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November 23, 2013

Moglia: 'These guys are better than Presbyterian'

Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia knew when South Carolina went up 28-0 with 43 seconds left in the first quarter that his team might be in for a long day.

"We realized that heck, these guys are better than Presbyterian," Moglia said after the game.

South Carolina piled on 639 total yards, 32 first downs and 10 touchdowns by seven different players, turning out to be a lot better than Presbyterian, a team Coastal Carolina beat 46-13 last week. A 70-10 loss wasn't what Moglia envisioned for his team's regular season finale, but he was happy the Chanticleers executed their over-arching goal for every football game.

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"We begin with a concept, we say we've got a mission. The mission is to put a team on the field that's going to make our university proud," Moglia said. "What it means is you've got to win. But what it really means is that you never ever ever give less than your best at any point in time. I think we've done that all season long. I think we did that today."

The Chanticleers offense struggled early against a physical Gamecock front, failing to put together a drive of more than 29 yards until midway through the second quarter, when Alex Ross' 1-yard touchdown pass cut South Carolina's lead to 42-7. And Coastal Carolina's defense struggled to keep up with the Gamecocks, as South Carolina turned to its second and third team in the second half to coast to a 60-point win.

"They beat us today," Moglia said. "I think we understood as a team what we needed to do to have a shot in the fourth quarter and we weren't able to get that done, and they played very, very well. Once we realized that the game was out of hand, we wanted our guys to continue to work hard and go after it, but it was important to give some other guys work, and I think we were able to do that over the rest of the game."

Moglia said Charleston Southern's loss to Liberty Saturday, which secured the Chanticleers the Big South title and guarantees them a spot in the FCS playoffs, doesn't make the loss to South Carolina any more bearable.

"What happened today stings and I think the only thing that could take the sting away would be if we are effective and successful next week," Moglia said.

But at a time when most coaches focus on picking apart the details of why his team lost, Moglia just wants to move on.

"Our guys know and understand that today was a loss," Moglia said. "We need to be able to put it behind us. We should be able to learn some things from what took place today, but for the most part I'm putting this game behind us. I think our guys will want to do the same. We've got to find out whoever we're going to play next and we've got to focus on them."

Because the Chanticleers played an FBS school, the loss doesn't count against their record, which sits at 10-1. It also doesn't put a dampener on Moglia's outlook on Coastal Carolina's season or their chances of success in the playoffs.

"It's not going to give us a lot of benefit thinking about this one," Moglia said. "Let's relax a little bit; let's go in there tomorrow, let's find out whoever we're going to play, assess where we stand physically, and then start to get to work."

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