|Healy: 4-5 record no reason for 49ers football to have 'fat head'|
|Bowl talk should become the norm in Charlotte|
|Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 2:18 pm|
|PHOTO | CURTIS WILSON|
|Marquill Osborne, right, and his Charlotte 49ers teammates are trying to earn the school's first bowl berth. Charlotte is 4-5 with three games to play.|
Don’t consider a 4-5 Charlotte 49ers football team a success.
This team has not arrived if you ask first-year FBS head coach Will Healy. While the 49ers are favored to beat Texas El Paso on Nov. 9, Healy quickly points out his squad has not won a game on the road. The Miners (1-7, 0-5 Conference USA) may be second to last in the Western Division, but Healy cautions those who expect the game to be guarantee for the 49ers, who are 2-3 in conference. The 49ers are on a two-game win streak with a 39-38 win against North Texas and a 34-20 win against Middle Tennessee.
“If we are getting a fat head because we’re 4-5, then you have different expectations than I have,” Healy told the team. “We’re 2-3 in the conference and 4-5 overall. This should not even be something that we have to talk about. We should be disappointed that we lost five games and fix that. We should be hungrier now than ever, and say, ‘this is what we’re capable of doing when we’re all on the same page, when we prepare like we should prepare, when we’re process driven,’ not, ‘are we going to take a team lightly because we’ve won two games, and we’re 4-5?’”
Two wins stand between the 49ers and securing bowl eligibility for the first time in program history. However, they have been on the precipice before and come up short. Charlotte went 5-7, 4-4 C-USA last season and 4-8, 3-5 C-USA in 2016. They have not won three consecutive games as an FBS program.
“I told the offensive line on Monday this has happened twice, and I still don’t have a ring on my finger,” senior offensive lineman Cameron Clark said. “You have to win the games. Consideration is not enough at this point.”
Said Healy: “I say it all the time, and we’re not there yet, but I would hope that bowl aspirations, bowl talk in November, being the favorite in a conference game, I hope those become expectations and the norm around here. It’s going to change how we handle things. It’s not going to give us a big head. I firmly believe that this program will be favored in a lot of games in the future and we need to get ready for it.”
Charlotte’s schedule includes a bye next week, followed by their final home game against Eastern Division leaders Marshall (6-3, 4-1) on Nov. 23. Their regular season concludes at Old Dominion (1-8, 0-5 C-USA) on Nov. 30.
“For us as coaches, it’s keep the thumb down even more,” Healy said. “They are seeing that this process works. We’ve gotta hold them even more accountable, and continue to find the small things that can become big things in a game, and demand more out of them.”
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