Southern Miss vs Coastal Carolina Odds, Predictions: Can Chanticleers Cover?
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Carpenter
Southern Miss vs Coastal Carolina Odds
Southern Miss travels to Myrtle Beach to take on a Chanticleers team that sits atop the Sun Belt East standings but just lost all-world quarterback Grayson McCall for the rest of the regular season.
McCall was injured in last Thursday’s win over Appalachian State and he tried to play through it but was spelled for some plays by Bryce Carpenter.
The update came out earlier this week, and the lines responded in kind. Coastal has gone from an 11.5-point favorite to a 4.5-point favorite and the total has dropped from 54 to 48.5.
Is this an opportunity to buy Coastal and get a favorable number? Or should you back Southern Miss on the road, even though the Golden Eagles have quarterback problems of their own?
There's a lot of intrigue in this game and how to play it. Let’s look at the numbers.
Year two of the Will Hall era — and year one in the Sun Belt — has been up and down for the Golden Eagles.
The defense has been solid, but the offense has been defined by a revolving door of quarterbacks. Injuries and inconsistent play have led to a depth chart with three different names listed at the top for this week's game.
Southern Miss’s defense has kept it in games, but things are starting to catch up with the defense, and they aren't playing great ball right now.
In the past four games, the Eagles have needed miracle fourth-quarter comebacks to defeat two Sun Belt cellar dwellers (Arkansas State and Texas State), won a wild Thursday night affair with Louisiana and got blown out at home by an average Georgia State team.
Southern Miss built this defense with veteran mainstays in the back end and added transfers to bolster the front seven. That recipe has been solid. They are 44th in defensive SP+, but are susceptible to explosive plays (62nd in FBS) and vulnerable to quality rushing attacks (70th in EPA/Rush).
I imagine Coastal’s approach will look similar to what Georgia State did last week — using a mobile quarterback to create extra numbers in the running game and control the game script — as it hung 42 points and 388 rushing yards on the Golden Eagles.
On offense, uncertainty abounds for the Eagles.
Running back Frank Gore Jr. is a star and might take some snaps in the Superback offense, Will Hall’s “break glass in case of emergency” Wildcat look. Whether it's been Zack Wilke, Jake Lange or Trey Lowe playing quarterback for the Eagles, the results have not been pretty.
Southern Miss is 115th in EPA/pass, and because teams are able to stack the box against Gore, the Golden Eagles are 126th in Success Rate when rushing the ball.
It’s been a dream run since 2020 for Jamey Chadwell, Grayson McCall and the Chanticleers program. This year’s team is 8-1, thanks largely to McCall’s heroics in shootouts.
The Chanticleers have played two games since their bye and have shown improvement on defense. No one is going to confuse them for the ‘85 Bears, but they have played their two best games on that side of the ball — limiting Marshall to 13 points and holding App State’s excellent two-headed run game to a total of 88 yards.
The secondary is still troublesome, but the run defense looks to be putting it together. They should be able to stop this poor Southern Miss pass attack and effectively defend the run.
However, the real intrigue is with Bryce Carpenter replacing Grayson McCall. The line plummeting shows gamblers are afraid of Coastal without McCall’s passing ability. I understand that, but I believe Coastal will be fine in this matchup.
Southern Miss is vulnerable against mobile quarterbacks and Chadwell isn't afraid to run his signal-caller in this triple-option offense.
Carpenter also has plenty of experience in this offense as this will be his 12th career start. He's a fearless runner — as anyone who has seen him play can attest — and has rushed for 5.7 yards a carry on designed runs in his career. He should be able to maintain, or even improve, a rushing attack that is fifth in explosive rushes and 55th in Success Rate.
No, he isn’t the passer McCall is, but he is experienced and capable. Over his career, Carpenter has completed 63.8% of his passes for 1,902 yards. He also has 16 big-time throws and 11 turnover-worthy plays.
Southern Miss vs Coastal Carolina Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Southern Miss and Coastal Carolina match up statistically:
Southern Miss Offense vs. Coastal Carolina Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Coastal Carolina Offense vs. Southern Miss Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||23||126|
|Seconds per Play||27.0 (82)||29.0 (117)|
|Rush Rate||58.2% (34)||58.9% (29)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Southern Miss vs Coastal Carolina Betting Pick
Losing McCall is a real worry for the Chanticleers. He is arguably the best player in program history and a future NFL Draft pick.
However, they can still cover against Southern Miss, especially with the line dropping. There is absolutely a drop-off in the pass game without McCall, but Carpenter adds a wrinkle with his legs.
Southern Miss’ poor pass offense won’t be able to take advantage of Coastal’s secondary and the Chanticleer's run defense is dominating right now.
I’ll happily take Coastal as the line plummets. I think the Chanticleers will beat this slumping Southern Miss team and I'll take Coastal up to -6.