Charlotte College Football Preview

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As expected, the transition to FBS hasn’t been easy for Charlotte, finishing with two wins in 2015 and Four in 2016. With a lack of major talent returning, the 49ers should again be around those win totals. Some viable pieces return like quarterback Hasaan Klugh, but a lot of the players on the roster are still young and inexperienced.

Klugh gives an interesting option at quarterback after he started the final seven Games last year with three of them resulting in wins. In limited time, the dual-threat QB finished with 10 passing touchdowns, only three picks and ran for 426 yards and eight more touchdowns. The potential of this offense could give Charlotte one or two more upset wins similar to last year’s road upset of Southern Miss. Top receivers T.L. Ford II (430 yards) and Workpeh Kofa (329 yards) return along with Trent Bostick, who was injured all of 2016. Benny LeMay (175 yards) and Robert Washington (489 yards) are expected to split duties in the backfield. The biggest thing will be for the line to be a positive with three returning starters and five upperclassmen in the mix.

Even with the offense’s possibilities, the defense is still an issue. The 49ers gave up close to 35 points per Game last year and lost their nose tackle to the NFL after run defense was actually a strong suit for the group. New names will have to step in, although linebacker could keep the rush defense going. Karrington King leads the linebackers with sophomores Anthony Butler and Tyriq Harris looking like future playmakers. The secondary is young as well, but sophomores AJ McDonald and Ben DeLUca should show some improvement in their second season as starters.

Charlotte has some pieces to be better than Four wins, but still may be a year off from reaching a bowl. It starts with a decent non-Conference Schedule that could lead to three wins, although that would include stealing one at Eastern Michigan as a 12-point underdog. The opportunity will be there for another three C-USA wins with Marshall, UAB and FAU all coming to Charlotte. Winning a road Game looks difficult on paper, but all three of Charlotte’s Conference wins came away from home last season, so that’s something to keep in mind.

The 49ers are tied with two other teams for the worst odds to win the Conference at +17500 (at 5Dimes Sportsbook). While winning the Conference is out of the question, Charlotte still has a chance to reach Four or five wins again (over/under at Four). Klugh could be a real difference maker in this offense and now has a full offseason to learn the system a little better. If the defense can step up another notch, the 49ers will be on the edge of a bowl Game.


2017 Charlotte 49ers Football Schedule

Sept. 1 at Eastern Michigan
Sept. 9 at Kansas State
Sept. 16 vs. North Carolina A&T
Sept. 23 vs. Georgia State
Sept. 30 at Florida International
Oct. 7 vs. Marshall
Oct. 14 at Western Kentucky
Oct. 21 vs. UAB
Nov. 4 at Old Dominion
Nov. 11 vs. Middle Tennessee
Nov. 18 at Southern Miss
Nov. 25 vs. Florida Atlantic

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