Charlotte vs. Gardner-Webb fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, August 29
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: McColl-Richardson Field, Charlotte, NC
Charlotte (0-0) vs. Gardner-Webb (0-0) Game Preview
– Charlotte Preview
The Will Healy era begins in Charlotte in what needs to be a light and breezy scrimmage. This is a good enough 49er team to think about going bowling, but the path to six wins probably doesn’t happen without a 3-0 start. It has to use this as a tune-up for a trip to Appalachian State, and then the home game against UMass before going to Clemson.
The Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb are coming off a rough 3-8 season including a 72-7 pasting from Appalachian State. They get East Carolina after this.
Why Charlotte Will Win
The Charlotte offense might need a whole lot of tweaking and working after a tough season, but there’s hope for an instant improvement – at least in the opener. Healy’s lines were great when he was at Austin Peay, but he didn’t have a back as strong as Benny LeMay.
The all-star back should come up with a slew of big runs against a GWU run defense that got gashed throughout last season and gave up 285 yards per game on the ground. There wasn’t any pressure from the front seven in the 3-4 alignment, and the passing game wasn’t there to keep up the pace, but …
Why Gardner-Webb Will Win
The team went really, really young at the end of last year. It might have been a step back to potentially take a giant leap forward with four freshmen and two sophomores getting their feet wet on the defensive front seven. That’s not to say they’re about to turn into something special in one offseason. but there’s plenty of experience to go along with decent size on the front three.
LeMay will be great, but the rest of the Charlotte offense has to prove it can be far more efficient. This really is a warm-up game for the 49ers, but that doesn’t mean everything will be clicking. This is a young Gardner-Webb team on the offensive side, too – it might come out a wee bit sharper.
What’s Going To Happen
There won’t be any issues for the new guy. Charlotte will get up early, Healy will work on getting more pressure out of a defense that didn’t generate a whole lot last season, and it’ll be a fun first game to get ready for a showdown against Appalachian State. After struggling to score last year, Charlotte will try to find a little pop and explosion, but it’ll be the running game that takes over early.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Charlotte 45, Gardner-Webb 13
Line: No Line, o/u: No Line
Must See Rating: 1
5: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
1: Christina on the Coast