“Blue Hose” may be one of the more unique nicknames in all of college sports. That belongs to small Presbyterian College in South Carolina, the Charlotte 49ers’ fifth week opponent and first road football game of their inaugural season.
After going 4-7 (3-3 Big South) in 2011, the Blue Hose took a step backwards in 2012, finishing 2-9 and 0-6 in league play. Part of the problem was their defense: they allowed nearly 38 points an outing–up from 31.5 a year prior. Their scoring output dropped from 25.1 in 2011 to just 15.5 in 2012.
Lance Byrd, the starting running back from last year, returns for his senior campaign after rushing for 705 yards on 141 carries. But Charlotte would do well to keep an eye on Demarcus Rouse, who had nine rushing touchdowns. In the passing game, two of the Blue Hose’s leading receivers (Anderico Bailey and Michael Ruff) have been lost to graduation, leading to more work for Arthur Williams and Jeremiah McKie. The quarterback position should be up for grabs–Kaleb Griffin and Tamyn Garrick each had five starts while Chad Sanders started once.
Another big question is on the other side of the ball. Donelle Williams enjoyed a strong season last year (103 tackles), as did LJ Perry (64). But the defensive line only came up with 13 sacks all year long, while the unit as a whole struggled with forcing takeaways (five fumbles, six interceptions). Run defense was brutal (3,227 yards and 37 TDs allowed) while pass defense suffered as well (2,285 yards, 17 TDs).
Simply put, Presbyterian has struggled with scoring and stopping the run. While they haven’t played a down in 2013, that certainly will be a point that has, and will be addressed, throughout the summer leading up to kickoff.