The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns dismantled the Chanticleers 48-7 Thursday night in what had been promoted as a “historic milestone” in Coastal Carolina’s short football history.
The Chanticleers were playing in their first-ever nationally televised home game as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, only to be handed their worst conference loss (Sun Belt or Big South) in program history.
“There really isn’t anything positive to share tonight,” said head coach Jamey Chadwell. “We got outcoached. We got outplayed. I knew going in that we had to play really well to hang with them and have a shot at beating them, but we didn’t. No matter what we tried to do, we didn’t have an answer for them.”
A total of 14,857 people came out to Brooks Stadium, including over 4,000 students, to see what was the second-worst home loss in Chanticleer history.
“I do want to say thank you to the students that came out tonight,” said offensive lineman Trey Carter. “They made it electric in the first half and we greatly appreciate the support.”
Louisiana opened the game with an eight-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a touchdown, giving the Cajuns a 7-0 lead with 11:19 in the first quarter.
Coastal responded with a bit of creativity as they opened the drive with a flea flicker that got the Chants inside Louisiana territory. Coastal would come up empty on the drive as the team saw Massimo Biscardi’s 35-yard field goal attempt miss.
Things would go downhill from there as Louisiana controlled much of the first half with their next three scoring drives lasting four minutes or longer.
Going into the half, the Chanticleers trailed 24-0 and quarterback Bryce Carpenter had just 54 yards passing on a 5-of-9 performance.
“There were times tonight where our guys looked at the scoreboard and let that get to them,” Chadwell said. “We started looking early and thought that this was insurmountable.”
The Cajuns kept on making that comeback possibility insurmountable throughout the third quarter as Louisiana scored three touchdowns in the third, making it 45-0 going into the fourth.
While a touchdown from Fred Payton to Sam Denmark late in the fourth quarter helped save the Chanticleers from getting shutout at home for the first time since 2008, it was still a tough night for the Chanticleers.
“We have to play better,” said defensive end Tarron Jackson. “We didn’t play to the standard that we set for ourselves. We didn’t execute tonight. But I guarantee you that come Monday, we will get back to work and it will be a completely different team next Saturday against Arkansas State.”
The Chanticleers now have a few extra days to prepare for their trip to Arkansas State Nov. 16. Before Thursday night, it was Arkansas State’s 44-16 win at Brooks Stadium last season that was the worst conference home loss in CCU history. The Red Wolves were also responsible for the worst conference loss in CCU history before tonight.
In the past two seasons, the Red Wolves have scored 96 points on the Chants, including a 51-17 win over CCU the last time the Chanticleers made the trip to Jonesboro, Arkansas.
“We have to work on our secondary,” Chadwell said. “That’s been an Achilles heel all year. They’re going to score some points, so it is our offense’s job to match them. We have to get better at executing.”
Kickoff between the Red Wolves and the Chanticleers is set for 3 p.m. Nov. 16.