No. 17 Coastal Carolina wins 53-3; UMass’ 15th straight loss

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Grayson McCall threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, and No. 17 Coastal Carolina scored on eight of nine possessions and sent UMass to a 15th straight loss in a 53-3 victory Saturday.

The Chanticleers started 4-0 for the second straight season and have won 15 of their past 16 games the past two years. They also cranked things up after a subpar offensive showing in 28-25 win at Buffalo last week.

“Those guys on offense, they’re insane,” Coastal Carolina linebacker Silas Kelly said.

McCall was again at the center of things. He opened the scoring with a 3-yard TD run and added scoring passes of 25 yards to Isaiah Likely and a 23 yards to Javion Heiligh. By then Coastal Carolina led 36-0 and the only drama left was whether the defense could claim its first shutout since a 51-0 win over Georgia State last season.

The Minutemen (0-4) broke through with 8:23 left on Cameron Carson’s 35-yard field goal. UMass, a Bowl Subdivision independent, hasn’t won since topping Akron 37-28 in September 2019.

Coastal Carolina had little trouble igniting its offense, especially with the help from Minutemen special teams.

A high snap on a UMass punt led to a block as George Georgeopoulos tried to kick it away as he scrambled. That set up McCall’s scoring run.

His team down 20-0, Georgeopoulos couldn’t get a handle on a snap deep in his end zone that went out of bounds for a Coastal safety.

“The most disappointing thing was we weren’t able to take advantage of our opportunities,” UMass coach Walt Bell said.

In all, the Chanticleers scored on all five of their first-half possessions for a 36-0 lead at the break. They added two touchdowns and a field goal the next three times they had the ball. The run ended on the UMass 2 when Coastal Carolina knelt down with 25 seconds left and the clock ran out.

McCall finished 10 of 14 for 162 yards, taking a seat for the second half. Heiligh caught five passes for 118 yards. It was his fifth time in the pass six games surpassing 100 yards receiving.

THE TAKEAWAY

UMass: The Minutemen continued their struggles in their FBS journey and showed how far they have to travel to compete with a ranked Group of Five opponent. UMass couldn’t match up in any phase of the game with costly mistakes on offense, defense and special teams.

Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers shook off a so-so performance last week with a dominant outing heading into Sun Belt Conference play next week. McCall and the offense were efficient and effective, even without leading rusher Shermari Jones out with turf toe.

POLL POSITION

It’s hard to judge where Coastal Carolina will wind up next week. The Chanticleers did what they were supposed to, yet that doesn’t often lead to big moves up the rankings. Expect Coastal to stick about where it is now.

UP NEXT

UMass returns home to play Toledo on Oct. 2.

Coastal Carolina opens Sun Belt Conference play at home against Louisiana-Monroe on Oct. 2.

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