|The new Shirreffs’ in town for 49ers|
|Grad transfer takes over at quarterback|
|Published Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:34 pm|
Quarterback troubles aren’t anything new for the Charlotte 49ers.
Coach Brad Lambert named junior Evan Shirreffs the intended starter for Saturday’s Conference USA game at Middle Tennessee. It will be Shirreffs’ his first start. He replaces freshman Chris Reynolds, who started the previous six games, but sustained an injury to his right ankle in the first half of the 49ers’ 40-14 homecoming win against Western Kentucky. Reynolds underwent surgery this week.
Shirreffs, a graduate transfer from Miami, earned his undergraduate degree in three years and has two remaining years of eligibility. He replaced Reynolds in the second half.
“We’ll go out there with Evan today,” Lambert said. “We just left Chris downtown. He had surgery. It went well. You just feel bad for him. He’s played good through six games, and it’s always tough. We tell our team all the time that nothing is guaranteed in football. Chris didn’t think it was going to be his last game.”
Shirreffs, at 6-foot-5, offers what freshman wide receiver Victor Tucker describes as a better view of the field, in comparison to Reynolds, who is 5-foot-11.
“He can see the field a little better, and his release point when he is throwing the ball is higher,” Tucker said. “It really makes it easier for you to locate the ball when it is in the air.
Lambert noted the similarities between Shirreffs and Reynolds, with the only noticeable difference in height. Reynolds finished Saturday 12-of-19 passing for 119 yards. Shirreffs went 5-of-7 for 118 yards and his first passing touchdown for the program. He also ran for a touchdown.
Regardless of whom Charlotte places at the helm, their offensive productivity starts with the run game, particularly junior running back Benny LeMay, who ran for two touchdowns against Western Kentucky.
Charlotte (No. 4 in the C-USA East at 2-1, 3-3 overall) has yet to beat Middle Tennessee (No. 2, 3-3, 2-1 C-USA). The 49ers need to figure how to win on the road, which last happened on Oct. 9, 2016 at Florida Atlantic in a 28-23 result.
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