Grayson McCall’s storybook start to his college career continued Wednesday night, as he accounted for three touchdowns to help the Coastal Carolina football team upset No. 21 Louisiana, 30-27, to move to 4-0 on the season.
It was the first time in school history Coastal Carolina has defeated a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, according to goccusports.com.
The former Porter Ridge High quarterback completed 17-of-24 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions while also running for 45 yards and a score on 11 carries. Wednesday’s victory marked the third time this season McCall had a total QBR above 85.0 (86.6).
McCall’s final touchdown of the night — a three-yard run — came with 14:12 left in the fourth quarter to put the Chanticleers up, 27-20. The Ragin’ Cajuns tied the game up a few minutes later on a short touchdown run, however.
With 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Coastal Carolina started a drive on its own 16-yard line. In need of a score to complete the upset, McCall engineered a 61-yard drive while chewing up the game clock.
Coastal got to Louisiana’s 23-yard line, where kicker Massimo Biscardi nailed a 40-yard field goal with four seconds left to give the Chanticleers the victory.
Picked to finish last in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division by the league’s media before the season started, Coastal Carolina now has a league-best 2-0 record (4-0 overall). Louisiana, which opened the season with a 17-point win at No. 23 Iowa State, suffered its first loss of 2020 and is now 2-1 in the Sun Belt (3-1 overall).
A big reason for Coastal’s success this season has been McCall’s play. After redshirting last season, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder rose from third string to starter this offseason and has been among the most efficient passers in the country.
Through four games this season, McCall has completed 59-of-87 passes (67.8%) for 930 yards with 11 touchdown passes against one interception. He’s only been sacked twice this season, and the dual-threat QB has rushed for 184 yards and three more scores. McCall currently ranks seventh in the country in total QBR (85.8).
McCall is on pace to finish the regular season with 2,558 passing yards and 24 passing touchdowns.
As a junior at Porter Ridge, McCall led the Pirates to the 4A state semifinal round while earning conference player of the year honors. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards in high school and also had just over 3,000 rushing yards.
Coastal Carolina will try to keep its undefeated season intact on Oct. 24 at home against Georgia Southern (2-1 overall, 1-1 in Sun Belt). The Chanticleers fell in overtime to the Eagles, 30-27, in last season’s meeting.