Coastal Carolina's defense outscored the offense in a modified scoring system 70-53 in the Chanticleers Black and Teal game on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium. The offense got within 52-51 in the 4th quarter, but the defense got consecutive interceptions from Johnnie Houston, Josh Norman and Tre Henderson to pull away and win bragging rights. The defense, wearing Teal, get steak at season ending dinner while the offense, wearing Black, has to settle for beanie-weenies.
All eyes were on the quarterback position as Jamie Childers and Aramis Hillary made one final impression before summer workouts. Hillary was 14 of 25 for 146 yards and 1 INT, while Childers was 4 of 11 for 56 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Childers was the leading rusher and leading receiver with 30 yards on the ground and 2 catches for 69 yards. The highlight of the scrimmage was Childers 36 yard TD pass to Ronnie Moses for a score followed by Hillary's 55 yard throw to Childers just a couple of plays later.
Other touchdowns included a one yard TD by Zach Silverburg and Logan Hall hitting Niccolo Mastromateo on a 19 yard scoring play. Coatsal concludes spring workouts with one final practice on Sunday.
WPDE Sports Director Rich Chrampanis, host of the David Bennett Show, has his analysis from the spring game:
The QB Battle
Sometimes the media can over analyze spring games and stats, but the one thing that comes out of the spring game is an interesting dilemma. Jamie Childers made big plays at quarterback and big plays at tight end. Here's one guarantee: he's going to be on the field. What was interesting in the post-game, was Childers staking claim to the #1 job. However, David Bennett said that if the season started tomorrow, both would get snaps at quarterback. Hillary was dimplomatic in post-game saying that he simply wants what's best for the team. Childers gave the indication that he's the #1 guy, but it's wide open heading into the summer. I'm usually against the two quarterback system, but it very well may serve Coastal well to rotate both players.
The Defense Shines
There's no question that the defense is the strength of the 2011 Chanticleers. I thought that the defensive line performed well with Johnny Hartsfield and Dexter Holman making plays. The depth and talent at linebacker is perhaps the biggest asset of the team. My favorite one on one battle to watch was Matt Hazel against Josh Norman with the DB getting the edge in the spirited but good natured competition. Phillip George and Johnnie Houston also stepped up at safety. That was the biggest question mark on the defensive side of the ball heading into spring and both safeties performed well.
David Duran did not play in the spring game, but will be ready to go in the summer. DE Quinton Davis, who was granted an extra year of medical hardship earlier this week, was also out, but also on the path towards a summer return. OL Chad Hamilton and TE Dominique Whiteside suffered serious injuries during the spring, but have a few months to get back up to full speed. The only injury during the game itself was DE Chris Thomas who went down in the second half with a knee injury
Here's what to look for come August, the big questions that need to be answered:
What will CCU's identity be at quarterback? One starter, two starters, Childers at tight end?
Who will emerge as the leader at running back? No one stood out on Saturday.
Can a true freshman contribute immediately? CCU has used redshirts many times for stellar players like Andrae Jacobs, but will players like QB Alex Ross and RB DeAngelo Henderson make enough of a splash to play right away in 2011?
Will the injured players bounce back? The players that are hurt right now are key cogs. David Duran is All-American caliber and Quinton Davis would make CCU's defense even better.
Ultimately, the quarterback situation will dominate the storyline at training camp. It will be interesting to see how the team reacts when it truly doesn't know who will be leading them. My guess is that we won't find out until the Wednesday before the Furman game who will be the starter at quarterback.