Grayson McCall

Grayson McCall

MONROE — Quarterback Grayson McCall was the secret weapon that worked out masterfully on Saturday night, leading Coastal Carolina University to a surprisingly-lopsided win at Kansas. A redshirt freshman who starred at Porter Ridge High, McCall accounted for all five of his team’s touchdowns without committing a turnover in Coastal’s 38-23 road win.

In his first career start, McCall completed 11-of-18 passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 73 yards and two scores on 11 carries. The Chanticleers built a 28-0 lead in the first half.

In the offseason, McCall was considered the third-string QB behind juniors Fred Payton and Bryce Carpenter. Payton started the six games for the Chants in 2019, and Carpenter started the last six. Coastal head coach Jamey Chadwell was coy in the preseason regarding the starting QB position, telling the Post and Courier in Charleston in early August “I think they’re on campus.”

Chadwell pulled what called “a surprise move” by starting McCall in the opener at Kansas. “I thought he played real well,” Chadwell said afterward, according to “… Zero turnovers, he ran our offense, helped us control the clock. I thought he did a really nice job for us. I’m very proud of him and his performance.”

McCall (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) played briefly in two games as a true freshman in 2019. He was considered a three-star recruit by 247Sports coming out of high school. He led Porter Ridge to the 4A state semifinal round as a senior in 2018.

Coastal Carolina, a member of the Group of 5 Sun Belt Conference, beat a Power 5 school for the second time in school history on Saturday. Coastal also defeated Kansas last season, 12-7.

The Sun Belt Conference went 3-0 against the Big 12 in Week 1, with Arkansas State defeating Kansas State (35-31) and Louisiana blasting Iowa State (31-14).