College Football News Preview 2020: Charlotte 49ers Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Charlotte 49ers Offense
The offensive line has to come together in a hurry. The line wasn’t a rock, but it did a great job for the ground game and it played a huge role in dominating the time of possession battle.
There’s no replacing the talent of new New York Jet Cameron Clark at left tackle, and overall the line is way small, but this group can move.
There can’t be a slew of big injuries, and the depth has to emerge, but if this group can be just okay, the terrific skill parts will take care of the rest. If the O line is great, there should be a big improvement to an already good attack.
Biggest Key To The Charlotte 49ers Defense
The run defense has to hold up. It allowed 192 yards per game, but when it was able to do okay, the team won.
It was all a part of the formula. The offense was great at controlling the clock and the tempo of games, and the undersized defense didn’t get hammered on. But when teams were able to pound away, the narrative quickly changed.
It was just this simple. Charlotte lost when it gave up 200 rushing yards. Not only was it 0-5 when giving up that many, but it’s 0-22 all-time as a program when allowing two bills.
Last year, the team was 7-1 when allowing under the 200-yard mark.
Key Charlotte 49ers Player To A Successful Season
OT Malik Harkness, Soph.
Forget getting a left tackle as good as Cameron Clark, but the position has to be solid from the start. D’Mitri Emmanuel is a good talent, but he’s only 6-1 and 295 pounds with the ability to play just about anywhere on the line. In a perfect world, he’s the right tackle, but that means Harkness has to step up on the left side.
The 6-4, 273-pounder got in a few starts last season on the right side, and he’s got the upside to become an all-star over the next three seasons. If this part of the puzzle is set, the rest of the line will quickly come into place.
Key Game To The Charlotte 49ers Season
at Florida Atlantic, Oct. 3
Call this the playing with house money game.
There are still road games at Marshall and Middle Tennessee to deal with, and FAU has a bit of a rougher road ahead, so if Charlotte really has any dreams of winning the East, it can lose this and still be alive.
But win – the 49ers got whacked 45-27 last year – and then it’s Game On. Win this and beat North Texas on the road a week later, and all of a sudden Charlotte becomes has the division there for the taking.
2019 Charlotte Fun Stats
– Sacks: Charlotte 36 for 212 yards – Opponents 21 for 121 yards
– Time of Possession: Charlotte 31:59 – Opponents 28:01
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 15-of-19 (79%) – Charlotte 13-of-23 (57%)