The defense was relatively strong for the Charlotte 49ers against the #16 James Madison Dukes. For the offense, though, the same couldn’t be said. It was JMU coming through in the end, shutting down the Niners and coming away with a 34-7 victory in Harrisonburg, VA.
Charlotte’s only touchdown–an eight-yard run by Matt Johnson with 30 seconds played in the 1st quarter–came as a result of a fumble on the opening kickoff by JMU. In fact, the defense would force five turnovers in all; three fumbles and two interceptions.
But whenever the Niners had the ball, they couldn’t do anything. Stalled drive after stalled drive along with missed passes and inopportune miscues wiped out any advantage given to them by the defense. In the end, a 20-7 halftime lead by the home team proved to be too much to overcome.
JMU was helped by a strong 1st half by Dae’quan Scott, who finished with 35 carries, 176 yards and two TDs. While he was bottled up for most of the 2nd half, the Niners, again, failed to capitalize on offensive chances and takeaways. Khalid Abdullah added 13 carries for 62 yards and a score in the second half to make it 34-7. For Charlotte, Matt Johnson finished with just 98 yards on 13-26 passing; he tacked on 51 yards and a score on 23 carries. The Niners were outgained 321-133 on the ground and only managed 14 first downs to JMU’s 30. They only converted 3 out of 16 third downs.
Charlotte plays its second straight road game as they travel to Clinton, SC to take on Presbyterian next week. Kickoff for that one is set for 2pm at Bailey Memorial Stadium.