Charlotte 49ers Football: Will Niners find their game at Presbyterian?

Kalif Phillips
The Charlotte 49ers scored 99 points in their first two games against Campbell and Chowan.  They’ve only scored 21 points in their previous two against North Carolina Central and James Madison.  They look to get back on the winning side of things–and get their offense going again–at Presbyterian on Saturday, the final part of a back-to-back road trip.

So what’s going on?  Here’s a few things we’ve spotted over the past few games.

Matt Johnson’s decision making: While Johnson threw for 335 yards against NCCU, he also committed five interceptions; he struggled mightily against the Dukes, going just 13-26 for 98 yards.  From what we’ve seen, Johnson sometimes has the tendency to lock onto a receiver, rather than survey the field and look for other players downfield.  He’s a freshman so he has time to improve on that aspect over his career–so while he lit up the scoreboard against Campbell and Chowan, he still does make those mistakes first year players commit, and that can be fixed. He was also rushed into some bad choices by the Dukes pass rush as well.
Can’t stop the run: Charlotte has allowed 580 yards to their last two opponents, including 321 at JMU on Saturday.  Granted, in that one it seems as if they did a little better job of stopping the run later in the contest, but it was too late to make a huge difference, especially with the way the offense had been playing.
Can’t run the ball: Charlotte was held to 133 yards on the ground against JMU and 191 against NCCU.  While they’re averaging 184.0 yards on the ground (44th in FCS), that’s a stat that could stand to improve a little.  They’ve shown flashes at times, but as of now, it doesn’t look like they truly have a back that can really take over.  That’s something they’ll need against teams that are skilled against the pass. However, Brad Lambert has stressed balance in his offense, so it’s unlikely he’ll lean completely on either his quarterback or his running back–but a solid rushing attack would certainly ease his mind a little more.
Need to take advantage of good field position: Against JMU, the Niners had it at the Dukes’ 1 yard line but ended up turning it over on downs.  They also had drive starts at their own 49 (ended in a fumble), their own 47 (punt), and JMU’s 35 (punt).  That’s a lot of opportunities lost and points left on the field.

What have you seen?  Comment below and give us your take.

O-lineman Daniel Blitch and LB Micah Bryan suffered concussions against JMU on Saturday. Lambert reported in his press conference that the pair would have to be cleared by doctors before they get the green light to play at Presbyterian.

Tags: Charlotte 49ers Charlotte 49ers Football Football Presbyterian Blue Hose

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