Jamey Chadwell has the Coastal Carolina football team with dreams beyond the Cure Bowl.

After back-to-back 11-win seasons, Jamey Chadwell has his Coastal Carolina football program cooking like a greased up vacationer bronzing out at Myrtle Beach, bruh!

Coastal first entered our lives when David Bennett first taught us the distinct difference between cats and dogs. Nearly a decade later, we learned about Chadwell’s program with the power of teal turf and absolutely nasty Alabama waterfalls just dangling out of the back of players’ helmets. On the verge of greatness, can Chadwell and the Chants win the Sun Belt to reach the New Year’s Six?

Coming in at No. 46 on FanSided’s Preseason Top 50 Rankings, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers!

Coastal Carolina football 2021 season in review

After Coastal’s breakthrough season in 2020, the Chants put forth another excellent campaign to increase their lofty standard. They started out the year ranked inside of the top 25. Chadwell’s offense remained prolific, as Coastal climbed all the way up to No. 14 before suffering its first of two defeats on the season. A three-point loss at Appalachian State did knock them down a peg.

While the Chants would rebound with consecutive conference victories over Troy and at Georgia Southern to get to 8-1, they fell at home to Georgia State during homecoming, nonetheless. Coastal would round out Sun Belt play with a pair of wins over Texas State and at South Alabama to finish the regular season at 10-2. They would defeat Northern Illinois in the Cure Bowl, 47-41.

Picked to win the East Division and finish runner-up to Louisiana in the Sun Belt, Coastal lost a pair it could not afford to do so in divisional play to finish in third place. This led to the Chants not being ranked once the weather started to change in the Southeastern United States. While their brand is still as strong as it ever was, not taking care of business in the division led to a disappointing ending.

Previewing Coastal Carolina offense for 2022 season

  • Returning starters (4): Grayson McCall (QB), Braydon Bennett (RB), Antwine Loper (RT), Willie Lampkin (C)
  • Newcomers (1): Sam Pinckney (WR)
  • Impact player: Grayson McCall (QB)

While Grayson McCall will be back, he does not have much of the same supporting cast he did in the two previous years. He does have a familiar face or two in the backfield in Braydon Bennett and Reese White, but he has to account for losing Isaiah Likely, Jaivon Heiligh and Kameron Brown to the NFL in his receiving corps. Willie Lampkin and Antwine Loper return in the trenches, though.

The big key addition to the Coastal Carolina offense is former Georgia State wide receiver Sam Pinckney. He graduated in December and enrolled at Coastal in January ahead of what will be his redshirt senior season. Injuries slowed him down a bit during his final year in Atlanta, but the Greenwood, South Carolina native hopes to be a featured target in this Coastal Carolina offense.

No doubt about it, all eyes are on McCall heading into his redshirt junior season. As one of the most decorated players in Sun Belt history, McCall looks to make it three years in a row as his conference’s best player. He may have to carry a bit more of the weight offensively than in years past, but if he can play up to his standard, he could be heading to an NFL team near you in 2023.

Previewing Coastal Carolina defense for 2022 season

  • Returning starters (2): Josaiah Stewart (DE), D’Jordan Strong (CB)
  • Newcomers (2): Adrian Hope (LB), Jahmar Brown (LB)
  • Impact player: Josaiah Stewart (DE)

There is no way around it, the Coastal Carolina defense will look vastly different than the one from a year ago. That is because the Chanticleers have to replace nine starters on that side of the ball. The good news is many experienced backups will be getting their shot at starting jobs. Coastal also retains defensive end stalwart Josaiah Stewart, as well as D’Jordan Strong in the secondary.

The Chants have seven players transferring in on the defensive side of the ball, but only two are projected to be starters at this juncture. Both happen to play linebacker for the team. Adrian Hope makes his way to Conway after playing for Furman in Greenville. While Hope is playing up from FCS competition, Jahmar Brown joins the Chants after playing Power Five ball for South Carolina.

With so many players gone off last year’s defense, the guy to clearly keep an eye on among this group is Stewart. The true sophomore linebacker will man the Bandit role on the Chants’ defense. The Massachusetts native may be undersized, but he has great athleticism and a knack for making big plays. If Coastal wants to continue to build off the last two years, he has to lead this defense.

Coastal Carolina football players awards watch for 2022 season

A handful of Coastal Carolina football players are up for major awards, including these three guys.

Grayson McCall, Maxwell, Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien

What hasn’t already been said about McCall? The guy has become as synonymous with Coastal Carolina football as has his head coach. One would expect the two-time reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year to be up for every major award a quarterback could be in the running for. At this point in time, McCall has been linked to the Maxwell, the Walter Camp and the Davey O’Brien. Buckle up!

Josaiah Stewart, Bednarik

While Stewart is on the watch list for the Bednarik, it is hard to envision a second-year player at a Group of Five school taking home the top honor for a defensive player in the sport. Still, he is the name and the face people will turn to when looking at this year’s Chants defense. If he can bring the pressure and get up there in the sack department, he can force his way into the conversation.

Willie Lampkin, Outland, Rimington

It is good to see Lampkin on both watch lists for the Outland and the Rimington Trophies. He is one of two returning offensive linemen for the Chants. Not only that, but he gets to snap the football to the team’s most important player. In short, if McCall has a great redshirt junior season, do not be shocked if Lampkin could be in the mix for the Rimington. The Outland is a pipe dream.

Coastal Carolina football biggest game on 2022 schedule

Looking at Coastal Carolina’s 2022 regular-season schedule, the Chanticleers should again be one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, a conference that has added a few new teams into the mix. Coastal plays all four new entrants into the conference right off the jump this fall (James Madison, Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss). All four of those games will be winnable.

However, the Chants’ two toughest games are in-division: at Georgia State (Sept. 22) and vs. Appalachian State (Nov. 3). Both games will be played on Thursdays. While both will be seen as revenge games for the Chanticleers, Coastal Carolina does not win the division if they fall at home to the Mountaineers. It is a budding rivalry, one that is starting to define this Sun Belt Conference.

Coastal Carolina football best-case scenario

Despite winning 11 games in back-to-back seasons, the 2022 Chanticleers are more likely to go 10-2 during its regular-season slate than go an undefeated 12-0. In the non-conference, the Chants draw Army, Gardner-Webb and Buffalo at home, as well as a mid-November game at Virginia in Charlottesville. 3-1 in that stretch of games is likely, 2-2 is possible, but 4-0 is amazing.

Looking at their eight-game Sun Belt slate, going undefeated there is not impossible, but 7-1, maybe even 6-2, is way more likely. Again, this team’s over/under is down considerably despite winning 11 games in back-to-back years. The question is if this team will win closer to 11 games … or seven. If they do beat App State, 8-0 in-conference may happen.11-1 is an achievable record.

An 11-1 Coastal team drops a game to either Army, at Georgia State, Appalachian State or at Virginia. Since that is quite the parlay here, let’s say Coastal goes 10-2 (7-1) this fall to win the East Division and play somebody like Louisiana in the Sun Belt Conference title bout. A New Year’s Six bowl absolutely evades this team, as they suffered too much attrition to realistically go 13-0.

Coastal Carolina football worst-case scenario

Should it hit the fan for Coastal, the Chants are still going to a bowl game, but only barely. Because Chadwell is too good of a coach and McCall is too good of a quarterback, this duo should be able to get this team to right around eight wins. However, a 7-5 (5-3) season is not out of the realm of possibility either. That would require two losses in the non-conference and three Sun Belt defeats.

For the worst-case scenario to transpire, Coastal falls to Army and Virginia in the non-conference. The Chants would need to lose both Thursday division rivalry games at Georgia State and home vs. App State in consecutive seasons. And with four new conference foes on the schedule, the Chanticleers would conceivably drop a fifth game at Marshall or at James Madison, or something.

Coastal Carolina football 2022 season prediction

As stated before, the duo of Chadwell and McCall is something no other team in the Sun Belt has to offer presently. This potentially makes them two wins better than a rebuilding roster of sorts probably should be. They are going to win at least eight regular-season games, but definitely not 11. 10 wins would be great, but the four new entrants into the league have them at 9-3 (6-2).

If the Chanticleers lose a game in the non-conference, it is at Virginia. The Hoos may not win the ACC Coastal in its final season, but look for Brennan Armstrong to sling it for new head coach Tony Elliott in a crazy shootout. In their two revenge games, Coastal Carolina is not dropping the pair, but may not win both either. They should beat the Panthers but could lose at home to App State.

As far as where the third loss is coming from, at Marshall and at James Madison will be incredibly interesting. The Thundering Herd have a great tradition in Huntington. While the Dukes are in the process of moving up a level, this could be their Super Bowl. If this were a year from now, take the Dukes to be the likelier team to beat them than the Herd. For now, Marshall is such a trap game…

Coastal Carolina football 2022 bowl game prediction

Instead of winning 11 games again and going to the Cure Bowl, it will be a change of scenery for Coastal Carolina, alright. With somewhere around a 9-3 record, they will be matched up with the UAB Blazers in the New Orleans Bowl on what will be the shortest day of the calendar year. The Dec. 21 matchup is nowhere close to being New Year’s Six caliber, but the Big Easy is always fun.

Coming tomorrow: No. 45: Appalachian State Mountaineers

Other articles in this series:

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