FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, Coastal Carolina running back CJ Marable (1) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Grayson McCall (10) during an NCAA football game against Louisiana-Lafayette in Lafayette, La. Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell sees a new challenge for his surprising Chanticleers this fall: staying as hungry at chasing success as they were during their landmark 2020 season. Coastal Carolina is ranked No. 22 in the preseason this year, are not alone in the AP Top 25 with Louisiana-Lafayette right behind them at No. 23. It's the first time the league has had a pair of teams in the preseason rankings. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, Coastal Carolina running back CJ Marable (1) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Grayson McCall (10) during an NCAA football game against Louisiana-Lafayette in Lafayette, La. Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell sees a new challenge for his surprising Chanticleers this fall: staying as hungry at chasing success as they were during their landmark 2020 season. Coastal Carolina is ranked No. 22 in the preseason this year, are not alone in the AP Top 25 with Louisiana-Lafayette right behind them at No. 23. It's the first time the league has had a pair of teams in the preseason rankings. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

The Citadel (0-0, 0-0 Southern Conference) at No. 22 Coastal Carolina (0-0, 0-0 Sun Belt), on Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT (ESPN+).

Line: Coastal Carolina by 34 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Tied 1-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

An early chance for Coastal Carolina to prove it is on track to repeat its breakthrough when it went 11-1 in college football's COVID-19 impacted season. The Chants were picked to finish last in the Sun Belt's East Division before reaching the league title game, which was called off due to the virus. The Citadel has a history of knocking off FBS opponents (see South Carolina in 2015 and Georgia Tech in 2019) and relish another one.

KEY MATCHUP

Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall vs. Citadel pass defense. McCall was the Sun Belt player of the year in 2020, throwing for 2,488 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Bulldogs' strength last season, though, was against the pass as they were third in the Southern Conference with 186 yards allowed through the air.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

The Citadel QB Jaylan Adams: The sophomore took over as Bulldogs quarterback during their spring season and ran for 757 yards and nine touchdowns. He also threw for three scores.

Coastal Carolina WR Jaivon Heiligh: He led the Chanticleers with with 10 touchdown catches and finished two yards shy of a 1,000 yards receiving.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Citadel and Coastal Carolina have some FCS history, the Bulldogs winning 41-38 in a 2015 playoff game before the Chants moved to the FBS. ... Chants coach Jamey Chadwell also has a past with The Citadel when he was head coach at nearby Charleston Southern. Chadwell won all four times he played the Bulldogs including a 2015 playoff victory. ... Coastal Carolina is ranked in the preseason poll for the first time in school history. ... The Citadel's game is ball control. The team averaged almost 35 minutes a game with the ball last season. ... Coastal Carolina's undefeated season ended with a bowl loss to No. 23 Liberty last December. The Flames also ended the Chants only other time starting 11-0 when both were in the FCS in 2014.

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