When and where: October 26, 2019, McColl-Richardson Field, Charlotte, NC, 3:30 PM ET
The Charlotte 49ers hope to avoid a fifth consecutive loss in Saturday’s Conference USA showdown with the North Texas Mean Green. Everything has looked mean so far but the North Texas defense, which has given up 30-plus points in three straight games. They barely survived a run-in with MTSU last week, and they’ll be hoping for better luck taking on Charlotte, who is coming off consecutive losses to Clemson, FAU, FIU and Western Kentucky.
Running back group banged up for North TexasThere are some legitimate concerns North Texas won’t have enough bodies on the field to take advantage of Charlotte’s weakness in stopping the run. Siggers, the team’s No. 1 running back, is questionable on Saturday with an ankle injury. It does seem like he’s nearing a return and could potentially play against the 49ers, but it’s more likely for the team to limit his snap count even if he does suit up. Primary backup DeAndre Torrey is also on the fence on playing with a leg injury.
So there should be plenty of work for a second consecutive week for Loren Easly, who ran over MTSU for 99 yards with a 5.2 per carry average. Charlotte is almost as bad as UTSA and MTSU in stopping the run, which should ensure car port-sized running lanes for Easly, Siggers, Torrey and whoever else lines up in the backfield.
Mason Fine’s quarterback play has stood out behind center, but he could find some resistance from a 49ers secondary that’s giving up 196.0 average passing yards per game. Charlotte also ranks third in the conference for most sacks (23).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Mean Green has been absolutely atrocious at times, allowing an average of 412.4 total yards per game, which ranks third-worst in the conference. That’s a serious concern when facing anyone, especially a bad offensive team like Charlotte.
Charlotte loses fourth straight gameYou know times are hard when Charlotte can’t even keep pace with Western Kentucky’s offense.
However, that was the case last Saturday in a game where they were completely shutout in the second half and gave up 30 total points. Granted, the Hilltoppers have the second-best defense in the conference, but that isn’t much of an excuse for Charlotte’s continued showings of offensive inefficiency. It’s a common theme that North Texas will also look to exploit on Saturday.
While the Mean Green doesn’t boast anywhere near the defensive capabilities as Western Kentucky, they are good at getting after the quarterback and decent against the pass. So it could be another week of 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds being under siege in the pocket.
On the other side of the ball, Charlotte’s rush defense couldn’t stop a cold. If Siggers is healthy for the Mean Green, it could be a double dose of carnage on the ground alongside Easly. The 49ers have given up a conference-high 18 rushing touchdowns so far this season. That number won’t get any better if defensive back and leading tackler Marquavis Gibbs is sidelined for this game. He is currently listed as questionable, along with linebacker Jeff Gemmell (ankle).
- 49ers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
- 49ers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
- 49ers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.