Charlotte 49ers Football Season Preview


The Charlotte 49ers have a FBS football team. It seemed like only yesterday that the football proposal went through to give them any sort of team and now they will be playing with the big boys this year. There could be bumps and bruises along the way as they face their Conference USA brethren this year, but maybe they will surprise some people. After all, did not Appalachian State make a similar jump last year with actual success?

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Coach Brad Lambert: 3rd Year (10-12)

The former Jim Grobe assistant at Wake Forest has had the task of building the program from nothing. Therefore no one should know all the moving parts better than Lambert. Hopefully he can replicate some of the elements that made those Wake Forest teams of the mid-2000s so dangerous.

Last Season: (5-6)
Charlotte did not show itself to be FBS ready last season, going 5-6 in their final year of FCS play. Even the wins are a bit deceptive as the 49ers cleaned house against teams it should have beat. That included non-scholarship Pioneer League Campbell and Morehead State, Johnson C. Smith, and Wesley College.

Their best win was a week three showing against North Carolina Central.
The six losses were a divided record as well. Close losses to Charleston Southern and the Citadel were paired with a blowout loss to Coastal Carolina. So there is not a lot to go on.

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Offense –

The word for the offense is growing. The 49ers went into camp with a quarterback competition, but the other players have been together now for almost three years. There is a good amount of experience now.

One solid member of the offense is running back Khalif Phillips, who may be tested to repeat the fourteen hundred yard performance that he had last year. One thing Lambert surely learned from Jim Grobe was the need to run the ball. If the line continues to develop, C-USA may hear a lot from Phillips.

Defense – 3-4

The 3-4 alignment may be a necessity for the developing 49ers. They do not yet have access to the amount of big bodies to put on the line, but have plenty of guys you can classify as linebackers. The key word for the defense will be recovery. Several key players missed all or parts of last year with injuries and they are now back. If they can stay healthy, then they can try to prevent another season where the defense gave up thirty-one points per game.

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  • Schedule
    9/4 – AT Georgia State
    9/12 – Presbyterian
    9/19 – AT Middle Tennessee
    9/26 – Florida Atlantic
    10/2 – Temple
    10/17 – AT Old Dominion
    10/24 – Southern Miss
    10/31 – Marshall
    11/7 – AT FIU
    11/14 – UTSA
    11/21 – AT Kentucky
    11/28 – AT Rice

    Prediction: 2-10

    The 49ers did a good job of not biting off more than they could chew on the schedule, but they are still going to be hit hard in their first year of Conference USA action. I think the wins are Presbyterian and when UTSA comes to visit in November. If Georgia State had been a home game instead of an away game, I might have picked them to win that one too.

    This is the point where you have to remember that we don’t really know what this squad will look like in the FBS environment, and it is possible for them to shock everybody.