Charlotte 49ers 2023 College Football Preview
June 22, 2023
Record – 3-9
ATS – 5-7
Yikes. Things got off to a rough start with an opening week loss to Florida Atlantic (L43-13) and they followed that up with a brutal home defeat to something known as William & Mary (L41-24). They lost seven of their first eight games but did manage to finish the season on a positive note with a victory over Louisiana Tech. There’s no more CLUB LIT as new HC Biff Poggi takes over as head coach. Let’s see what he has to work with in 2023.
Charlotte 49ers 2023 Outlook
It’s gonna be strange seeing the 49ers take the field without starting QB Chris Reynolds who a lot of fun to watch over the years and he finished his career in Charlotte with over 10,000 passing yards. The best bet to win the starting QB gig as we approach press time is Bethune-Cookman transfer Jalon Jones who did some good work as a dual threat during his time with the Wildcats (2,231 pass, 560 rush LY). There’s a total reload at WR/TE given the departure of their top-four in receiving yards and they’ve added a bucket-load of bodies from the transfer portal. Hopefully one or two doods will emerge and be useful. Promising freshman Durell Robinson joins last season’s leading rusher Shadrick Byrd (620, 4 TD) in the backfield to give Charlotte hope that they can be improved on the ground this season (#108 FBS rush offense LY). Only two starters return up front but they add over half a dozen transfers to the mix. Hopefully they’re able to cobble together a decent starting-five.
Charlotte was a HOT MESS last season and finished #127 in total defense, #120 vs the run, and #130 (!) in pass efficiency defense. Yup, they allowed 70% completions and almost 10 yards per attempt. Six starters are retained but the 49ers went FREAKY FREAKY in the transfer portal and added about 20 bodies to the stop unit. That makes it very difficult to figure out how these guys will perform, but hopefully, the answer is “much better”. There are some decent pieces laying about including last season’s leading tackler LB Prince Bemah, DT Jalar Holley, and Michigan transfer LB Nikhai Hill-Green. Our biggest concern is the secondary but the DL might be pretty good given all the BEEF at DT.
Stop us if this sounds familiar, but the 49ers will rely on new talent at PK and punter obtained thru the transfer portal. Punter Grant Gonya and PK Jake Larson both did their work LY below the FBS level.
Overall – The non-conference requirements aren’t too bad. There are a pair of automatic losses to endure (at Maryland, at Florida) but they definitely have a license to beat SC State and Georgia St at home. They avoid UTSA and Tulane in AAC action and that doesn’t suck.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Florida (Sept 23)
This feels like a MAIL IT IN situation for Charlotte as their depth will be severely tested in the SWAMP and they have the conference opener on deck (at SMU). They’ll be catching a bundle of points but it looks like a risky proposition to back the road underdog on this occasion.
Season Win Total
Over 3 -150
Under 3 +120
Assuming they handle FCS foe SC State in the opener they need to win just two games for a push and three games for ALL THE MONEEEZ. We count about six or seven legit shots at a victory so our leanage lies with the ‘over’ camp.
Charlotte is sometimes referred to as the “Hornet’s Nest” as according to legend, British General Cornwallis called the city a “hornet’s nest of rebellion” during the American Revolutionary War. Charlotte’s NBA franchise is called the “Hornets” and the origins of that nickname can be traced back to the TRIVIA GOLD noted above.
This should be interesting as it’s hard to anticipate how much success these guys can have after adding so many new faces during the offseason. There’s definitely more upside than downside so we’ll call for four wins and an outside shot for one or two more if they end up HITTING the LOTTERY at QB. Go Charlotte!