Here are our Big South Football Power Rankings which we will update each week during the season.
Note: Last week’s ranking in parenthesis.
1. (1) Coastal Carolina 8-0, 2-0
Last week: CCU 43, CSU 22
The Chanticleers get a little revenge from last year’s loss to the Buccaneers in beating CSU 43-22. Alex Ross threw for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns, and De’Angelo Henderson rushed for 110 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was a close game in the first half with Coastal taking a 21-15 lead into halftime, but the Chants scored 22 consecutive points to grab a 43-15 lead early in the 4th quarter. With Eastern Washington’s loss Saturday night, Coastal could be ranked #2 when the new polls come out Monday afternoon. CCU heads on the road for their final 2 games away from home beginning this week against Gardner-Webb.
Next: @ Gardner-Webb, 3:30
2. (3) Liberty 5-3, 1-0
Last week: LU 34, GWU 0
The story of this game was Liberty’s defense. The Flames held the Runnin’ Bulldogs to 56 total yards including -17 rushing yards. Gardner-Webb went 3 & out in their first 3 possessions while the Flames scored on their first 2 drives to take a 10-0 lead. D.J. Abnar rushed for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was his 3rd consecutive 100-yard rushing game, the first Flame to do that since Rashad Jennings. A big test for Liberty when they head to Clinton to face Presbyterian on Saturday in a game that will play a big role in shaping the Big South championship race the rest of the way. Who would have thought that in September?
Next: @ Presbyterian, 2pm
3. (4) Presbyterian 5-3, 2-1
Last week: PC 18, Monmouth 12
Heys McMath ran 15 yards on a quarterback keeper with 53 seconds remaining and Presbyterian beat Monmouth 18-12 on Saturday. The Blue Hose won the time of possession battle 38-22 while outgaining the Hawks 415-287. Presby’s defense continues to hold opposing teams in check as they are allowing just 9 points per game to FCS opponents not named Coastal Carolina. If PC can knock off Liberty on Saturday, the Blue Hose will remain alive in the Big South Championship race.
Next: vs Liberty, 2pm
4. (2) Monmouth 5-2, 0-1
Last week: PC 18, Monmouth 12
Entering the PC game, Monmouth boasted the top offense in the conference. The Hawks were leading the Big South in scoring (39 pts/game), total offense (462 yds/game), and pass offense (291 yds/game). The Blue Hose held Monmouth below all of these marks on Saturday allowing 12 points, 287 total yards, and 236 passing yards. With remaining road games against Liberty and Coastal Carolina, Monmouth is virtually eliminated from the Big South championship race just 1 game into their conference slate.
Next: vs Charleston Southern, 1pm
5. (5) Charleston Southern 5-3, 0-2
Last week: Coastal 43, CSU 22
After winning their first 5 games, the Buccaneers have dropped 3 straight. It doesn’t get any easier as they head to New Jersey to face 5-2 Monmouth. It wouldn’t be shocking for CSU to lose out with road games against Monmouth, Liberty, and Georgia. Their lone home game remaining is Gardner-Webb. Quite a turn of events in just 2 weeks from a team that looked so promising following their narrow loss to Vanderbilt.
Next: @ Monmouth, 1pm
6. (6) Gardner-Webb 4-4, 0-1
Last week: Liberty 34, GWU 0
The Runnin’ Bulldogs didn’t do much running. Liberty held GWU to -17 rushing yards on the afternoon. Just a week after throwing for 430 yards and 5 touchdowns, Lucas Beatty could not get into a rhythm. Beatty finished 12-of-23 for 73 yards. It doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs who face top 5 Coastal Carolina in Boiling Springs on Saturday.
Next: vs Coastal Carolina, 3:30