No. 16 Coastal Carolina tops Texas State, wins Sun Belt East

No. 16 Coastal Carolina tops Texas State, wins Sun Belt East
Coastal Carolina clinched their division title with a win over Texas State on Saturday (Source: Coastal Carolina Athletics)

SAN MARCOS. Texas (AP) — Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell was apprehensive because he is aware that when it rains, it pours.

Coming off their most emotional victory of the season, the No. 16 Chanticleers were on the road facing a Texas State team looking for a bright spot in a dismal season. To make matters worse, steady rain was going to limit a passing game that has carried Coastal through a historic season.

The Chants put Chadwell’s concerns to rest by putting the Bobcats away quickly.

C.J. Marable ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns and Coastal Carolina wrapped up the Sun Belt Conference East Division title with a 49-14 victory Saturday.

“It wasn’t an easy game to play with the weather up here, it was constant rain,” Chadwell said. “Everybody was talking about how this could potentially be a trap game with the big win we had last week, but our team came out focused from the opening kickoff.”

The Chanticleers (9-0, 7-0) had 572 yards of offense in extending their winning streak to 10 games. They moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision three seasons ago.

Texas State (2-10, 2-6) closed its sixth straight losing season. It was the second-most points the Bobcats have allowed in regulation this season.

Texas State held a moment of silence for sophomore defensive back Khambrail Winters, who was fatally shot Tuesday what the San Marcos Police Department said was a drug deal gone wrong.

As forecast, steady rain began early in the first quarter and continued throughout the game.

“Our plan was coming up here to try to run the football, especially once we found out the weather was going to be what it was,” Chadwell said.

Coastal took command early at Bobcat Stadium, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions en route to a 35-7 lead at the half.

The Chants drove 81 yards on their opening possession for the game’s first touchdown. Marable had five rushes for 67 yards in the seven-play drive, including a 14-yard scoring run 1:14 into the game.

“I love to play in this weather because I know for a fact, we’re going to pound the ball and run the ball constantly,” Marable said.

The senior running back followed that with a 9-yard scoring run on Coastal’s second possession. The 45-yard drive was set up when Chants junior safety Alex Spillum forced and recovered a fumble. It was Texas State’s fourth fumble of the season.

Marable added a 23-yard scoring run two minutes into the third quarter. He closed with 16 carries, averaging 9.8 yards per attempt.

The Chants rushed for 406 yards and five touchdowns.

Texas State’s lone touchdown in the first half came on a 14-yard pass from Brady McBride to Javen Banks with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. The 77-yard drive cut the Chants’ lead to 14-7 at the time.

McBride, the Sun Belt’s reigning Offensive Player of the Week, completed 20 of 26 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.

The Bobcats were held to 318 yards, including just 116 yards rushing on 24 carries.

PROVING THEM WRONG

Coastal won the Sun Belt’s East Division after being picked to finish last in the conference’s preseason poll.

“That’s so special,” Marable said. “We’re all excited because we know last few years since I’ve been here, we’ve been 5-7 back to back. Coming into this season the goal was winning the Sun Belt championship. We knew with what type of team that we had (that) we knew we could do that. Everything falls into line like we thought it was going to be. It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing to be there.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Texas State: The Bobcats have finished above .500 just once in their last nine seasons. They have three two-win seasons in the past five years and are 5-19 in two seasons under Jake Spavital, who signed a five-year contract with the school in 2018. Texas State was 7-28 in three seasons under previous head coach Everett Withers before his dismissal.

Coastal Carolina: The Chants can focus on closing out a perfect regular season and prepare for a rematch against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for the Sun Belt championship. Coastal beat Louisiana 30-27 on Oct. 14.

UP NEXT

Texas State: Season over.

Coastal Carolina: Hosts Liberty next Saturday.