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Charlotte 49ers shifting schedule points to long-awaited home date
Texas-El Paso comes to town Saturday
 
Published Wednesday, October 21, 2020 6:24 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

CHARLOTTE 49ERS ATHLETICS
Running back Tre Harbison and his Charlotte 49ers teammates are running toward what they hope is Saturday's home opener against Texas-El Paso.

The Charlotte 49ers home schedule keeps shrinking.


They will attempt to play their home opener for a third time on Oct. 24 against Texas-El Paso at noon. Charlotte’s schedule began with four scheduled home games, with the intended opener slated for Sept. 26 against non-conference opponent Georgia State, but misread COVID-19 results on the part of the Panthers postponed that game, leaving the 49ers with a two-game gap between their season opener at Appalachian State on Sept. 12, followed by a canceled game against North Carolina and the postponement against the Panthers.


After consecutive Conference USA contests at Florida Atlanta and North Texas, Charlotte was set to host Florida International, but they postponed the conference game due to an increase in positive test results. The programs are working to reschedule the game in December.


Charlotte’s remaining scheduled home games include the Miners this weekend and Western Kentucky on Nov. 28. Should Saturday’s game take place, it will be the 49ers’ first home date in 336 days. Fans will be allowed to attend the game with capacity reduced from 15,314 to 1,072.


“You just have fingers crossed at this point in time, each and every week,” coach Will Healy said. “I feel like we’ve been on here a couple different times and thought we were going to play, and we didn’t.”


The 49ers are 1-2, 1-1 C-USA to the Miners 3-2, 0-1. Healy, who gave his players a break the weekend the Georgia State game was postponed with golf, a seven-on-seven coaches scrimmage, and a wiffleball tournament, looked for something different last weekend. Players had conditioning on Friday, weightlifting on Saturday and testing on Sunday.

“The difficult part for me as a coach was, ‘what is too long of a break?’” Healy said. “If I give them 48 hours and I give them opportunities to leave the ‘bubble,’ then I’ve gotta worry about what risks they are putting themselves in if they leave. We had something for them each day, but we thought it was important for them to get away. We thought about a freshman scrimmage and a young guy developmental scrimmage. We didn’t do that. We wanted them to get away from [football]. They were great yesterday. They were really good today. I don’t know if you ever really know that was the right way to handle it or not until you go play a game.”


Said junior quarterback Chris Reynolds: “It just kind of takes the air out of you a little bit.”


Charlotte won their first game of the season Oct. 10 with a 49-21 victory against North Texas, where they set school conference records for points, touchdowns (seven) touchdowns and total offense (599 yards). Now the goal is to actually play a home game.


“We try to stay positive going into each week, knowing that we still have an opportunity to play,” said junior linebacker Tyler Murray, who leads the 49ers in tackles, ranking second in C-USA and tied for 14th in FBS with 10.3 per game.

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