By: Jared McMurry
Coming off a conference win over Presbyterian, the Gardner-Webb 3-5 (2-2) football team looks to start a mini win streak as they travel to Coastal Carolina 7-1 (2-1) on Saturday.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs defeated the Blue Hose 14-10 last week for their second Big South Conference win of the season, pulling them to fourth in the conference standings.
“I was very proud of the guys for working hard last week and gutting one out,” Coach Carroll McCray said.
Defensive juggernaut, Chad Geter, also had a nice week as he took home the Big South Defensive Player of the week following the win over Presbyterian.
As the Runnin’ Bulldogs prepare for Coastal Carolina, the Chanticleers will look to avenge a 33-25 loss to Charleston Southern. Coastal Carolina fell from first to eighth in the national rankings.
“We have to be ready for a real mature football team as they start 10 seniors,” McCray said. “Coastal is very fast paced offensively and bodes one of the best offenses in the country.”
In retrospect, the Runnin’ Bulldogs bring one of the nation’s best defenses to the field in Saturday’s matchup. McCray noted at his weekly press luncheon that his defense needs to force turnovers and play the right matchups in order to give the offense a chance to execute and put points on the board.
Two of the key players that Gardner-Webb will have to slow down are quarterback Alex Ross and halfback D’Angelo Henderson of the Chanticleers. Ross has 37 career starts and has won 31 of those. Henderson is leading the Big South with 117 rushing yards per game and needs just 61 yards Saturday to reach the century mark on the season.
This could be the final matchup between Gardner-Webb and Coastal Carolina as the Chanticleers prepare to move up to the FBS level next season.
The game is slated for 3:30 p.m. and can be watched on the American Sports Network.