No. 16 Coastal Carolina gets stiff road test at Buffalo
With a growing reputation as a winner capable of moving up in class, No. 16 Coastal Carolina takes its show on the road for the first time this season.
The Chanticleers (2-0) face off with Buffalo (1-1) in a nonconference matchup Saturday afternoon at Buffalo, N.Y. The team is embracing the opportunity to extend its proving ground.
Coastal Carolina is nationally ranked for the 14th consecutive polling week dating to last season. Last week’s 49-22 victory against visiting Kansas didn’t hurt matters.
“We know we can get better,” Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell said. “Especially on defense. I would have liked to see us be better.”
This will be the first-ever meeting between Buffalo and Coastal Carolina, as the Chanticleers aim for their eighth consecutive victory in a regular-season nonconference game.
Buffalo opened the season by winning at home against Wagner before last week’s 28-3 loss at Nebraska. The Bulls have only two losses in their last 18 home games.
“We have to go back to the systematic approach that we carry with us every single week to fix what we have to fix,” first-year Buffalo head coach Maurice Linguist said. “Build on the positives from the (Nebraska) game and prepare ourselves for a very good Coastal team.”
In defeating Kansas on Friday, Coastal Carolina made quick work of Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold, who was Buffalo’s previous coach. Now they face the program Leipold left behind with his move to the Big 12.
In each of its first two games, opponents had more snaps from scrimmage than Coastal Carolina. That translated to more possession time for those foes.
“We need to make sure we get back to milking some of the clock a little bit,” Chadwell said.
Buffalo has shown it can stay on the field and manage drives, taking 83 snaps last week compared to Nebraska’s 61. Now it must finish those drives and prevent big plays from opponents. Coastal Carolina is keen on preventing Buffalo from making progress.
“I know our defense will get us playing better,” Chadwell said.
The performance of Chanticleers defensive end Josaiah Stewart was notable last week as the freshman posted a school-record 3.5 sacks in the Kansas game in just his second collegiate outing.
While Coastal Carolina has emerged in the past couple of seasons, Buffalo has built a strong foundation. With 31 total wins since the 2017 season, the Bulls own the most victories of any Mid-American Conference team during that period.
The Chanticleers have never won in three all-time matchups with MAC opponents.
Buffalo has allowed just two opposing players to reach 100 rushing yards across its last 24 games. One of those was Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez, who had 115 yards on nine carries last week, including a 71-yard burst.
Coastal Carolina junior running back Reese White is coming off his first 100-yard rushing outing after posting 102 yards on 14 carries against Kansas.
“It just makes me think it’s only the beginning,” said White, who was dubbed the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. “I can’t wait to see what happens in the future.”
Receiver Jaivon Heiligh has four consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards for the Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina is one of three first-time foes on Buffalo’s 2021 schedule. The Bulls serve as the lone first-time opponent on Coastal Carolina’s slate.
Coastal Carolina is 0-6 all-time (one game vs. Colgate, five vs. Stony Brook) against teams from the state of New York.
–Field Level Media