COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — No. 17 Coastal Carolina got its first eye-opening win at Kansas two years ago. New Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold hopes to return the favor this week.
Kansas (1-0) ended a 13-game losing streak in Leipold's debut, a 17-14 victory over South Dakota last week. The Jayhawks take a step up in competition against the rising Chanticleers (1-0), who have won 12 of their past 13 games and will host their first-ever Power Five opponent.
“It's a great chance to be on national television,” Leipold said of Friday night's game. “It'll be a challenge, but that's part of it.”
There's always the chance of the surprise upset; the Chants know that firsthand.
They were a fledgling FBS program new to the Sun Belt Conference trying to find their footing when they went to Kansas in 2019.
Coastal Carolina left with a 12-7 win then first-year coach Les Miles. The Chants, picked last in the Sun Belt East a year ago, put on a more confident showing as Grayson McCall threw three touchdowns in a 38-23 win in Lawrence, Kansas.
Not many outside the team knew it was going to piece of Coastal's breakthrough 11-1 season. The Chanticleers gained their first preseason Top 25 ranking and looked strong in their opener defeating The Citadel 52-14.
Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell is excited about the Big 12 Conference team playing in 20,000-seat Brooks Stadium. The Chants are looking to continue their rise in the rankings with another strong performance after moving up five spots this week.
“I think that's huge for us and it was a benefit to not only this school, but our team,” Chadwell said. “And really this whole community, to bring somebody in like this.”
McCall is back running the Chanticleers' offense. He finished 16-of-19 passing for 262 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. He's got plenty of help in the attack, led by tight end Isaiah Likely and receiver Jaivon Heiligh. The two combined for 11 catches and 197 yards agaist The Citadel.
Some other things to watch for when Kansas plays at Coastal Carolina:
Coastal Carolina drew 16,236 people to its opener against The Citadel last week, the second highest attendance ever in 20,000-seat Brooks Stadium. Chants coach Jamey Chadwell is hopeful they can surpass that and set an attendance mark against the Jayhawks. The school is asking fans to wear white for a “White Out.”
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Kansas quarterback Jason Bean may have an edge over his teammates in preparing for Coastal Carolina. After all, he played on the Chants' teal-colored field less than nine months ago. Bean was quarterback for North Texas when the Mean Green took on Appalachian State in the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl on Christmas week. Bean passed for 251 yards and two TDs in North Texas' 56-28 loss.
“I watched him play here, was in the stands for the bowl game,” Coastal defensive end Jeffrey Gunter said.
The Chanticleers secondary spent most of the opener close to the line of scrimmage to try and slow down The Citadel's run-based offense. Expect Kansas to try and challenge Coastal Carolina down field and defensive end Jeffrey Gunter expects his team to excel. “We're going back to normal stuff and it'll be good for us,” he said.
The Kansas defense gave up just 98 yards passing to South Dakota in its opening game. That's the fewest since allowing just 49 against Rhode Island to start the 2016 season. It's also the first time the Jayhawks have limited an opponent to fewer than 100 yards passing in a game since giving up 99 to Kansas State, also in 2016.
Former Coastal Carolina football coach Joe Moglia donated what the school called a “generous gift” that will help the school fund an indoor practice facility expand current facilities and build a planned project in the stadium's South end zone. The money from Moglia, past chairman of the board and CEO of TD Ameritrade, will also help fund a new stadium for men's and women's soccer.
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