooks Stadium for their home opener against Campbell Sept. 18. Photo by Ian Livingston Brooking

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers opened their football season on a high note Saturday night, defeating Kansas for the second straight year.

Coastal dominated the Jayhawks through the first 15 minutes of play, and they held on for a 38-23 win in Lawrence, Kansas.

This was the program's second win over a Power 5 opponent following last season's victory over Kansas. 

Heading into Saturday's matchup, all eyes were on the Chanticleer defense, which many had touted as one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference.

They didn’t disappoint. 

Derrick Bush picked off a tipped pass, which led to a drive that lasted over five minutes for the Chanticleers. 

In his first career start, redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall led the Chants downfield and capped off a 10-play drive with a 12-yard scamper to make it 7-0 Coastal.

Not even a minute later, Kansas’ Takulve Williams fumbled the ball and Enock Makonzo gathered it up for the Chanticleers' second forced turnover on the evening.

Defensive tackle CJ Brewer found the end zone thanks to a jersey switch and a nice long pass from McCall. Brewer, who typically wears number 52, switched to jersey number 38 prior to the two-yard scoring play, throwing off the Jayhawk defense.

Things kept rolling for the Chants early into the second quarter as McCall threw a nice little shuffle pass to Isaiah Likely to push the lead to 21-0 for Coastal with just under 11 minutes to go in the first half.

Kansas attempted to get on the board with a field goal but missed. 

Coastal’s defense once again showed its dominance when Jeff Gunter picked off Miles Hendrick. 

The Chants wasted no time as McCall found Jaivon Heiligh for McCall’s fourth overall touchdown on the night with a 25-yard strike. 

A field goal by Kansas as time expired put the Jayhawks on the board, but the Chants still had a 28-3 lead going into the break.

Kansas did make a comeback in the second half, narrowing the deficit as the third quarter came to an end. 

The Chants and Jayhawks traded scores early in the fourth quarter. Kansas appeared to be in a position to cut Coastal's lead to single digits after collecting an onside kick.

However, an offsides call against Kansas on the onside kick forced a rekick and the Chants were not going to be fooled twice.

Coastal would drain the clock and tack on a field goal to seal the 15-point victory.

The victory marked Coastal's first season-opening win since 2017. 

McCall finished the night with five total touchdowns, three in the air and two on the ground. McCall went 11-for-18 in passing for 133 yards while also rushing for 73 yards. 

Teddy Gallagher led the way for the Chanticleer defense with 9 total tackles. On top of his touchdown in the first quarter, Brewer also recorded two sacks on the night. 

Head coach Jamey Chadwell is now a thorn in national championship-winning coach Les Miles’ side. 

Chadwell becomes the first coach to beat Miles in back-to-back years since Bret Bielema’s Arkansas program beat Miles’ LSU in 2014 and 2015.

Chadwell is now one of 10 coaches to beat Miles at least twice in Miles’ 18-year coaching career, joining the likes of Nick Saban, Mack Brown and Urban Meyer.

Chadwell is the first coach of a non-Power 5 program to beat Miles twice. 

Prior to last season, Miles was 43-1 in nonconference games at home. He is now 44-3, with two of those losses coming to Chadwell’s Coastal Carolina teams. 

Coastal will certainly ride the coattails of this victory into a short week. Coastal returns home to Brooks Stadium for a Friday night clash with Campbell.

CCU will be allowing 5,000 people into Brooks Stadium for Friday’s game against the Camels. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Les Miles was 43-0 in nonconference home games. 

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