Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Charlotte season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Charlotte 49ers Preview
Head Coach: Will Healy, 4th year at Charlotte, 14-17
6th year overall, 27-38, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 5-7, Conference: 3-5
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Charlotte Top 10 Players | Charlotte Schedule
Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022
The 49ers are still trying to find the consistency needed to be a bigger factor in Conference USA.
The breakthrough bowl season in 2019 was fun, the 2-4 season in 2020 was because of 2020 – there weren’t any bad losses among the four – and last year a bowl game was well within each, but the defense went bye-bye over a three game losing streak to close out the year.
The experience is there to be better after a decent season, but it’ll be all about the improvement on the other side of the ball.
The new-look Conference USA schedule just got a lot easier, but it’s still going to be a fight to get close to six wins if the D isn’t far, far better. But first …
Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Offense
Again, overall the offense wasn’t all that bad. It would’ve been nice to get more out of the ground game, but the attack blew a tire during the middle of the season. Even so, there were enough times when the offense did the job and the other side didn’t keep up its end of the bargain.
Eight starters are expected back to the spread attack that keeps things moving and does a great job of controlling the time of possession. It starts with …
Veteran quarterback Chris Reynolds returns for yet another year. He’s not all that big, but he’s a good runner, knows what he’s doing with the passing game, and he doesn’t turn the ball over enough to matter.
The tip three receivers are back with a good-sized group – the 49ers recruit to a receiver type that can get down the field. The work gets spread out among Grant DuBose, Victor Tucker, and Elijah Spencer – they’re all 6-2.
All of the top rushers are back. Calvin Camp and former Iowa transfer Shadrick Byrd for a good rotation – they combined for close to 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns – to go along with Reynolds’ ability to get on the move. They all get to work behind a smallish line that gets four starters back and isn’t bad at keeping defenses out of the backfield.
Charlotte 49ers Preview 2022: Defense
The defense had a few problems. It was among the worst in the country in pass efficiency defense, allowed 465 yards per game overall, was the worst in Conference USA at getting into the backfield, and it allowed 34 points per game. Other than that, everything was great.
At least the 49ers have enough experience to build around, but overall this group has to be far better considering the time it gets to rest thanks to the offense. Making matters worse …
Three of the top four tacklers are done with the linebacking corps needing to all but start over. This is a smallish group that can move, which is fine as long as there’s production in the backfield. Top sacker Markees Watts is back on the defensive front, but he can’t do it alone.
There’s decent size in the interior line for the rotation. Watts is just 218 pounds and Michael Kelly is 225 pounds on the other side – again, the smallish size is fine as long as everyone is disruptive. Central Michigan transfer Amir Siddiq will play a big role in the rotation.
It wasn’t just that the 49ers allowed teams to bomb away too easily. It’s that there were too many big downfield plays without enough takeaways or key stops. However, the secondary should be an early strength if it’s helped by any sort of a pass rush. The veteran safeties will make a whole lot of plays