COLUMBIA — Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia doesn’t want his team to be intimidated by the loud crowd at Liberty on Saturday. Instead, he wants them to soak up having hostile students right behind them and the possibility of 20,000 screaming fans who want them to lose.
As long as the Chanticleers simply execute their plays right and follow their assignments on defense, the atmosphere won’t matter, Moglia said.
“Our job quite frankly is to go up there and enjoy the environment they create,” Moglia said.
In other games today involving South Carolina’s Football Championship Subdivision teams Furman hosts Appalachian State; Wofford travels to Western Carolina; Presbyterian hosts VMI; and Charleston Southern is at Colorado.
In Lynchburg, Va., Coastal Carolina (6-0, 1-0 Big South Conference) is gearing up for the Big South game of the year against Liberty (3-3, 0-0).
The Chanticleers and Flames have met 10 times, and the winner has gone on to earn at least a share of the conference title in eight seasons.
The Chanticleers are one of the best offensive teams in FCS. They are ranked fifth in the country at more than 272 yards rushing a game and are 18th in the nation in passing efficiency. The defense is getting better as the year goes on, allowing an average of almost 27 points in the first three games and just over 17 points in the past three games.
But Liberty has the best defense in the Big South, allowing just under 334 yards a game.
“There’s no question in my mind or our staff’s mind or our players’ mind that this is going to be a real football game,” Moglia said.
In Greenville, an era in Southern Conference football comes to an end as Furman (2-4, 1-2 SoCon) takes on Appalachian State (1-5, 1-2) for the last time before the Mountaineers head for the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Paladins are the only SoCon team with a winning record all-time vs. Appalachian State, although the Mountaineers have won 10 of the last 12 meetings.
The Paladins have dealt with injuries. Last week, they played their fourth and fifth quarterbacks of the season. They hope to have sophomore Reese Hannon, the starter at the beginning of the season, back today, but said he is not guaranteed to play.
In Cullowhee, N.C., Wofford (4-2, 3-0 SoCon) hopes to continue its dominance over Western Carolina (1-6, 0-3 SoCon).
The Terriers have won seven straight over the Catamounts, who also have a 25-game league losing streak. The Catamounts would appear to be a good team to get Wofford back on track. Western Carolina is the fifth-worst of the 122 teams in FCS against the rush, allowing almost 276 yards on the ground a game.
In Clinton, Presbyterian (1-4) will try to win its Big South opener for the first time ever against VMI (1-5, 0-1).
Both the Blue Hose and the Keydets have only one win this season, and each of those was over a Division II team.
Presbyterian has the worst offense in the Big South, gaining 269 yards a game, while VMI is next-to-last at 316 yards. The Keydets are the worst defense in the league allowing 503 yards a game, and the Blue Hose are next-to-last at 384 yards.
In Boulder, Colo., Charleston Southern (7-0) is getting an unexpected chance to play one of the big boys at Colorado (2-3).
The Buffalos set up the game last month after flooding caused the cancellation of Colorado’s game against Fresno State.
The Buccaneers seek these games both to bring more revenue to the program and to spread the school’s religious message. It is the farthest Charleston Southern has traveled since heading to Hawaii in 2010. Charleston Southern is 0-12 against FBS teams.