McCall leads No. 24 Coastal Carolina to 35-28 win over Troy

David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
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CONWAY, S.C. – Grayson McCall threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third as No. 24 Coastal Carolina rebounded from its first loss of the season, holding on to defeat Troy 35-28 on Thursday night.

The Chanticleers (7-1, 3-1 Sun Belt Conference) weren’t their sharpest, yet McCall did enough offensively and defensive tackle C.J. Brewer picked up a first down on a fake punt play for Coastal Carolina’s 12th straight home win.

McCall passed for 294 yards, including scoring throws of 66 yards to Jaivon Heiligh and 71 yards to Braydon Bennett. McCall also had a 2-yard run to start Coastal’s scoring.

Still, Troy (4-4, 2-2) made it a one-score game on Gunnar Watson‘s 18-yard touchdown pass to Tez Johnson to draw within 35-28 with 4:52 to go.

But facing fourth-and-4 on its own 31, the Chanticleers set up for a punt. Instead, they snapped the ball to Brewer, who took it around the left side for 12 yards to keep the drive going.

Troy got the ball back with 25 seconds to go on its 24. But Watson fumbled as he was sacked by Josiah Stewart and Jeffrey Gunter recovered as Coastal Carolina won its third straight over the Trojans.

Coastal Carolina came out slow, looking like a team that hadn’t fully flushed its 30-27 loss at Appalachian State on Oct. 20 that had ended its undefeated start.

The Chanticleers didn’t have a first down on its first two possessions – Coastal had scored on its opening drive in all its games this season – and were trailing 7-0 when McCall got going.

There was a scary moment for McCall, who entered as the nation’s best in completion percentage (77.3%) coming in. He went down to a knee after taking a hit on a run, then went to the turf as he tried to jog to the sidelines.

McCall went into the medical tent for a few moments, but was back in on the Chanticleers’ next series.

Heiligh had five catches for 116 yards, his fifth game this season reaching the century mark. Chanticleers tailback Shermari Jones had touchdown runs of four and 54 yards.

Kimani Vidal finished with a game-high 142 yards rushing for the Trojans.

THE TAKEAWAY

Troy: The Trojans put a couple of scares into Coastal, but didn’t have the staying power on defense to keep the potent Chants off the scoreboard.

Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers will need help if they hope to reach the Sun Belt Conference championship game. Any chance to keep that dream alive means they can’t slip up against teams they’re favored to beat – and they should be the favorites in their final four games.

UP NEXT

Troy: Starts a three-game homestand against South Alabama on Nov. 6.

Coastal Carolina: At Georgia Southern on Nov. 6.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.