|Charlotte looks to run back to winning ways vs. Ala. Birmingham|
|49ers 2-0 when rushing for more than 100 yards|
|Published Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:22 pm|
Success for the Charlotte 49ers starts with the run game.
Junior running back Benny LeMay fuels Charlotte’s rushing attack with 58.2 percent of the team’s total with 331 of their 568 yards, followed by sophomore Aaron McAllister with 169 yards. Charlotte is 2-0 when they run for over 100 yards, and has outrushed opponents 586 to 395.
“We always want to run the ball,” 49ers coach Brad Lambert said. “It will be nice to have Nate [Davis, senior offensive lineman] back. That will be good to have him up front. It’ll give us some added depth in our offensive line. Hopefully that helps, but we have to get McAllister, Benny and those guys going early.”
Said senior offensive lineman Darren Drake: “We just want to establish the run. We’re probably going to have more power-type plays against” Alabama Birmingham in a Conference USA road game at Legion Field on Saturday. “They’re a big defensive line. We’re going to find a way to block them efficiently, and make sure there’s no penetration, sacks and stuff like that.”
The Blazers stand 2-1, coming off a bye week. Charlotte, which has not won a road game since 2016, is open next week.
“Win or lose, we’re going to have to stay focused after this game, because a bye week can really affect the rest of the season,” Drake said. “Especially how ours is so early still—it’s before we’re halfway through the season.”
Said junior safety Ben DeLuca: “Last year we had to play UAB, and beat them going into our bye week. That gave us a little bit of momentum. We weren’t able to capitalize on it, but we were able to play better coming out of the bye week. The goal doesn’t change—we want to win every week.”
Charlotte lost its first road game last week, 49-31 at Massachusetts, putting the 49ers 2-2 for the season. Charlotte is 1-0 in Conference USA after a 28-25 win against Old Dominion on Sept. 13.
Charlotte’s single win in last year’s 1-11 campaign came against the Blazers in a 25-24 overtime win. The Blazers, who stand 8-0 at home since 2014, resurrected the program last year. A win against the 49ers would set a program record for the longest home winning streak.
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