Coastal Carolina (8-1 straight up, 4-4-1 against the spread) won’t have its best player for the rest of the regular season. Fourth-year junior quarterback Grayson McCall is out for the next 3-6 weeks after sustaining a foot injury in the third quarter of last week’s 35-28 win over Appalachian St. as a three-point home underdog.
McCall, the two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year who was well on his way to earning the award for a third straight season (and still might), could return for the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game, but that’s probably an absolute best-case scenario.
The worst-case scenario? Well, if McCall is going to turn pro, there’s a chance that he might decide to skip a bowl game to stay healthy and it’s possible that his storied collegiate career is over.
Jamey Chadwell’s team can clinch a spot in the SBCCG with a home win over Southern Miss on Saturday. As of Thursday morning, most books had the Chanticleers listed as five-point home favorites with a total of 48.5 or 49.
Coastal Carolina is 5-1 in conference play, while Georgia St. and James Madison are 3-2 in the SBC’s East Division. Even if the Chanticleers fall against Southern Miss, they can wrap up the East if the Dukes or Panthers lose another game.
James Madison is at ODU on Saturday and then host Ga. St. next week. The Panthers are at home to ULM on Saturday before finishing the year with back-to-back road assignments at James Madison and at Marshall.
Coastal Carolina already owns the tiebreaker over Ga. St. by virtue of a Week 4 road win in Atlanta. James Madison hosts the Chanticleers on Nov. 26 in the regular-season finale. Therefore, if the Dukes win their next two games (meaning Ga. St. would take a third loss in league play) and Southern Miss wins in Conway on Saturday, the regular-season finale would decide who goes to the SBCCG.
Coastal Carolina was set to play Louisiana in the 2020 SBCCG, but the game was cancelled due to COVID outbreaks on both teams. The Chanticleers are gunning for their first SBC title.
McCall has enjoyed another spectacular season, completing 68.9 percent of his passes for 2,314 yards with a 21/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also has 165 rushing yards and four TDs.
If McCall’s collegiate days are indeed over, he went out by throwing a dime. You can view below his final pass last week with less than three minutes remaining, as he found Jared Brown with a deep ball on 3rd and 11 to wrap up the win.
For his career, McCall has connected on 70.4 percent of his throws for 7,700 yards with a 75/7 TD-INT ratio. He also has 1,035 career rushing yards and 15 TDs. McCall is second in program history in career passing yards behind only Alex Ross (9,918 from 2012-15).
Coastal Carolina faces a Power Five opponent in Week 12 when it plays at Virginia. The Chanticleers have prevailed in three straight games vs. Power Five foes, beating Kansas three straight times from 2019-21.