As the college football season starts to head into a bowl season, crazy things continue to happen due to COVID-19’s complications. Teams have had to cancel games, causing their CFP resume to be more weak, and overall just not be able to witness the normal CFB season. Well, as if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, there is an exciting matchup upon us. Due to COVID-19 outbreaks within the Liberty organization, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will host the BYU Cougars instead of the Flames. At the beginning of the season, nobody would imagine this matchup to be exciting, but hey, it’s 2020.

Who’s this game more important for?

To be fair, this game is pretty equal when it comes to importance for a quality win, but BYU is the team that has a way better chance to make the College Football Playoff. Both of these teams are 9-0, but BYU hasn’t played a ranked opponent yet, and Coastal Carolina has played just one. With a win here for BYU, it can solidify a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl. If they win in dominant fashion, the slight CFP chance could be greater. They did beat a Boise State team by a lot, but the Broncos were battling virus issues as well as a missing starter RB. This win should leave no excuse to the committee as a great, quality win. Coastal Carolina is healthy, and has been playing their best ball ever. Not to mention, neither side had the normal time to prepare for each other. If Coastal Carolina wins, we should expect them to be nearing the top ten, somewhere around that 9-12 spot. 

Breaking the numbers down

Let’s start off with the stats for each quarterback. In Zach Wilson’s case, he’s been putting up solid numbers with a 74.3% completion rate, as well as 26 touchdown passes compared to just a pair of interceptions. That being said, he really hasn’t played great defenses. But, the numbers have been great. For Grayson McCall, the numbers haven’t been bad as well. Throwing for 21 touchdowns and just one interception, he’s averaging ten yards a pass, giving this offense a consistent pace throughout the game. The numbers look similar, but Wilson does have a lot more passing yards. CJ Marable, CCU’s leading rusher, has 592 yards on 119 attempts, averaging 5 yards a carry. When the passing game isn’t flowing the Chanticleers rely on Marable to get productive yardage. Tyler Allgeier, the Cougars leading rusher, tallies 851 yards on 118 attempts. That is where we see the difference. Almost 300 more yards on one less attempt. These two offenses do have different playing styles, but I believe the game-changer in this game depends on who can produce the stronger run game. Will Allgeier dominate Coastal’s defense? It is going to depend on if BYU will try to be run-heavy or not. Players like D’Jordan Strong, who have made a huge impact on the Coastal Carolina defense, can step up in big games and deliver. Strong has 5 picks so far, so Wilson will definitely avoid throwing his way. 

After all, I believe it comes down to if Coastal Carolina can contain the BYU offense. Zach Wilson & Co have been dominating, doing what they’re supposed to, but if CCU wants to prove they are a team to believe in, they gotta win the big games. It will be an interesting matchup, that determines where teams ranked especially 10-20 will play in at the end of this year. BYU seems like a favorite here, but all Coastal Carolina needs in motivation. Get your popcorn ready.

Top Photo: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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