Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Charlotte 49ers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Charlotte 49ers
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Charlotte Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
It’s Year Four. It’s time to win a little bit.
Ever since Charlotte revived football at the school and kicked it all back up in 2013 – and moved into the FBS world in 2015 – it’s been, as expected, just a wee bit of a struggle.
There have only been seven wins, but the whole thing has to be built. It takes a few recruiting classes, the right schemes, a lot of luck, and the right coaches to lead the way through the rough patch.
Any expectations to do anything amazing aren’t quite fair, but it’s part of the deal to ask for the program to keep improving.
Going 1-11 and scoring just 170 points after making what seemed like a big step forward in 2016 wasn’t okay.
The 49ers scored 14 points or fewer in seven games, finishing at or near the bottom in almost every offensive category, and the defense couldn’t do much to help the cause.
The result was ugly blowout after ugly blowout with just three of the losses decided by a touchdown or less, the indignity of losing to an FCSer – North Carolina A&T – and with no fun outside of a one-point win over UAB.
But it’s possible that the last three seasons – and especially last year – was all about lump-taking that could all lead to this moment.
No, the 49ers aren’t going to be strong enough to win the Conference USA title, but in Year Four, this should be the strongest team head man Brad Lambert has fielded.
Start with the coaching changes. New offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery was the head man at Miami University for a few years, and now he comes in to install more of a pro-style attack.
Getting in grad transfer QB Evan Shirreffs from that other Miami add to an already solid stable, and with seven starters returning on O – not including QB Hasaan Klugh, who’ll be in the mix, too – at least there’s experience, and at least there are a few potential playmakers.
The defensive side has even more hope. It actually improved a little bit despite the awful overall season, and now all 11 starters are back – and just about the entire two-deep – for new defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer to try to mold into a killer.
With so much experience, and so much tinkering, Charlotte needs to be more of a factor. It has a tough slate, but if UAB could rise up and revive so fast, the 49ers should be able to at least start to win a few more games.
Eventually it’ll all come together in a true breakthrough season. The veterans are there to dream about doing it now.