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Sports

Successful home stand buoys Charlotte 49ers football
Potent running attack sparks 2-1 start
 
Published Thursday, September 13, 2018 8:12 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

The Charlotte 49ers are playing winning football at home.

Their 28-25 win against Old Dominion Thursday is their second in three home dates at Jerry Richardson Stadium. The game was moved up a couple days due to impending storms from Hurricane Florence, and an announced crowd of 8,204 showed up for the home team.

“It’s always hard when you change a game from Saturday to Thursday,” Charlotte coach Brad Lambert said. “I thought it was a really good crowd and loud at the end.”

Charlotte, which won its first Conference USA opener ever, didn’t disappoint. The 49ers (2-1, 1-0) controlled possession and converted 9-of-17 third-down opportunities to maintain momentum after falling behind 18-13 early in the third quarter. The rest of the game belonged to Charlotte, which outscored the Monarchs (0-3, 0-1) 15-7 afterward.

Upon further review

Offense

Plus: The ground attack made life less stressful for Charlotte, piling up 171 yards on 46 carries. Benny LeMay pounded ODU for 93 yards on 25 carries while Aaron McCallister ran for 60 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts. Charlotte is 2-0 when going over 100 yards rushing.

Minus: Two fumbles, with one lost, needs to be cleaned up going forward.

Notable: Quarterback Chris Reynolds benefited from the 49ers’ success on the ground, hitting 23-of-34 passes for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

 

Defense

Plus: Charlotte did a better job of containing ODU on the ground after halftime. The Monarchs ran for 123 yards on 28 tries, but 76 yards were gained before intermission.

Minus: ODU averaged 13.4 yards per completion, but the 49ers negated the damage with a pair of interceptions.

Notable: Marquavis Gibbs’ interception at the Charlotte 29 in the third turned the tide for the 49ers. Charlotte marched 12 plays and 71 yards to McAllister’s score and a 28-18 lead. Linebacker Juwan Foggie added another on the next Monarchs possession.

 

Special teams

Plus: Jonathan Cruz, who earned C-USA special teams player of the week last week, connected on both field goal attempts and the lone extra point. He also forced four touchbacks on kickoffs.

Minus: Charlotte was minus-2 yards on its lone punt return.

Notable: Kyle Corbett averaged 49.0 yards on three kicks, including a long of 57 yards. Old Dominion had one return for minus-1 yard.

 

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