No. 12 @BCUGridIron Begins Playoffs at No. 11 Coastal Carolina
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – No. 12/12 Bethune-Cookman begins the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs traveling to No. 11/11 Coastal Carolina for a game set for Saturday, Nov. 30, with a 1 p.m. kickoff. The game will take place at Brooks Stadium on the campus of CCU in Conway, S.C., and will be televised nationally on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app on all mobile devices.
No. 12/12 Bethune-Cookman looks for the school’s postseason playoff victory this weekend, traveling to No. 11/11 Coastal Carolina. The matchup pits two top-15 programs together for the second time in as many postseason trips, with the visiting Chanticleers earning a 24-14 decision over the Wildcats in Daytona Beach last year in a first round matchup. Bethune-Cookman is 0-4 lifetime in the playoffs, while the Chanticleers earned their first postseason win over B-CU last season. Both teams earned league automatic bids with at least a share of conference crowns coming from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Big South, respectively.
With this being just the second time the perennial top-25 programs will meet on the gridiron, Coastal Carolina earned the win in last year’s first matchup between the schools. Coastal Carolina used a 17-point outburst in the second quarter, and held off a late B-CU fourth quarter rally to earn the victory at Municipal Stadium.
Watch the game on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app on all mobile devices. Drew Fellios (play-by-play), Chris Doering (analyst) and Angela Mallen (sideline) will have the call.
The game will also be carried live by 1380 WELE Radio and the CatEye Network (online) with Joe LaBarbera (play-by-play) and Larry Wesley (analyst). Terrance Gatling will provide sideline coverage.
Head coach Brian Jenkins is in his fourth season as a collegiate head coach with all four years coming at Bethune-Cookman. He holds a 37-10 overall record. This is his third playoff appearance in his four years at the helm in Daytona Beach. He is 0-2 in the previous playoff games against New Hampshire and Coastal Carolina, respectively.
Projected weather on game day: Conway, S.C. – 57/39. Daytona Beach, Fla. – 80/59.
Wildcats in the Polls
Bethune-Cookman enters the game ranked No. 12 in The Sports Network poll, as well as No. 12 in the FCS Coaches poll.
1. Bethune-Cookman is traveling to an FCS Playoff game for the first time since 2002 (vs. Georgia Southern).
2. The Wildcats’ offense has dominated the time of possession battle with a double-digit difference in seven games this season.
3. Defensively, Bethune-Cookman has limited four of its last five opponents to less than 250 yards of total offense, including just 89 yards against Florida A&M.
4. The Wildcats have 28 takeaways this season, 19 of those coming by way of interception. In the Brian Jenkins era, the Cats have amassed 74 total interceptions.
5. Offensively, Bethune-Cookman is averaging 14.5 points per game across four playoff games. That includes a 34-0 defeat at Georgia Southern in 2002.
A WIN OVER COASTAL CAROLINA WOULD...
• Give the Wildcats their first-ever FCS Playoff victory.
• Even the all-time series against Coastal Carolina at 1-1.
• Allow B-CU its first 11-win season since 2002.
• Improve Brian Jenkins’ Bethune-Cookman record to 38-10 overall.
• Give B-CU its second win over a team from South Carolina this year.
• Improve the Wildcats to 1-4 all-time in the FCS Playoffs.
THE SECOND TIME AROUND
• For the second consecutive year, Bethune-Cookman and Coastal Carolina will meet in the opening round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs.
• Last season in Daytona Beach, Coastal Carolina benefitted from 108 yards in B-CU penalties — added a huge fourth quarter interception return for touchdown by Johnnie Houston, to defeat the Wildcats by a score of 24-14.
HOW THEY RANK
• The Wildcats have been firing on all cylinders this season. However, it has been the defense chiming in to make noise as well. Currently, the Cats lead the MEAC in five categories (offense and defense), including pass efficiency defense, passes intercepted, rushing offense, scoring offense and pass efficiency.
• Of Bethune-Cookman’s 47 drives resulting in touchdowns and/or field goals this season, 24 have lasted less than three minutes, while 17 of those have lasted two minutes or less.
• Following a win over Florida A&M in the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic, Bethune-Cookman jumped two spots in both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches poll, respectively. This week, B-CU is No. 12 in both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches poll. This marks the 17th consecutive week B-CU has been ranked in either the Sports Network or FCS Coaches poll.
STAY BEHIND THE LINE
• Through 12 games this season, Bethune-Cookman has brought tremendous defensive pressure on that side of the ball. The Wildcats have amassed 29 sacks by 11 different players. That combines with 93 tackles for loss by a total of 18 different players.
• This season, Bethune-Cookman has scored 30 or more points in five of the 12 games played.
• In each of its 9 wins a season ago, Bethune-Cookman has scored at least 20 points, including 5 wins when scoring 30+ points – all but one of those games coming in MEAC play.
• The Wildcats have won 24 straight games when scoring 30+ points and are 28-1 in their last 29 contests.
• Bethune-Cookman’s last loss when scoring 30+ in a game? Nov. 22, 2008 – a 58-35 loss against Florida A&M in Orlando, Fla.
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