Does McCall Go For CCU?
The big question ahead of the Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State matchup is if Chanticleers QB Grayson McCall will play or not. McCall came out in a walking boot in the 2nd half of CCU’s 59-6 win over UL-Monroe last week and has a quick turnaround with a Thursday night game. Sportsbooks seem to be banking on McCall playing, as BetUS and Bovada have Coastal Carolina at -110 as -19 point favorites.
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Plan on McCall Playing
CCU coach Jamey Chadwell stated in the postgame that McCall’s left ankle was rolled on by another player and that he would have been able to get back under center if necessary. That was definitely not the case as Coastal Carolina was up 38-3 at the half against Louisiana Monroe in a game that had NCAAF odds of CCU -33.5.
Obviously, having McCall in the lineup would be beneficial as he leads the nation with a 225 rating. McCall completed 13 of 13 passes last Saturday with 212 yards and 2 TDs. He’s thrown for 10 TD to just 1 INT on the season and has an 80.2 completion percentage on the season. It also doesn’t hurt that Arkansas State is giving up 300.6 pass yards/game, 121st in the country.
Coastal Carolina dominated Arkansas State last season 52-23 with betting odds of CCU as +3.5 home underdogs. McCall was 20/29 with 332 yards and 4 TD while the Chanticleers also ran for another 217 on the ground. That week three game was kind of the start of Coastal Carolina’s remarkable run, finishing the regular season 11-0, which included a 22-17 win over BYU and #2 NFL draft pick, Zach Wilson.
Revenge Game for Red Wolves
Nobody knew Coastal Carolina was going to go on this remarkable run of 16 straight regular-season wins dating back to last year, but Arkansas State still lost to CCU as favorites last season. In that 2020 contest, the Red Wolves were just coming off an upset win over Kansas State the game prior, but the loss sent them on a free fall to finish the year on a 3-5 run.
There have been a lot more losses for Arkansas State in 2021, as the team is off to a 1-4 start. The Red Wolves did return QB Layne Hatcher, who tossed for 19TD to just 2 INTs last season, but he’s been working in more of a backup role this year. It might be time to make the switch to Hatcher full time, as he came in relief of James Blackman last week and went 8 of 18 with 2 TD.
Blackman was supposed to have upside as a former starter at Florida State, but he threw 3 INTs in last week’s 59-33 loss at Georgia Southern. Blackman would’ve had a lot of work to do anyway, though, as GASO did whatever they wanted with 50 rushes for 503 yards. The Red Wolves still have one of the worst pass defenses in the country even after factoring in Georgia Southern completing just three passes for 37 yards last Saturday, which is why totals betting for Thursday’s game has the number set at 70.5.
Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State Pick
CCU should be able to move the ball at will on Thursday night as Arkansas State’s defense is that bad. McCall needs stats to bolster his longshot Heisman Trophy odds, so don’t expect the Chanticleers to ease up in this one.
That being said, Arkansas State has only lost one of their games by 19+ points this year, and that was a 52-3 whitewashing in Washington. Their defense will give up the points, but this is also an offense that has put up 33+ in four of five games.
The Pick: Arkansas State +19