October 12 marks another home game for the Charlotte 49ers football team–but not just any home game. For the first time, Homecoming will be held in the fall instead of being centered around a basketball game in the spring. We have a feeling that the buzz surrounding this one will be greater than years past. The Niners’ homecoming opponent: the UNC Pembroke Braves.
UNC Pembroke Braves
October 12, 2013
Last year: 6-4
Head Coach: Pete Shinnick (7th season)
The Braves are unique in that not only do they compete in Division II, they do so as an independent. They’re a relatively new program that began play in 2007 and have done reasonably well, going 41-22. I have a feeling that a Division I program is going to come calling Pete Shinnick’s name sooner rather than later (and would be surprised if it hasn’t already happened).
Pembroke was a good defensive team in 2012, allowing 24 points an outing; meanwhile, they scored 27.3 a contest themselves. Under center, Luke Charles saw most of the time and should start in 2013 as well. He did throw for 2,173 yards and 15 touchdowns but was picked off 11 times and sacked 18. His top targets, Te’vell Williams and Ben Decelle, will be back, as will leading rushers Elliott Powell (681 yards, 8 TD) and Damonte Terry (6 TD). But the o-line should provide a point of concern for the staff going into the 2013 season. Defense returns many of its starters and lettermen from 2012 in hopes of improving on some not so good numbers from last season–153.0 yards per game and 24 touchdowns on the ground (386.2 ypg overall).
Keep an eye on Pembroke in the coming years as there’s some buzz about whether or not they’re making a move to FCS. If they do, they should be ready to make a smooth transition.