With each passing day, we inch closer to the moment the football world has anxiously been waiting for all summer. Massive mobs flooding into stadiums. Bright lights illuminating the night sky. Loud chants calling for the arrival of a beloved team. And then finally, the loud ‘thunk’ when foot means ball, kicking off the 2016 football season.

Over the past few weeks, we have featured seven teams the Liberty Flames will face off against in the coming season. Each ranking is based on the strengths and weaknesses each team possesses and the level of importance/hype that comes with the game.

But we still have four more to go.

The #4 team the Flames will see this season is Coastal Carolina.

In a normal world, this game would be ranked higher. The Liberty/Coastal match up has been a focal point in the Big South for some time, but normality is changing within the conference. While Coastal is still in the FCS, they are no longer apart of the Big South Conference and are ineligible for the postseason as they have accepted an invite to join the Sun Belt Conference at the FBS level. With this in mind, the game between Liberty and Coastal won’t be quite like it has been in the past. The level of excitement surrounding this game has often been encouraged by being the deciding factor in who wins the conference. Of course with Coastal out, that won’t be that case this time. But even with the Coastal’s move, this game will have implications on Liberty’s playoff aspirations should they need an ‘at-large’ bid. In any manner, ‘Beat Coastal’ always reigns true.

Coastal Carolina starts the season ranked #16 on the STATS FCS Top 25. CCU is no stranger to the top 25 poll as their level of dominance has kept them on there for some time. Since 2010, the Chanticleers have missed the FCS Playoffs just once, making it as far as the quarterfinals twice. Since the hire of head coach Joe Moglia in 2012 they have lost just 13 games, 5 of those within the Big South Conference, leading to 3 conference championships in Moglia’s tenure.

All-American RB De’Angelo Henderson looks to lead the Chant’s offense this season with the loss of QB Alex Ross. Henderson rushed for 1368 yards and 16 touchdowns last year, breaking a number of records in the process. Ross served as the starter for Coastal the last three years and threw for over 3000 yards in each one. Behind these two, CCU put up an average of 35 points and 455 total yards a game. Ross’ graduation is a great loss for Coastal.

Defensively though, the Chanticleers had their struggles last year. Opposing teams only put up an average of 20 points a game against them, but were allowed to get over 400 yards of total offense. This is in part thanks to an okay run defense. The Chants gave up almost 200 yards rushing a game. And things don’t look too different for this defense this coming season.

Other things to keep in mind:

At the moment, this looks to be the last match up between Liberty and Coastal for some time. No doubt both teams will want to go out with a win.

Liberty leads the rivalry with Coastal 7-6.

The Flames have won the last two meetings.

Players to watch:

RB De’Angelo Henderson-This All-American has a great chance to be a national offensive player of the year.

WR Bruce Mapp-Mapp led the team in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last season.

Coastal Game

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