|Charlotte 49ers break through with OT homecoming win against UAB|
|Klugh's heroics pave way for 25-24 victory|
|Published Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:34 pm|
The Charlotte 49ers need to run the ball to be successful.
Without quarterback Hasaan Klugh’s ability on the ground, the 49ers are essentially ineffective, so his 140 yards on 25 carries helped Charlotte snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 25-24 overtime homecoming win against Alabama Birmingham. The 49eers (1-7, 1-3 Conference USA) came back after trailing by 17 for their largest C-USA comeback.
“I have the ability to run the ball,” said Klugh, who also completed 14-of-28 passes for 154 yards. “When we call ‘drop back’ it just opens up lanes for the wideouts. It also opened up lanes for the running backs. It’s just amazing.”
Klugh took the helm for the 49ers in their first league road and home wins. This season, he is second to sophomore running back Benny LeMay (86 carries for 517 yards) for carries, but leads the 49ers with seven rushing touchdowns from his 100 carries for 441 yards. In the air, he’s 89-for-187 for 942-yards and six touchdowns. He also has 10 interceptions, which continue to cost the 49ers. Against UAB, he threw a pick in the second quarter which resulted in a 12-yard touchdown pass for the Blazers (4-3, 2-2 C-USA). It took them four seconds to capitalize on his error.
“The preparation is the big key of it,” Klugh said. “Just knowing your opponent in and out throughout the week.
Charlotte (1-7, 1-3 C-USA) claimed their first overtime win in program history in a game that they trailed 17-0 at the start of the third quarter. Their key component came when Klugh handed the ball to LeMay, who pitched it to Montgomery on an end-around. Montgomery passed the ball to Klugh in the end zone for the game-winner.
“We practiced that play many times,” Montgomery said. “All of this team is about execution. Execution, finishing—I just did what the play is designed to do. I didn’t see nobody but Hasaan. I just threw it to him.”
Said coach Brad Lambert: “Each game presents different opportunities to make decisions. Coming down the stretch, I just felt like we’d come all the way back. We’d overcome a lot of things to put ourselves in that positon. I just really liked that play. At that time, I thought it was going to work out for us.”
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